What is ITIL?

ITIL® (the IT Infrastructure Library) today is the generally accepted approach to managing IT services. The ITIL® recommendations enable organizations to deliver their services in a quality-driven and economical way.

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Optimizing IT processes with ITIL

In 2007, OGC published a completely revised version of ITIL, known as "ITIL Version 3 (ITIL V3)".

These publications were updated in 2011, taking into account feedback from the user and training community. This current edition if ITIL is referred to as ITIL 2011 - or simply ITIL.

ITIL 4 - the new release of ITIL - is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2019.

ITIL is organized around a set of five new core publications which together form the ITIL service lifecycle:

The ITIL Service Lifecycle

The rationale for organizing the ITIL books in this way was to establish a Deming-like Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle focused on continual improvement - and to achieve better alignment between ITIL and ISO 20000.

Overall, the current ITIL version complements the processes known from ITIL V2 with a number of new processes and puts more emphasis on producing value for the business. The underlying principles of ITIL are largely unchanged.

There is a complete comparison between ITIL V3 and V2 in our ITIL Wiki. See also: ITIL V3 vs. ITIL 2011 - Changes and Clarifications.

In our IT Process Wiki we've also covered the differences between ITIL V3 and ITIL 4 - the next release of ITIL®.

ITIL - the idea

ITIL was developed at the end of the 1980's by the Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), a government agency in Great Britain. The reason for commissioning the CCTA was a lack of quality of the IT services procured by the British Government, so that a method had to be found to achieve better quality and simultaneously decrease their costs. The objective was to develop effective and efficient methods for the provision of IT services - in other words a catalogue of best practices for the IT organization, which today is known as ITIL.

The essence of the methods is to make IT services explicit and strictly focused on client needs. This is combined with clearly defined responsibilities for service provision within the IT organization, and effectively designed IT processes. As a result, the IT organization concentrates on the services required by the customer side, rather than being focused on technologies.

The recommendations thus compiled are very broadly valid. It was found that the requirements of the businesses and organizations examined by the CCTA were mostly similar, independent of their size or industry sector.

A series of books on ITIL has been issued since 1989 by the Cabinet Office, an administrative body of the government of Great Britain. As of the beginning of 2014, the ITIL® trademark and intellectual property is owned by AXELOS, a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Capita plc.

ITIL accepted as de-facto standard

In the past years, ITIL has become the de-facto standard for ITSM (IT Service Management). Increasingly, IT managers developed awareness for the service- and customer-driven approach championed by ITIL, and the ITIL terminology is widely understood and used.

The ITIL philosophy has found its way into a multitude of other models for ITSM and business service management, as for example:

IT Process Wiki: Facts and know-how about ITIL

We are now able to offer you a wealth of ITIL know-how in our ITIL Wiki!

IT Process Wiki - the ITIL Wiki [1] - is intended to promote more widespread use of best practice by service management professionals.

In particular, this wiki is about the IT Infrastructure Library ITIL® and IT service management (ITSM). It is also about ITIL process management, as process management techniques are necessary for implementing and retaining best practice principles.

The ITIL Wiki offers detailed descriptions of the ITIL processes (V3 2011 Edition and V2) and sub-processes, complete with their inputs and outputs, corresponding ITIL roles and metrics (ITIL KPIs), and a set of free ITIL templates and checklists from our ITIL® Process Map.

Contents of the IT Process Wiki

What is ITIL? How ITIL became the de-facto standard for IT service management.
ITIL processes Detailed descriptions of the ITIL processes according to ITIL versions V3 2011 Edition (ITIL 2011) and V2.
ITIL 4 What's new in ITIL 4 - the next release of ITIL® (to be launched in Q1/2019)? What's the difference between ITIL 4 and ITIL V3?
ITIL glossary A navigable ITIL glossary contains definitions of the most important ITIL and ITSM glossary terms.
ITIL roles Descriptions of the ITIL roles and their responsibilities.
ITIL templates & ITIL checklists An extensive collection of ITIL templates and ITIL checklists to get started quickly.
ITIL KPIs A set of commonly used ITIL key performance indicators.
ITIL 2011 vs. ITIL 2007 The changes and clarifications introduced with ITIL 2011 vs. ITIL V3 2007.
ITIL V3 vs. ITIL V2 Comparison between ITIL V3 and ITIL V2 - The main differences.
ITIL implementation Project guide: "ITIL implemention in 10 Steps" (strategies for introducing ITIL into the IT organization).
Advice on how to use process management techniques for success.

[1] Created 2007| Languages: English, Spanish and German | Authors: Stefan Kempter & Andrea Kempter


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