ITIL Overview

ITIL was developed as an initiative by the UK Cabinet Office and is presently owned by Axelos, a public/private joint venture. The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has become the effective standard in IT Service Management. ITIL helps organizations across industries offer their services in a quality-driven and cost-effective way. The framework was developed in the 1980s and most recent update to version 3 was published in 2011.

ITIL best practices are explained in the five core guidance publications outlining the fundamental ITIL principles that focus on various areas within the service management discipline. ITIL best practices also underpin the foundations of ISO/IEC 20000, the International Service Management Standard for organizational certification and compliance. ITIL has always been dynamic – evolving over time to reflect changes to the way IT organizations work, incorporating new service management concepts and the industry’s evolving understanding of the different capabilities required to deliver value.


ITIL’s Beginnings

The ITIL concept emerged in the 1980s, when the British government determined that the level of IT service quality provided to them was not sufficient. The central computer and telecommunication agency (CCTA) which is now known as the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) was tasked with developing a framework for efficient and financially responsible use of IT resources within the British government. Their objective was to develop a framework for delivering efficient and quality IT services at the same time reducing cost.

To address the issues they were experiencing, the UK government commissioned a 7-year study to look at how “best in class” organizations were doing service support and delivery. The study included interviewing over 2,500 different organizations of various sizes from different industries and spanning the public and private sectors. The first version of ITIL was very technical in nature (including such topics as are cabling techniques, backup power supplies and office acoustics) and spanned a collection of 40 volumes.

The first version of ITIL discussed processes involved in service support such as help desk management, change management and software distribution and control. It also covered topics such as capacity management, contingency planning, availability management and cost management – all of which are still very relevant today.
Large companies and government agencies around the world began adopting the framework in the early 1990s to help improve their IT services and delivery capabilities. As ITIL grew in popularity, IT itself changed and evolved, and so did ITIL. In year 2000, The CCTA merged into the OGC, Office for Government Commerce and in the same year, the first ‘child standard’ emerged as Microsoft used ITIL as the basis to develop their proprietary Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF).



The first major revision

The second version of ITIL was published in 2001. This version was focused on the elimination of duplicate entries, improvement in the consistency of topics and inclusion of new IT concepts. Some of the topics covered in ITIL v2 were problem management, release management, incident management, financial management of IT assets, security management and service continuity management. These are some of the most enduring and popular pieces of ITIL today. ITIL v2 also introduced the concepts of call centers and help desk – discussing and comparing three kinds of service desk structures: local service desks, central service desks and the virtual service desks. In the following years, ITIL became the most widely accepted IT service management adopted by organizations.


Introduction of the Service Lifecycle

In 2007 ITIL version 3 was published. This adopted more of a lifecycle approach to service management, with greater emphasis on IT business integration. This version is another upgrade and it consists of 26 processes and functions, grouped into 5 volumes, which focus on service strategy, service transition, service design, service operation and continual service improvement. ITIL V3 approximately doubled the scope, almost tripled the number of processes and functions and introduced a few new dimensions and perspectives.

What is ITIL V3?

ITIL is a framework consisting of best practices and processes that can be adopted in order to provide IT service management (ITSM). Since its first publication in the 1980s, ITIL has become one of the most widely used framework by organizations to provide ITSM. The framework places importance on improving customer satisfaction by providing effective service delivery while being cost effective.

Over the years, the different versions of ITIL have released in order to stay aligned with changing business requirements. Termed ITIL V3 the third version of ITIL best practices framework was released in 2007. An update to ITIL V3 was made in 2011, because of which, ITIL V3 is also called ITIL 2011 V3. This latest version is more suited for today’s business environment because it includes strategic elements so that the IT service management is more aligned to the business requirements.

ITIL V3 Fundamentals

ITIL V3 Incident management

In today’s business environment, it is imperative to ensure the business operations are conducted seamlessly without any hurdle. In case of an unexpected disruption to a service within the organization, productivity gets compromised. ITIL V3 Incident Management process adopts a set of best practices for effective incident handling and incident resolution to ensure smooth business operations with minimal or no downtime.

ITIL V3 Change management

Change is inevitable in every organization; technologies continually change and have to be replaced, existing solutions/applications have to be upgraded, etc. ITIL V3 provides a set of best practices termed Change Management to handle, prioritize and roll out changes efficiently. By utilizing change management effectively, downtime can be avoided.

