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May 2, 2007

What is ITIL®?

Here we will shortly discuss a framework that became a de facto standard in ITSM.
Everyone in the industry is getting certificates in
ITIL, from people to SW. Why is that? Probably because ITIL is founded on best practices in IT since early 1980s

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a best practices framework to manage IT services in an effective and efficient way.

ITIL was initiated in the second half of 1980’s by the British government in order to design a set of operational IT guidance. The main goal was to increase efficiency in Government IT and the task was given to Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA).

Authors consolidated best practices and guidelines from existing industry standards in a so called Government Infrastructure Management Method (GITMM). In 1989 it was renamed to Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®).

During the 90’s it gained worldwide popularity as the most complete set of best practices in IT Governance.

The updated version 2 in the year 2000 gained even more followers in the IT industry, as it focused more on bringing IT and business to understand each other. It defined a standard for a common language in IT, especially around IT Service Management (ITSM ), which was covered by two central books: Service Support and Service Delivery.

ITIL® ITSM with its ten basic processes and Service Desk function covered basic needs of various IT service departments for best practice guidance in daily operations.

ITIL V2 Service Management model

1. Service Support - Blue Book is focused on the user of the IT services. Function and processes:
2. Service Delivery - Red Book is focused on the Business IT needs:
  • Service Level Management
  • Financial Management for IT Services
  • Capacity Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Availability Management
ITIL® V1 and V2 were obviously process oriented, since relatively young IT organizations in the 90’s and 2000’s mostly needed basic organizational knowledge and skills.
In the 2000’s two very important ITIL® offspring were created:
  • MOF: Microsoft® Operations Framework is a complete and mature framework based on ITIL® V2, completely free of charge and public
  • ISO/IEC 20000: ISO standard evolved from British standard BS15000 and provides ITIL® V2 related auditable set of requirements for IT service management business organizations willing to ensure full alignment with basic processes.
ISO/IEC 20000 Model

In 2001 CCTA became a part of the British Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
In May 2007 the third version of ITIL® was published. It introduced roughly 16 new processes and three functions. The main update was that processes were spread over five new lifecycle stages:
  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operation
  5. Continual Service Improvement
ITIL V3 Lifecycle stages
This lifecycle approach was justified as IT organizations gained maturity towards 2010s, when IT ceased to be a mere support for business functions, but it became an integral part of the business - a crucial and strategic asset. Hence it is important to follow the service through its lifecycle in order to support the business in an optimized way.

ITIL V3 Processes

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