The story of ITIL

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework of distinguished practices to deliver superior IT services. ITIL’s disciplined approach to IT service management facilitates organizations to manage and alleviate risk, mend customer relationships, create economical practices, and stabilize the IT setting for better growth, scale, and renovation. Developed by the British government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) during the 1980s, the ITIL, in the beginning, consisted of over 30 books cataloging the best practices in information technology collected from various sources. ITIL's dependability and efficacy upgraded over the years, and in 2005 its practices added to and associated with the ISO/IEC 20000 Service Management standard - the first international standard for IT service management.

Since 2013, ITIL is owned by Axelos — a joint endeavor between the Cabinet Office and Capita. Axelos approves businesses the license to use the ITIL framework while handling ITIL process amendments and updates. 

More than a few amendments have been made to the ITIL – In 2000, the original 30 books of the ITIL were first edited to seven books, and later integrated as five volumes consisting of 26 ITIL processes and utilities. In 2011, another modification — called ITIL 2011 — was made under the Cabinet Office. ITIL 4, which was released in 2019, comprises of modern technology and software and accentuates on automating ITIL processes, refining ITIL service management and incorporating the IT department into the business. With ITIL processes and framework, IT teams have become essential to every business, assisting them to be more agile, resolute and flexible.

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ITIL consists of nine regulatory principles for organizational change management, communication, and measurement & metrics. These principles encompass:

ITIL processes supplement collaboration between IT and other subdivisions, mostly as other business units progressively rely on technology to complete everyday jobs. ITIL also puts prominence on customer opinion, as it’s easier than ever for companies to figure out their public outlook, satisfaction and discontent.

What is ITSM?

As technology becomes indispensable to almost every business, organizations persistently look for new ways to integrate IT service into their overall business prerequisites. ITSM tools upkeep business cycles with the IT services lifecycle– right from formation to supervision and upkeep.

So what exactly is ITSM?
Policies, processes, and procedures that deliver and support unified customer-focused IT services. 

Many IT management principles are focused on the systems, network or hardware, whereas ITSM aims to securely develop IT customer service in immaculate coordination with business goals. As technology flourishes all through digital businesses these days, IT service management has developed as an essential aspect that supports the business. ITSM tools are meant to upkeep a company’s ITSM efforts by streamlining customer service, generally starting with the IT help desk. These product sets help IT departments to cope with ticketing systems, prepare reports and detect errors in their products and services. IT service management (ITSM) tools regulate the delivery of IT services within an organization, based on finances, human resources, procedures, and consequences.

In the long run, the outright goal of ITSM is to confirm that a company’s IT team goals are in line with the business objectives. While it may sound meek, it calls for great responsibility to track the zillion things that are intricate. This is just what ITSM tools do - automate and track a company’s ITSM progressions.

What is ITIL Service Management?

IT processes that are below par and wrongly executed often create dissimilarities between conservative IT organizations and its leaders. However, there is no collective tactic or one textbook answer to shape and implement ITIL service management processes. It is essential for organizations to measure business goals and outlays, limitations, and organizational culture to make the right use of ITIL service management practices that are most practical to take on.

ITIL service management processes that cater to the business needs facilitate a channel between business and technology. ITIL service management comprises of five basic publications with best practices for each part of the IT service lifecycle:

1. ITIL Service Strategy—outlines business goals and customer requirements

2. ITIL Service Design—transitioning strategies into action items to help the business

3. ITIL Service Transition—implementing services within the business environment

4. ITIL Service Operation—defines key processes connected to IT service management

5. ITIL Continual Service Improvement—helps ITIL users evaluate and bring in IT service improvements

The most regularly implemented ITIL service management procedures are Incident, Problem, Change, and Configuration Management. The table below explains the sub-categories of the five extensive modules, categorizing them as ITIL processes or ITIL functions.

Service Strategy Service Design Service Transition Service Operations Continual Service Improvement
Financial Management Service Level Management Change Management Service Desk 7 Step Process Improvement
Service Portfolio Management Availability Management Asset and Configuration Management Incident Management      
Demand Management Capacity Management Release and Deployment Management Problem Management        
Strategy Operations Continuity Management Transition, Planning and Support Access Management      
       Information Security Management Service Validation and Testing Event Management       
       Service Catalogue Management Evaluation Request Fulfillment       
     Supplier Management Knowledge Management Technical Management      
              Application Management     
                IT Operations Management     

How does ITIL Service management help?

There are many disbursements supplementary to IT investments. Many leaders and C-Level administrators are disappointed when their teams attempt to end the disorder with restricted supervision and direction. ITIL Service Management is universally the most widely established approach to manage and deliver IT services.

