What is ITIL? – ‘What is’ Series – Part 1

We received a lot of questions over last year about a host of topics based on and around ITSM. Questions like “What is ITIL?”, “What is the difference between ITIL and ITSM?” and more.

This is the first in a series of blogs answering these questions. Hope you learn something new!

What is ITIL?

ITIL stands for information technology infrastructure library. ITIL is a framework for standardizing selection, planning, delivery and maintenance of IT services. The goal of ITIL is to improve the efficiency of IT delivery and bring in some predictability to the same.  The primary focus of ITIL is to align IT practices to business needs and keep adapting as business changes or grows.


What is ITIL certification?

The ITIL certification provides a modular approach to ITIL framework and is comprised of a series of certifications or qualification focussed on different aspects of ITIL best practices. Each module has varying levels of depth, details and focus area. ITIL certification follows a tiered approach, ensuring candidates can focus their study on key areas of interest. There are 5 levels of ITIL certification- Foundation level, Practitioner level, Intermediate level, Expert level and Master level.


What is ITIL process?

According to ITIL 2011 (ITIL V3) ITIL processes are set of 5 processes focussed on specific phases of the service lifecycle. The 5 ITIL processes are service strategy, service design, service transition, service transition, service operation and continual service improvement. Companies adopt some or all of these ITIL processes to optimise their IT services and delivery.


What is ITIL foundation?

ITIL foundation is the first level of qualification required to start with ITIl certification. ITIL foundation will help you with introductions to key elements, concepts, and terminologies used in ITIl service lifecycle. ITIL foundation is a good starting point for people who looking for some basic understanding of ITIL framework, and understanding how ITIL helps optimise their IT operations and delivery.


Where to take ITIL exam?

For the ITIL foundation certification– You can sit for the exam at an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) which you can find on the Axelos website or book for an exam without training with PeopleCert. For all the higher levels of ITIL exams, it’s mandatory to give the exam through an ATO.


What is the difference between ITSM and ITIL?

ITSM is an abbreviation for IT Service Management is all the activities involved in creating, designing, delivering, supporting and managing every operation under IT services. On the other hand, ITIL is one of the many frameworks used to delivery optimized IT operations. There are many other frameworks for delivering IT services like COBIT, ISO 9001 among others.


Who issues ITIL certification?

Since July 2013, ITIL has been owned by Axelos. Axelos licenses all intellectual property with regards to ITIL , accredited examination institute and is the sole owner of all ITIL updates.


What is the latest version of ITIL?

The latest version of ITIL is ITIL 4, touted to be releasing in Q1 of 2019. The latest version of ITIL will comprise recommendations and frameworks taking many aspects like culture, context, and community into consideration when the framework comes out. However, with the latest version of ITIL- ITIL 4, all the current certifications will remain unchanged.


How much is the ITIL foundation exam?

ITIL foundation costs about $250 as of Dec 2017. According to certain training insitutes, the complete ITIL certification costs anywhere between $1200-$1500 depending on where you take the examination from. It’s best to check for the latest cost on with Axelos or one of Axelos accredited examination centers.


Who owns ITIL?

Ever since July 2013, all intellectual property with regards to ITIL has been owned and updated by Axelos. Axelos is a joint venture between Capita and the UK cabinet office. Organisations that wish implement ITIL do not require a license. But for any other commercial usage of ITIL, one needs to have permission from Axelos – The owners of ITIL.


That’s all for this blog in the ‘What is’ series. Stay tuned for more!

Cover image by Srinivas