If you are an IT Services professional, you should know the difference between ITIL and ITSM. Service management manages the services you deliver to your business partners or customers. ITIL is one of many items in your toolbox to help you do this well. In this article you will learn ITIL vs ITSM, and which certification is best for you! 

ITIL vs ITSM: Overview 




Full Form 

It means Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

It refers to Information Technology Service Management.


The ITIL framework offers policies and procedures that can combine the basic IT services of a company.

The management of various IT services is referred to as ITSM.


ITIL is micro-focused on IT within the enterprise.

ITSM is macro-focused on the business.


End-to-end product and service management. 

Structured project management can be applied to any business.

What is ITIL? 

Information Technology Infrastructure Library is referred to as ITIL. It is a collection of particular tasks for managing IT services aimed at fusing IT offerings with business requirements. ITIL is a crucial, industry-recognized framework for ITSM, and putting its principles into practice can make you more productive by enabling an organization to get the most out of its technological investments. The most popular set of guidelines for treating your business like a client and offering services in a way that produces the best results is the ITIL strategy. The most recent version of it might be viewed as an embracing of business agility in IT. Find a complete guide to the ITIL certification here!

Benefits of ITIL 

  • Having a workforce that is ITIL certified enables your company to seek and embrace structural changes that are in line with the ITIL framework to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness. 
  • Having the capacity to quickly understand and apply ITSM software that is created specifically for transferring ITIL-aligned services and standardizing operations is one of the benefits of ITIL to people who achieve certification. 
  • The terrible impacts of problems and incidents resulting from errors in the IT infrastructure are lessened when a business uses the ITIL framework because handling issues are concentrated on the root cause of events.
  • Any organization with access to IT resources benefits financially greatly from incorporating the ITIL framework. It enables businesses to get the most out of their IT investments, and its effective workflows result in significant cost reductions.
  • It has been demonstrated that with the ITIL framework, firms can create a strong IT management system, guarantee excellent customer service, and continuously enhance their IT-enabled services. Once more, following these tried-and-true recommendations is essential for minimizing business risk.
  • With the help of ITIL processes, businesses can adapt swiftly to new customer needs without interrupting existing services, fostering a culture of continuous development. One of the key elements of IT compliance is change management, which permits the tracking and recording of all significant operations carried out on the IT systems and applications.

What is ITSM? 

IT service management is known as ITSM. This manages the IT services for a customer. The main focus is on the steps required in managing IT services, such as planning, running, controlling, and delivering. It has a strong focus on the needs of the client and constantly reviews and improves procedures, IT services, and IT infrastructure. The structure is hence very effective and economical. Originally, the phrase "ITSM" referred to the management of technology; however, it is now used to refer to a method of providing clients with useful services.

Benefits of ITSM

  • You may standardize IT practices within your company with the aid of ITSM. Additionally, IT service streamlining is made simpler. 
  • The usage of ITSM tools will improve staff performance. Additionally, it enhances coordination amongst various corporate divisions. One of the main advantages of IT service management is this.
  • The ROI of your company can be increased by using ITSM. IT services are streamlined, which makes them more convenient and increases productivity. 
  • Employees will find the data they require more quickly if they use ITSM tools. Reports can be sorted by employees without any issues. ITSM tools increase job accuracy and reduce mistakes. Instead of being concerned about the multiple procedures, employees may concentrate on their work.
  • Over time, using ITSM technologies will save you time and money. These instruments have made workers eager for additional work. They can work more quickly than before. The level of productivity will rise. Tasks can be completed by workers ahead of schedule.
  • The best ITSM practices, such as developing a service strategy with participation from customer stakeholders or instituting a review and approvals process for modifications, help to make sure that the IT organization effectively planned before acting.

Difference Between ITIL vs ITSM 

Although the names ITSM and ITIL are sometimes used interchangeably, they have different meanings. The following are some of the distinctions between ITIL vs ITSM:

  • Components 

Project management, for example, is an emphasis of ITSM, but cost-effectiveness is a focus of ITIL. The several phases of the IT service life cycle are covered by the ITIL components. ITSM is more interested in how a business manages its technological resources to provide helpful customer service.

  • Uses

The purpose of ITIL is to provide consumers with beneficial services while coordinating IT services with other company operations. Contrarily, ITSM carries out operations techniques like managing change to keep the business moving.

  • Focus

ITIL has less focus on the IT department, but ITSM has more focus on the entire organization. ITSM improves a company's capacity to utilize IT for expansion, increased effectiveness, and productivity. ITSM is streamlined by ITIL to increase efficiency.

  • Resource Management 

By reducing waste and carrying out tasks correctly, ITIL provides a predetermined framework for cost-effectiveness. In contrast, IT service management makes sure that capital expenses and utility bills are paid on time.

Are you looking forward to becoming an ITIL expert? Check out the ITIL 4 Foundation Certification Training and get certified.

How to Define the Relationship Between ITIL vs ITSM?

The two names are frequently confused by users, and occasionally one term will be used in place of the other. It is possible to comprehend what to perform under ITSM and how to do it under ITIL. A person who wants the ITSM certifications might enroll in the ITIL course. The range of levels offered for ITIL certification allows you to find the right level for your firm. You can consider our ITIL 4 Foundation Training Course.

A person with an ITIL certification is typically assumed to comprehend ITSM best practices. They may help firms improve their operations, IT, and resource efficiency. IT professionals can enroll in ITIL certification programs to advance their careers and get specialized knowledge of the ITIL framework.


1. What is the difference between ITIL and ITSM?

When discussing information technology in business, ITIL focuses on the "how," whereas ITSM is more interested in the "what."

2. Is ServiceNow ITSM or ITIL?

Using ITIL best practices, ServiceNow, the leading ITSM platform in the market, was created. This implies that when you adopt ITSM using ServiceNow, ITIL best practices are automatically included in your business processes.

3. Is ITSM a subset of ITIL?

ITSM is a collection of approaches used to manage the services offered to end users, whereas ITIL is the framework for best practices in ITSM. It aids in supplying the methods and equipment required to deliver those services successfully.

4. What are the 5 stages of ITIL?

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operations
  • Continual Service Improvement

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