What is ITIL? Your guide to the IT Infrastructure Library

Information Technology Infrastructure Library or ITIL is a collection of best practices to deliver IT services. It has a systematic and well-organized approach to manage IT service and can be useful for organizations for risk management, develop a stable and sustainable IT environment, and set up cost-effective practices, which permits to change, scale, and grow.

In other words, the ITIL is a collection of volumes that lay down the best practices to be followed while delivering quality IT services.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library – ITIL

Information Technology Infrastructure Library has undergone many revisions ever since it was first introduced. At present, it constitutes of 5 different books and each of them covers several sages and processes of the ITSM lifecycle. Currently, the ITIL is called ITIL v3 and it concentrates on integrating business with IT. An organization can earn the ITIL certifications at 5 different levels. The systematic approach of ITIL to the ITSM can be useful for organizations in so many different ways as mentioned earlier in this article.

The approach was developed by the CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency) of the British Government during the eighties. There were over 30 different books that contained the ITIL details initially that were created and then released and published over a period of time, which mentioned the best practices in IT. These practices were gathered and consolidated from various sources including the best practices of the vendors from different parts of the world.

The project was then adopted by the OGC in alignment with its aim to work with the public sector of the United Kingdom as a catalyst for accomplishing value of money and efficiency in commercial activities, as well as, greater success while delivering projects and programs.

The intention was not to come up with a proprietary product, which could get commercialized. Instead, the goal was to collect the best practices, which could come handy with what the then British government realizes was its growing dependence on the IT function along with inadequate standard procedures and processes, which were enabling errors to pop up and increasing costs. It was soon quite obvious that if these best practices were distributed properly both public, as well as, private sector companies would benefit.

During the passing years, the utility and credibility of the ITIL started being recognized. It was in 2005 when the practices of ITIL were aligned with and contributed to the Service Management standard called ISO/IEC 20000. It was in fact the maiden global standard for service management in IT and was based on BS 15000, a British standard.

The Axelos has owned ITIL since 2013 and it is a result of a joint collaboration between Capita and the Cabinet Office. The role of Axelos is to give license to organizations to utilize the ITIL framework and managing process changes and updates. However, it is imperative to know that an organization does not require a license to apply ITIL internally.

Know what is there within ITIL

Ever since it was first introduced, the ITIL has gone through many revisions. ITIL’s original 30 books were first reduced to just 7 books in 2007 when the ITIL Version 2 was introduced. These 7 books are as follows:

  • The Business Perspective
  • Security Management
  • Applications Management
  • ICT Infrastructure Management
  • Planning to ISM (Implement Service Management)
  • Service Delivery
  • Service Support

Each of these books constitutes of information on various tools and suggests which processes should be automated and recommending criteria for use while choosing a tool. Meanwhile the 2007 and 2011 versions of ITIL comprise of just 5 volumes. All of them have distinct stages and processes in the lifecycle. These are as follows:

IT Service Strategy

  • Business relationship management
  • Demand management
  • IT services financial management
  • Service portfolio management
  • IT services strategy management

ITIL Service Design

Provides a strategy to develop a plan for delivering the established
business goals using the RACI matrix.

  • Supplier management
  • Security management
  • Continuity management for IT service
  • Capacity management
  • Service-level management
  • Design coordination

ITIL Service Transition

Concentrates on developing the project, as well as, operational use
of IT services while making it distinct from regular IT maintenance.

  • Knowledge management
  • Change evaluation
  • Service validation & testing
  • Release & deployment management
  • Service asset & deployment management
  • Change Management
  • Transition planning & support

ITIL Service Operation

Provides the best practices for attaining service expectations from the end-users, finding any issues, and balancing cost. The volume has been further classified into two distinct sections. These are processes and functions and both of them have their separate subcategories.

1. Processes

  • Incident management
  • Problem management
  • Request fulfillment
  • Access management
  • Event management

2. Functions

  • IT operations management
  • Application management
  • Technical management
  • Service desk

Continual Service Improvement in ITIL

The ITIL process accomplishes large-scale and incremental services improvements using a 7-step process. These steps are as follows:

  • Identifying the improvement strategy
  • Defining the items to measure
  • Collect data
  • Data processing
  • Data and information analysis
  • Use and present the information
  • Execute improvement

Further Reading...

Published by Apoorv Bhatnagar

Apoorv Bhatnagar is a Digital marketer at Freshworks Inc. He generally writes about software that improve your marketing, sales or hiring process.

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