ITIL V3 Problem management

The Problem Management team is responsible to perform a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and to find a permanent fix/workaround for recurring incidents. It is recommended to have an effective communication strategy and to follow a proactive approach to avoid any major incident occurrence. Problem is one or more incidents with an unknown root cause. Problem management maintains a known error database, KEDB whose solution is unknown.

ITIL V3 Framework

ITIL V3 comprises of five sections- service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. Let us take a look at what each of this section comprises.

  • Strategy Generation
  • Financial management
  • Demand management
  • Service Portfolio management

ITIL Service Design

In this section, the design of the IT service comprising architectures, processes, policies and documentation are determined to address the business requirement of the organization. Service Design includes seven processes:

  • Service Catalog Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Availability Management
  • Capacity Management
  • IT service Continuity Management
  • Information Security Management
  • Supplier Management

ITIL Service Transition

ITIL Service Transition stage ensures that the current state of service is not compromised when an organizational change is deployed. Service Transition includes seven processes:

  • Transition Planning and Support
  • Change Management
  • Service Asset and Configuration Management
  • Release and Deployment Management
  • Service Validation and Testing
  • Evaluation
  • Knowledge Management

ITIL Service Operation

ITIL Service Operation is crucial to ensure the businesses meet customer requirements. This stage comprises of processes and functions to ensure seamlessly flow of everyday operational tasks, monitoring infrastructure and related services. Service Operation includes five processes:

  • Event Management
  • Incident Management
  • Request Fulfillment
  • Problem Management
  • Access Management

ITIL Continual Service Improvement

In the ITIL continual service improvement stage, rigorous quality checks are conducted to ensure the service process is improved consistently. Continual Service Improvement includes three processes:

  • The 7 improvement process
  • Service Measurement
  • Service Reporting

What’s the difference- ITIL V2 vs ITIL V3

Essentially, ITIL V3 or ITIL 2011 builds on the operational processes and best practices of ITIL V2 and strives to ensure IT service management is more comprehensive to suit today’s business climate. ITIL V2 was established in the 2000s and was more process focused.

ITIL V3 retains the five lifecycle publications that was was part of the previous versions. However, ITIL V3 has a very critical upgrade- it places great emphasis on aligning ITSM with business goals by focusing on strategic elements. Let us take a closer look at how ITIL V3 differs from the previous version ITIL V2.

ITIL V2 was process oriented. Essentially, it modeled the organization and their ITSM approach Emphasis is more on a service lifecycle approach to ITSM
Process areas had been grouped in ITIL V2 Clearly defines roles and responsibilities in each process
Had 7 core books Has 5 core books
ITIL V2 had 1 function and 10 processes Includes 4 functions and 25 processes
The processes in ITIL V2 were efficient and cost effective Here, the processes were not only aimed to be efficient and cost effective but also include a strategic emphasis on service approach


What is ITIL Foundation certification?

The Foundation exam is the entry level certification and offers you a general awareness of the key elements, concepts and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle, including the links between lifecycle stages, the processes used and their contribution to service management practices.

What are the prerequisites for ITIL Foundation certification?

There is no defined eligibility criterion for ITIL Foundation exam. ITIL Foundation certification is in itself a prerequisite for other level of ITIL certifications.

Why get an ITIL Certification?

ITIL provides a robust framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services that can be adapted and applied to all business and organizational environments. It helps manage business risk and service disruption failure, establish cost-effective systems, develop customer relationships and support business change

Exam & certification

How will I become ITIL Foundation certified?

Achieve AXELOS-accredited ITIL® Foundation certification by following these steps:

Step 1: Appear for the ITIL Foundation exam after completing the training

Step 2: Score 65% on the exam [i.e. 26 out of 40 questions] in 60 minutes

Step 3: Earn two ITIL credits on successful completion of ITIL Foundation exam

What are the differences between ITIL® Foundation, ITIL® v3 Foundation and ITIL® v3 Foundation 2011?

The ITIL Foundation certification is the entry level certification among all ITIL Certifications. “v3” stands for “version 3” and ITIL v3 Foundation is the penultimate edition. ITIL v3 Foundation 2011 is the latest version of the exam.

Will my ITIL v3 Foundation certificate expire?

The ITIL v3 Foundation certificate does not expire. However, there are different versions of ITIL Foundation with v3 2011 being the latest version. Once a new version of the course is  launched, you will need to get certified again

What certification will I receive after completing the training?

After successful completion of the training, you will be awarded the course completion certificate along with 19 PDUs for self-paced learning and 22 PDUs for instructor-led training from us. Once you successfully pass the exam, you will receive the ITIL Foundation Certification from the exam body.

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