What is ITIL® Service Management and What Certifications Are Available

ITIL®, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a framework for IT service management (ITSM) that aligns IT services with the needs of the business. It is a set of volumes that has undergone several revisions over the years and consists of five books that cover all processes and stages of the IT service lifecycle. ITIL service management provides a set of 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 version, ITIL 4, in 2019.

This article on ITIL Service Management covers the following topics -

  • Why ITIL?
  • What is ITIL?
  • History of ITIL
  • Advantages of ITIL
  • Types of ITIL versions
  • ITIL certifications

Now before learning about ITIL Service Management, let's understand why to choose ITIL.

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

Why ITIL?

ITIL provides a holistic approach to ITSM. It enables businesses to collaborate within the IT team to deliver IT services to stakeholders. Some of the benefits ITIL practices enable businesses gain include: 

  • Lower costs
  • High- quality of IT services
  • Increased business productivity
  • Improved Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • Improved resource utilization

After having gone through why ITIL, let us now understand what is the ITIL service management.

What is ITIL Service Management?

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) helps businesses improve service levels and reduce costs of IT operations. The main goal of ITIL is to provide high-quality service while enhancing business efficiency.

History of ITIL

  • ITIL v1: ITIL was created in 1989 to standardize IT service management
  • ITIL v2: Introduced in 2001 to provide a uniform structure for service delivery
  • ITIL v3: Updated in 2007 with feedback looping feature to improve ITIL service lifecycle
  • ITIL 2011 v3: Released in 2011, this was an upgraded version of v3, clarifying processes of the earlier version
  • ITIL 4: Released in 2019, with a flexible and integrated system for effective management of IT-enabled services

Now that we have learned the history of ITIL, let us understand ITIL Service Management by going through the benefits of ITIL.

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ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification Training Course

Benefits of ITIL

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits ITIL provides an organization: 

  • Enhances readability
  • Improves decision making
  • Increases quality of service 
  • Lowers costs
  • Enables high-quality IT services
  • Increases business productivity
  • Improves return on investment (ROI)
  • Enables greater customer satisfaction
  • Improves resource utilization

In our learning about the ITIL Service Management, let us next learn the various ITIL versions.

ITIL Versions

Let’s have a look at each version of ITIL in detail:

ITIL v1

The CCTA launched the first version of ITIL in the late 1980s to combat the low quality of IT services procured by the British government. ITIL v1 consisted of four major concepts:

  1. Available management: Ensures that IT services (infrastructure, processes, tools, roles, etc.) are available based on business requirements. 
  2. Capacity management: Focuses on and manages any performance-based issues, related to both services and resources
  3. Contingency management: Helps in identifying vulnerabilities and helps in preventing such incidents
  4. Cost Management: Aids in delivering and managing cost-effective IT assets and resources

ITIL v2

ITIL v2, released in 2001, consolidated all the ITIL-related guides into nine publications. Two of its most circulated publications were:

  1. Service support: Provides clear processes for controlling service interruptions
  2. Service delivery: A set of principles, policies, and constraints used for designing, building, and deploying of services 
  3. This version did not have an organized service lifecycle, unlike ITIL v3

ITIL v3

ITIL v3 was a completely revised version of ITIL. It consisted of five core publications, which collectively formed the ITIL service lifecycle. The different publications were:

  1. Service strategy: Provides a process to help understand client requirements
  2. Service design: Gives ways to design IT services efficiently and effectively
  3. Service transition: Pertains to planning, building, tests, and deploying services into customer environments
  4. Service operations: Ensures access to IT services for authorized users only and minimizes the chance of service failure
  5. Continual service improvement: Makes sure that IT services are continuously aligned with changing business needs

ITIL 2011 v3

This version updates the concepts of ITIL v3, with few significant changes:

  1. Service strategy: ITIL 2011 V3 proposed a new service called service strategy manager for people who create and implement an IT strategy that aligns with business requirements
  2. Service design: Coordinates activities across all designs and implements technical standards to the service design process
  3. Service transition:  Introduces effective change management to minimize the risk of service failure
  4. Service operations: Maintains processes for effective and efficient handling of service requests
  5. Continual service improvement: Introduces the improvement process in a clear and concise seven-step model:
  • Identify the strategy for improvement
  • Define what you’ll measure
  • Gather the data
  • Process the data
  • Analyze the information
  • Present and use the information
  • Implement improvement

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ITIL 4 Transition Module Training

ITIL 4

AXELOS published the most recent update of ITIL in February 2019. ITIL 4 integrates the latest trends in technology and service management while providing a basis for organizations as they undergo digital transformation.

ITIL4 consists of two components: 

1. The four dimension model: 

  • Organizations and people: People in the organization should understand their roles and responsibilities in creating value to the organization
  • Information and technology: Includes the information, knowledge, and techniques that are required for managing services
  • Partners and suppliers: Incorporate contracts and other agreements between organizations and their partners
  • Value streams and processes: Provides a series of steps that an organization uses to create and deliver products and services to a consumer, whereas a well-defined process can improve productivity

2. ITIL Service Value System: A set of activities that an organization performs to deliver a valuable output to end-users. It includes elements like: 

  • Guiding principles: Create value for your customers and your organization
  • Governance: Controls and monitor the performance of the organization
  • Service value chain: Provides a set of activities that a business performs to deliver a valuable product or service to its consumers
  • Continual improvement: An iterative approach ensuring that the organization’s performance meets customers’ expectations
  • Management practices: 34 different management practices designed to help organizations achieve their business goals

After having gone through the various ITIL versions, let us strengthen our learning on the ITIL Service Management by looking at the various ITIL certifications.

ITIL Certifications

ITIL has five levels of certification, including:

  1. Foundation: An entry-level certification, which includes the concepts of ITIL service lifecycle and service management practices
  2. Practitioner: A next-level certification in ITIL, which aims to increase the ability of every individual to adopt and adapt ITIL in their organization
  3. Intermediate: Helps individuals understand the management and coordination of ITIL practice areas
  4. Expert: An advanced-level certification that covers the gamut of ITIL processes and practices across all ITIL disciplines
  5. Master: The most advanced level of certification enabling individuals to explain the advanced methods of ITIL techniques and management practices
Test your ITIL skills with these ITIL 4 Practice Exam Questions. Try answering now!

Conclusion

ITIL is by far the world’s most popular ITSM framework, meaning that certified professionals are in high demand. If you would like to boost your career in this field, enroll in Simplilearn’s  ITIL 4 Foundation Certification Training today!

To learn more about ITIL Service Management, check out the following video:

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About the Author

Rahul ArunRahul Arun

Rahul is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn. Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning are some of his favorite topics of discussion. Rahul can be found listening to music, doodling, and gaming.

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