ITIL® processes are implemented by IT service providers to ensure economical, customer-focused, and quality-driven services are delivered. These processes help enable the organization to take advantage of all the benefits provided by the ITIL® framework. ITIL® helps by providing the best practices and techniques for selecting, planning, delivering and maintaining IT services within a business that aligns the IT department’s actions and expenses with changing business demands. Created by the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in 1989, AXELOS developed and released the most recent version, ITIL® 4, in 2019.
So now, let’s learn about ITIL®.
What is ITIL®?
ITIL® or Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a library of volumes that describe the best practices for delivering IT services. ITIL® provides frameworks for IT Service Management that align IT services with the business requirements. It has gone through several revisions and consists of 5 books that cover all the processes and stages of the IT service lifecycle.
Now, we’re going to talk about why ITIL® is so helpful.
- Better communication:
ITIL® will enable teams in organizations to work in unison, while reducing communication gap and friction.
- Greater community:
It helps remove errors and dysfunctions, while providing employees with the appropriate steps to finish a task.
It enables scale and expansion in an enterprise. It helps in keeping the processes and systems unaltered.
- Enhanced service quality:
ITIL® helps keep track of all procedures and steps, which helps enhance the quality of the service provided by the organization.
- Greater results:
- The organization is more likely to achieve their goals
- Cost and time are reduced
IT Service Lifecycle
It is an approach to IT Service Management that organizations of all sizes can be used to manage the full lifecycle of IT and other services. It helps coordinate and control across processes, systems and functions.
The service lifecycle can be divided into 5 stages. Let’s take a closer look at each of these stages and the processes within them.
1. Service strategy:
This provides a strategy for the service lifecycle. The chosen strategy would also have to be in-line with the objectives of the business. The processes within the stage are:
a. Strategy management for IT service:
Strategy Management for IT Services is a process of define and maintain the 4Ps of Strategy (i.e. perspective, position, plans, and patterns) and ensures the creation effective strategy for an IT Service & it's Management, throughout the service life-cycle.
b. Financial management:
This process helps understand and manage costs and opportunities that are associated with services. Its main activities are:
- Accounting: Tracking the amount of money spent by the service provider
- Budgeting: Planning how the money is going to be spent by the service provider
- Charging: Obtaining payment from customers for the services provided
c. Service portfolio management:
It is the entire set of services that are managed by a service provider. The three major parts it consists of are:
- Service Pipeline
- Service Catalog
- Retired Services
It organizes the process by which services are identified, described, evaluated, selected and chartered.
d. Demand management:
It focuses on understanding and influencing customer demand. This is made possible with the help of User Profiles and Patterns of Business Activity.
e. Business relationship management:
It aims to maintain a positive relationship with customers. It identifies the requirements of potential and existing customers and ensures the development of appropriate services so that those needs can be met.
2. Service Design
This phase is about the design of the services and the supporting elements used for its introduction to a live environment. 4 areas need to be taken into consideration while designing a service:
Let’s have a look at the processes within this stage:
a. Design coordination:
It is a process responsible for being the single point of contact for coordination and control of all activities related to service design.
b. Service level management:
This process secures and manages agreements between the customer and service provider regarding the utility and warranty of specific services.This leads to the creation of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between the service provider and customers.
c. Availability management:
This process is concerned with the management and achievement of the agreed upon availability requirements established in the Service Level Agreements.
d. Capacity management:
This process ensures that the cost-effective capacity meets or exceeds the needs of the business. It is divided into three major activities:
- Business Capacity Management (BCM)
- Service Capacity Management (SCM)
- Component Capacity Management (CCM)
e. IT service continuity management:
This process ensures that the service provider can always provide the minimum (agreed upon) levels of service. Using techniques like Business Impact Analysis and Management of Risk, it results in the production of the IT Service Continuity Plan.
f. Information security management:
The process of IT security management aims to protect five basic qualities of information assets:
g. Service catalogue management:
It is a subset that contains services available to customers and users. It acts as the entry portal for all information services in the live environment.
h. Supplier management:
This process can be used to obtain value for money from third-party suppliers. It handles supplier evaluation, contract negotiations, performance reviews, renewals, and terminations.
3. Service Transition
These ITIL® processes are used to build and deploy IT services, while ensuring changes to the services and service management processes take place in a coordinated manner. There are 7 processes within this category:
a. Transition planning and support:
The process focuses on the planning and coordination on the use of resources, to ensure the deployment of a major resource within the predicted cost, time and quality estimates.
b. Service asset and configuration management:
This process maintains information about configuration items that are required to deliver an IT service, including their relationships.
c. Release and deployment management:
The process plans, schedules, and controls the movement of releases to testing and live environments while ensuring the integrity of the live environment is protected and only the right components are released.
d. Change management:
This activity controls the lifecycle of all changes with minimal disruption to IT services.
e. Service evaluation and testing:
This process assesses major changes before they can proceed to the next stage of their lifecycle.
f. Service evaluation and testing:
This process ensures that the releases deployed, and their respective services meet the expectations of the customer and is supported by IT operations.
g. Knowledge management:
This process objective is to gather, analyze, store and share knowledge and information within the organization, limiting the need to rediscover knowledge and improving efficiency
4. Service Operations:
In this stage of ITIL® Process, the focus is placed on meeting the expectations of the end-user while balancing costs and looking out for any potential problems. This category has a combination of 5 processes and 4 functions.
a. Incident management:
This is a process that manages the lifecycle of all incidents while ensuring IT service is returned to users as soon as possible.
b. Problem management:
This is a process that manages the lifecycle of all problems, preventing issues from escalating and minimizing the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented.
c. Access management:
This is a process that grants authorization to users to use a service and prevents unauthorized access. It executes the policies set forth by the Information Security Management.
d. Event management:
This is a process that ensures configuration items and services are monitored constantly. It also filters and categorizes events to decide appropriate actions.
e. Request fulfillment:
This is a process that fulfills (usually minor) service requests or requests for information.
f. Service desk:
This is a function that acts as the point of contact between the users and the service provider. It also handles communication with users, manages incidents and service requests.
g. Technical management:
This is a function that provides technical expertise and support for the management of the IT infrastructure.
h. Application management:
This is a function that is responsible for managing applications throughout their lifecycle.
i. IT operations management:
This is a function that monitors and controls IT services and their underlying infrastructure. It involves activities like job scheduling, backing up and restoring, print and output management and regular maintenance.
5. Continual Service Improvement:
This part of the lifecycle uses methods from quality management to learn from bygone successes and failures. It focuses on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes and services keeping in line with ISO 20000. Let’s have a look at the 7 steps of process improvement:
- Identifying improvement strategies
- Defining what will be measured
- Gathering data
- Processing data
- Analyzing data
- Presenting and using information obtained from the data
- Using the information for improvement
Are you looking forward to becoming an ITIL® expert? Check out the ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification Course and get certified.
In this article, we covered topics that detailed about what ITIL® is, why using ITIL® is beneficial for an organization, and the ITIL® service lifecycle. We also went into detail about the various processes within the service lifecycle, like service strategy, service design, service transition, service operations and continual service improvement.
The widespread usage that ITIL® is now enjoying is also a great indicator of the plethora of opportunities available to the skilled individual. Take your first step to become ITIL® certified by taking up Simplilearn’s ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification Training today!
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