IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework of best practice approaches intended to help with the delivery of high quality information technology (IT) services. ITIL outlines an extensive set of management procedures that are intended to support businesses in achieving high quality and value in IT operations. These procedures are supplier-independent and were developed to provide guidance across the breadth of IT infrastructure, development, and operations.

ITIL is published in a series of books (Library), each of which covers a core area within IT Management. The names ITIL and IT Infrastructure Library are Registered Trade Marks of the United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

ITIL is relevant to anyone involved in the delivery or support of IT services. Whether you are managing day-to-day IT services or establishing and refining existing processes, ITIL can help you apply internationally proven best practices for IT services and support. ITIL has been adopted by hundreds of organizations worldwide, including IBM and Microsoft.

ITIL certifications are managed by the ITIL Certification Management Board which is composed of the OGC, IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) International, and two examination institutes: EXIN (based in the Netherlands) and ISEB (based in the UK).

EXIN and ISEB administer exams and award qualifications at the Foundation, Practitioner, and Manager levels in IT Service Management.

Organizations or a management system may not be certified as “ITIL-compliant”. However, an organization that has implemented ITIL guidance in ITSM may be able to achieve conformity with and seek certification under ISO 20000.

IT Service Management as a concept is related to ITIL which contains a subsection specifically titled IT Service Management (ITSM). The combination of the Service Support and Service Delivery volumes are a specific example of the ITIL ITSM framework which is currently embodied in the ISO 20000 standard.

ITIL Version 3
An ITIL refresh, commonly known as ITIL v3, recently became available and includes five core publications:

1. Service Strategy
2. Service Design
3. Service Transition
4. Service Operation
5. Continual Service Improvement

The ITIL V3 publications can be ordered at theĀ IT Service Management Forum USA(itSMF USA) web site.

The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle This document introduces ITSM and ITIL, explains why the service lifecycle approach is best practice in today’s service management, and makes a persuasive case for change. After showing high level process models, it takes the reader through the main principles that govern the new version: lifecycle stages, governance and decision making, and then the principles behind design and deployment, and operation and optimization.

Service Strategy
This publication provides a view of ITIL that aligns business and IT so that each brings out the best in the other. It ensures that every stage of the service lifecycle stays focused on the business case and relates to all the companion process elements. Subsequent publications will link deliverables to meeting the business goals, requirements, and service management principles described in this publication.

Concepts and Guidance included are:

  • Service Management strategy and value planning
  • Linking business plans and directions to IT service strategy
  • Planning and implementing service strategy

Service Design
In order to meet current and future business requirements, this publication provides guidance on the production and maintenance of IT policies, architectures, and documents for the design of appropriate and innovative IT service solutions and processes.

Concepts and guidance in this publication include:

  • Service design objectives and elements
  • Selecting the service design model
  • Cost models
  • Benefit/risk analysis
  • Implementing service design
  • Measurement and control

Service Transition
Service Transition focuses on the broader, long-term change management role and release practices, so that risks, benefits, delivery mechanism, and the ease of ongoing operations of service are considered. This publication provides guidance and process activities for the transition of services into the business environment:

  • Managing organizational and cultural change
  • Knowledge management
  • Service knowledge management systems
  • Methods, practices, and tools
  • Measurement and control
  • Companion best practices

Service Operation
By focusing on delivery and control process activities, a highly desirable, steady state of managing services can be achieved on a day-to-day basis. To ensure it is integrated with the rest of the ITIL library, guidance in this publication is based on a selection of familiar service support and service delivery control points. Concepts and guidance in this document include:

  • Application management
  • Change management
  • Operations management
  • Control processes and functions
  • Scalable practices
  • Measurement and control

Continual Service Improvement
Alongside the delivery of consistent, repeatable process activities as part of service quality, ITIL has always emphasized the importance of continual improvements. This publication focuses on the process elements involved in identifying and introducing service management improvements, as well as, deals with issues surrounding service retirement.

Concepts and guidance in this publication include:

  • Business and technology drivers for improvement
  • Justification
  • Business, financial, and organizational improvements
  • Methods, practices, and tools
  • Measurement and control
  • Companion best practices