The Concise Guide to ITIL
ITIL is an IT Service Management Framework that is known for its comprehensive volumes. The books associated with the framework comprise thousands of pages of text. Just understanding the basics can take whole books. This guide is a concise and simplified overview of the framework.
What is ITIL?
ITIL is an IT Service Management framework, which means is that it provides a structure and guide for running the entirety of your business. ITIL was built on the idea that IT services are improved when the end users are seen as customers who deserve quality service, rather than as individuals who are simply bugging your IT staff.
ITIL is the former acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. That means that it used to be an acronym, but now ITIL is the term itself.
ITIL is now owned by AXELOS, who maintains the ITIL library of knowledge and certifies ITIL professionals. The current ITIL framework contains five main sections, called modules: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement. Under each of these main sections are specific processes and functions that your IT staff will use to maintain service quality. By defining each component individually, ITIL helps businesses keep track of all the moving parts in an organization.
1. ITIL Service Strategy
ITIL Service Strategy is the part of the framework associated with the business activities that improve your overall business and service quality over the long-term. At the core of the service strategy is the market-driven approach that lets a company compete long-term. Service strategy processes include:
- Service portfolio management
- Demand management
- Financial management for IT services
- Business relationship management
- Strategy management
Activities that manage risk and costs, bring the budget in line, anticipate demand, and monitor services through the entire pipeline fall under ITIL service strategy.
2. ITIL Service Design
ITIL Service Design is focused on designing new services and improving existing ones. Since changing one component of a service, such as the price or a set of features, affects other departments it's best to redesign with the input of those other departments. For example, changing the price of a service might affect service operation, capacity management, supplier management, and service level management. What if the new price is too low to keep supporting systems afloat? Or too high to generate enough sales? How does one service affect the others in the service catalog? These are the questions for the Service Design team.
The main processes of this area are:
- Design coordination
- Service catalog management
- Service level management
- Risk management
- Capacity management
- Availability management
- IT service continuity management
- Compliance management
- Information security management
- Architecture management
- Supplier management
3. ITIL Service Transition
ITIL Service Transition is the ITIL module that ensures that the newly implemented services meet the needs of the end users. It also transitions the maintenance of the service from the managers of service design to those responsible for service operation and continual service improvement.
The processes within this area include:
- Change management
- Change evaluation
- Project management
- Application development
- Service validation and testing
- Release and deployment management
- Service asset and configuration management
- Knowledge management
4.ITIL Service Operation
ITIL Service Operation is the module associated with keeping the lights on, so to speak. In this module are the activities associated with the service desk and traditional IT roles. Many companies start their ITIL implementations with Service Operation since its impact is the most easily seen by end users and stakeholders and thus return on investment is quick.
This area has several processes, including
- Event management
- Incident management
- Request fulfillment
- Access management
- Problem management
- IT operations control
- Facilities management
- Application management
- Technical management
5. ITIL Continual Service Improvement
Finally, ITIL concludes with Continual Service Improvement. Continual Service Improvement is the module with ITIL that focuses on increasing the quality of the services in the service catalog. The goal is to increase the efficiency and efficacy of the services, thereby reducing costs and increasing user satisfaction.
The processes within this module are:
- Definition of initiatives
- Service review
- Process evaluation
- Monitoring of initiatives
In conclusion, ITIL is a framework that is meant to help businesses plan and run their operations. Implementing an IT Service Management tool like ITIL is a great choice when you need to see more organization, communication, and reliability in your IT services. For more information on how to get started with ITIL training and certification, please contact your local AXELOS representative.