IT departments and employees in several organizations are incapable of completing tasks on a well-timed basis, owing to impromptu work taking priority over work that is planned. ITIL Service Management helps organizations end this continuous cycle giving an unblemished focus to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and other related activities in their division.

Prolifically adopting ITIL Service Management helps with:

Implementing ITIL Processes or ITIL Framework

Any ITIL process or ITIL framework is dissimilar and includes many facets of IT. Rather than hosting the full set of ITIL service management commendations together, it is imperative for an organization to classify what needs to be addressed effectually and begin there. 

ITIL provides supervision that can be reviewed to suit the needs of a certain organization – not as a prescriptive book of rules. Here are three collective approaches for establishments looking to implement ITIL Service Management:

Role of ITIL Service Management

ITIL Service Management is still very pertinent when it comes to ITSM and its framework. It plays an important role in the business. Furthermore, ITIL Service Management sanctions the measurement of performance compared to a set of definitive yardsticks and monitors the overall success of IT providers.

With this in mind, it makes sense that all other departments in a business also benefit from incorporating ITSM. After all, most operational business divisions follow a set of recommendations and are driven by processes. By adopting an ITSM framework, these processes and recommendations can be measured for efficiency. For example, HR or Finance departments could all adopt the ITSM philosophy and use it to not just measure their performance but also to deliver real value to the business.

ITIL Service Management Advantages

Why Is ITIL Service Management pertinent to IT organizations today?

With the five stages of ITIL service management defined above, ITIL has got a strong base as the most important international framework for IT service management. As the leading international standard for IT service management, ITIL’s commendations have guided the development and processes of IT organizations across the world, from the largest Fortune 500 companies to small- and medium-sized companies. Even with the rise of Lean, Agile, and DevOps, ITIL remains to provide valuable and demonstrated guidance for obligatory processes such as Incident Management, service catalog management, and request fulfillment. 

ITIL Service Management notifies the ISO standards for ITSM

As the International Standards Organization moves toward the publication of an international standard and best practices for IT service management, ITIL processes continue to reinforce much of the guidance offered by this high-status organization. As IT changes, ITIL Service Management will evolve with it, but ITIL is certainly here to stay. 

ITIL Service Management is implemented by global IT professionals 

ITIL is one of the biggest worldwide certifying bodies for ITSM specialists. With over a million ITIL certificates issued across the globe, ITIL Service Management has commendably become the collective language of IT professionals all over. The processes have exceeded expectations in organizations in which they are implemented and become involved in the global IT culture.

ITIL Service Management is embraced by leading software developers 

ITIL Service Management is a set of best practices and practice guidance, but not a tool by itself. Yet, ITIL has educated the development of the most widely executed IT tools available today. Several thousands of companies around the world have placed their conviction in ITIL Service Management, furthering their organizational efficiency and saving millions of money in the process.

What does the future hold for ITIL Service Management?

There have been many influences in the progression of IT service management, including the acceptance of process frameworks such as ITIL. Organizations are now riding on a new wave, in which they realize that ITIL Service Management is much more than process frameworks. ITIL Service management needs to be a discipline, a revolution in the organization. While the massive majority of IT establishments have implemented facets of ITIL service management, most companies have not yet got where they thought they would.

This new wave of truly enabling these ITIL Service Management practices, proficiencies and disciplines have to be a constant part of the organization, and not just for a particular project requiring the implementation of a framework. What companies are doing now is renovating ITSM to meet their digital makeover efforts, and even looking to magnify the principles and paybacks of ITIL Service Management into other business areas like HR, Legal, Finance and more.

The future holds a total transformation of ITIL service management competencies. It can possibly make way for an extremely process-intensive manual practice to become automated, or an arduous governance process to become simplified. 

Many companies that are more established on the ITIL service management renovation path are implementing a continuing ITSM center of excellence — with a governance competency that never goes away. Procedures and practices can be tweaked, new services can be attuned when portfolios change, and service structures can be modified. There are now roles like vice presidents of ITIL service management. Previously, it was every so often a capability that was believed as shared and often diminished in the leadership structure, but now there is someone in an organization who is responsible for ITIL service management. This leads to a greater level of impact on the overall business value.

This is a trend that IT organizations will see more and more of in the future, just as the IT organization has a management position in charge of compliance and security.  As IT organizations look to position them to drive better business outcomes in a world of digital revolution, they will look to develop their competences in all of the above-described areas — which requires enterprise-wide governance and an enduring service management approach that is continuously analyzed and measured.