How ITIL is upgrading in 2018 and what can we expect from the update

ITIL is a set of well defined processes and practices utilised for IT service management (ITSM). These processes focus on the alignment of IT services with business needs. These ITIL procedures define processes, tasks, and checklists which are not exclusive to a particular organisation. However, these can be used by a wide array of companies and organisations after integrating and tailoring these procedures according to their requirements. These ITIL guidelines provide a baseline to the company from which it can measure its improvement and profit statistics. The planned ITIL update will ensure more alignment between IT service management and business requirements.

History of ITIL

ITIL is owned by AXELOS, which is a joint venture between the UK Cabinet Office and Capita. AXELOS is eligible to license organisations to use the ITIL intellectual property. Although, organisations that wish to implement ITIL internally do not require this license. ITIL originated as a set of books, each book speculating on a specific practice of IT Service Management. Currently, ITIL is the most valued framework in the world ranging over all industries and trades, has millions of practitioners worldwide, and is used by more than 90% of all leading organisations in the IT industry.

The five primary components of the ITIL Life Cycle include demand management, capacity management, release management, incident management, and event management. Each of these components has a separate function, or process, well-defined in the ITIL framework.

ITIL V3 2011

ITIL’s major last update came in 2011 and had the following improvements:

  • Formal processes were better defined. Previously the processes not defined but inherently implied.
  • Various errors and inconsistencies were rectified.
  • A Practical Guide for using ITIL was included.
  • Usability of ITIL along with Agile, Lean and DevOps. These complimentary business practices were still viewed as counterparts to ITIL.

Multiple researches carried out by several companies have showed that ITIL’s framework still remains the baseline for major business practices in the IT industry today. Therefore, the availability of a more advanced and versatile ITIL definition, will ensure the strengthening of business relations amongst companies and professional individuals. It will also add to the ease of business in several department and trades. Statistics released by organisations have stated that more than a million IT professionals in the USA use ITIL’s practical guidelines to deliver business success to companies ranging from various backgrounds. All updates and changes will not hinder the versatility and usability of this platform.

Planned update to ITIL 2011

AXELOS made the first announcement of bringing an update to ITIL at itSMF USA Fusion Conference in November 2017. The company’s CEO Peter Hepworth stated that the development and research of the updated framework will take place in 2018. Peter described both the ‘continued relevance’ and the ‘ongoing evolution’ of the ITIL framework in the conference. This meant that ITIL is obviously popular with old and established organisations, but it is also becoming popular in the emerging startups circle. All updates and changes that take place in the ITIL framework will be derived from real-life experiences and from tried and tested procedures.

Contributors from the global ITSM include many international brands, consumers and developers. Over 650 contributors are already involved in ITIL’s Global Research Program. It is clear from the anticipation that there is too much to look forward to in this update. Peter Hepworth urged more contributors to join the Global Research Program in order to make this transition to a new and evolved framework efficient and swift.  Peter believes that the development of Global Research Program will ensure that the pace of development of the IT service industry never decreases and that service management professionals always remain at the core of changing processes, thus enabling them to adapt to these changes quickly.

What to expect from the planned update?

The update planned in 2018 will enable ITIL to adapt its framework according to the rapidly changing needs of today’s businesses. This guarantees the survival of this decades-old infrastructure library. Business environments change rapidly and service management professionals should possess the crucial skills to handle evolving technologies and act on changing trends. This would keep the slope of development always positive, which is beneficial for the IT company and for the entire industry as a whole.  Here are a few details and features which can be expected in the new ITIL version which will be launched in 2018.

  • The basic definition of all the primary ITIL elements will remain the same, as multiple researches have confirmed that ITIL is still the best practice for the IT service management industry. All major or minor changes will be derived from previously defined procedures and terminologies. This will ensure that no update or change will be entirely foreign for IT professionals, and thus will maintain the familiarity of the framework.
  • The update will be able to provide a more practical viewpoint to the entire ITIL framework. There will be optimal integration of several complimentary platforms on the ITIL technology such as Agile, DevOps, and Lean. As of now, these practices are complementary to ITIL, and used alongside ITIL, but the new version will promote dynamic collaboration of all these platforms.
  • The update will ensure that IT service management professionals find it very easy to integrate the basic ITIL functions with new and evolving business practices. The integrability of ITIL with all kinds of platforms will be improved, and all changes will be subtle and easy to adapt to.
  • The team of developers and contributors have worked on the tested ITIL definitions to make ITIL even more transparent, responsive and agile. This will ensure that the ITIL framework will save execution time of processes and perform with more efficiency.
  • All current ITIL certifications, which are handed out to qualified ITSM professionals, will remain valid even after the update is launched throughout the IT service management industry.
  • The update will obviously focus on incorporating more evidences of automation in the framework, thus reducing the need of repetitive tasks which are currently performed by professionals.

The last word

The  transition from the 2011 version to the latest 2018 version will allow sufficient time to the end consumers and professionals, minimising the impact on daily operations in the industry.  Thus, all major and minor changes occurring in the framework definition of ITIL will be making the framework more agile, and this in turn will make an evolving and efficient tool for the IT industry to use for decade to come.

P.S.: This is a guest post written by Tariq Hassan, who is the co-founder of &

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