ITIL was first developed by the U.K. Government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s as a set of standardized best practices for IT services used in government agencies. From that narrowly focused start, ITIL has been adopted, revised and expanded into a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery in companies and organizations of all sizes, across all industries and market sectors.
However, ITIL certification is different. Having an ITIL certification doesn’t make us an ‘expert’ for any specific skill set. As you might already be aware, ITIL is a set of best practices and is descriptive in nature. Hence an ITIL certification isn’t about doing your job, but merely about knowing the ITIL principles. In fact, that’s precisely the reason why AXELOS have now added the ITIL Practitioner level which makes it mandatory for IT folks to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice.
ITIL concentrates on bridging the gap between IT services and business needs. It essentially provides methods and practices for IT Service Management, and introduces a framework for concepts, structures, and procedures that can be applied in any organization. ITIL has been proven as a highly beneficial and practical framework for achieving strategic objectives, while reducing costs and risk. Through introducing ITIL to a business, you will see a major improvement on productivity and efficiency. ITIL prevents a business and its employees from dwelling too much on technological issues, while boosting concentration towards customers and user experience. Across the globe, there is no IT Service Management framework more widely recognized and valued than ITIL.
Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant, trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. She has contributed to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling, PMI” and also worked as the Liaison officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI
ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. The Swirl logo™ is a trade mark AXELOS Limited used, under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. IT Infrastructure Library® is a registered trade mark of the AXELOS Limited used, under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
ITIL Intermediate (Capabilities Stream): Prescriptive modules with detailed views of the inputs, activities, concepts, metrics and outputs of each process, which develops capabilities for best practices of IT processes, rather than just management of them. They are most useful to those who will be taking part in the day-to-day practical activities described within each of the processes:
Continual service improvement, defined in the ITIL continual service improvement volume, aims to align and realign IT services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to the IT services that support the business processes. It incorporates many of the same concepts articulated in the Deming Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act. The perspective of CSI on improvement is the business perspective of service quality, even though CSI aims to improve process effectiveness, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT processes through the whole lifecycle. To manage improvement, CSI should clearly define what should be controlled and measured.
Master: the ultimate ITIL certification, a candidate must demonstrate ITIL mastery by completing Expert certification (22 credits minimum), demonstrating minimum 5 years’ experience in a management or leadership role, submitting a proposal for ITIL service improvement, submitting a work package wherein the candidate successfully applied ITIL practices to a real-world business case, and completing an interview with an ITIL assessment panel.
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The ITIL discipline – planning to implement service management attempts to provide practitioners with a framework for the alignment of business needs and IT provision requirements. The processes and approaches incorporated within the guidelines suggest the development of a continuous service improvement program (CSIP) as the basis for implementing other ITIL disciplines as projects within a controlled program of work. Planning to implement service management focuses mainly on the service management processes, but also applies generically to other ITIL disciplines. Components include:
Good IT Service Management is about knowing how to integrate these factors into your development process, and this is where ITIL comes in. It covers the entire development lifecycle, from identifying requirements from a business and IT perspective, to designing and creating the solution, to delivering and maintaining the service in a state of continual review and improvement.
This official ITIL Foundation certification course provides you with a general overview of the IT Service Management Lifecycle which is outlined in ITIL’s five core books – Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. ITIL’s “service lifecycle” consists of 26 processes and four functions.
The service desk functions are the single contact-point for end-users' incidents. Its first function is always to document ("create") an incident. If there is a direct solution, it attempts to resolve the incident at the first level. If the service desk cannot solve the incident then it is passed to a 2nd/3rd level group within the incident management system. Incidents can initiate a chain of processes: incident management, problem management, change management, release management and configuration management. This chain of processes is tracked using the configuration management database (CMDB), - ITIL refers to configuration management system (CMS), which records each process, and creates output documents for traceability (quality management). Note - CMDB/CMS does not have to be a single database. The solution can be Federated.
ITIL® Foundation is the most widely acknowledged entry-level ITIL certification for IT professionals. Today’s IT departments need qualified experts who can deliver effective IT services. This training will show you the ITIL services lifecycle, how lifecycle stages are linked, processes involved, and best practices for enhancing the quality of IT service management to reduce costs and increase productivity. ITIL certified professionals earn 40% more than their non-certified peers.
ITIL Foundation: This is the entry-level qualification, and covers the basics of ITIL's framework in one training course and exam. It introduces how ITIL can be used to enhance the quality of IT service management within an organisation, and how to become a certified professional. It is perfect for those who work within an organisation that has already adopted the ITIL framework.
For years now, ITIL (formerly known as the IT Infrastructure Library) has remained the cornerstone and industry-standard best practice framework for supporting, managing and aligning IT Service Management with the needs of the business. Trademarked by AXELOS, ITIL acts as a governing agent for IT, and uses the ITIL Service Lifecycle to map the entire journey from customer needs and requirements all the way through continual improvement of services.
So, is it worth the buck? Definitely yes, if you’re able to demonstrate the value of your knowledge in your work. Having spoken to a sizeable number of IT consultants, practitioners, IT agents, I have seen that people who succeed with an ITIL certification are those who have put an effort into earning their certificate, and not just seen it as a way of checking a box for their career. Your goal should be acquiring knowledge and putting it in practice, measuring the impact of your work and not just ‘passing’ the certification.
By adopting the ITIL framework, companies ensure that their services are delivered according to a set of consistent, well-defined processes that incorporate best practices and processes, resulting in a predictable level of service for users. The benefits of ITIL include reduced cost of service development and deployment, improved customer satisfaction with service delivery, increased productivity from IT personnel, quality improvements, better management metrics of services and increased flexibility in adapting services to changing business requirements.
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Closely related to the architectural criticism, ITIL does not directly address the business applications which run on the IT infrastructure; nor does it facilitate a more collaborative working relationship between development and operations teams. The trend toward a closer working relationship between development and operations is termed: DevOps. This trend is related to increased application release rates and the adoption of agile software development methodologies. Traditional service management processes have struggled to support increased application release rates – due to lack of automation – and/or highly complex enterprise architecture.
Service asset and configuration management is primarily focused on maintaining information (i.e., configurations) about Configuration Items (i.e., assets) required to deliver an IT service, including their relationships. Configuration management is the management and traceability of every aspect of a configuration from beginning to end and it includes the following key process areas under its umbrella:
ITIL Intermediate (Capabilities Stream): Prescriptive modules with detailed views of the inputs, activities, concepts, metrics and outputs of each process, which develops capabilities for best practices of IT processes, rather than just management of them. They are most useful to those who will be taking part in the day-to-day practical activities described within each of the processes.