Nowadays, many companies use IT (Information Technology) as a service to get an edge over their competitors. They face many challenges in providing top-notch IT services, and their desire to put IT into their business is a very obvious thing, because, in this digital era, it's very important to have quality IT services for optimally managing any organization. Then ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) came into action in 1989 and it created a huge impact on IT services, and several years of improvements in ITIL made it the very first choice to consider. In this article, whether you are an expert in the IT field or very new to this field, all of you become more knowledgeable about IT and ITIL by the end of this article. So let's dive into it!
What is ITIL? How it works, its implementation, and some real-life examples of using ITIL.
Nowadays, many companies use IT (Information Technology) as a service to get an edge over their competitors. They face many challenges in providing top-notch IT services, and their desire to put IT into their business is a very obvious thing, because, in this digital era, it's very important to have quality IT services for optimally managing any organization. Then ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) came into action in 1989 and it created a huge impact on IT services, and several years of improvements in ITIL made it the very first choice to consider.
In this article, whether you are an expert in the IT field or very new to this field, all of you become more knowledgeable about IT and ITIL by the end of this article. So let's dive into it!
ITIL is a framework for delivering and managing IT services in any business or organization. It's a very comprehensive approach to providing IT services for any company. It started in 1989 in the United Kingdom. The British government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) introduced ITIL for the very first time for the distribution of IT services. ITIL is a framework for providing a set of best practices in ITSM (IT Service Management ).
ITIL provides a very specific set of practices for IT services, while ITSM delivers a broader range of managing IT services in the company.
We have very detailed information about all of these versions. Let's take it one by one.
It was the first disclosure to an organization that was looking to streamline its IT services. CCTA (agency of the British government) released v1 in 1989, and its objective was to standardize IT service management.
ITIL v1 had 31 books that demonstrated the benefits of each specific topic in IT service management.
It was released back in 2001 by CCTA. It is an improved version of ITIL V1. It focuses on the service that was used by individuals. It had a clear structure for deploying service delivery & service support to provide seamless IT services for organizations. In v2, there were 10 books. 7 books were new to ITIL v2 whereas 3 of them were for basic implementation of ITIL.
It was released in 2007 by CCTA, which was now known as the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). Again, this time, as expected, it was an improved and integrated framework than its predecessor. It delivers the ITIL framework service lifecycle. For a broader look and great emphasis on aligning IT services, ITIL v3 adds guidelines such as:
These were the five core publications that ITIL v3 emerged from.
In this phase, strategies were made, and a systematic approach was to create a strategy for better IT services. It covers the principles and practices of service strategy, like service portfolio management, service demand management, service financial management, and strategic operations. With this in mind, it's important to understand that strategy must be synced with business needs or objectives.
In this phase, it focuses on creating any new design for IT services. When a company or any organization needs any changes in design or creates a new design, they focus on this section in a very efficient way. The four P's that are important to consider when the topic is service design:
In this publication, if an organization requires a new design for IT services, it'll have to go through some of its practices, like service catalog management, service level management, and capacity management.
It was the transition phase from one step to another step in IT services. In this phase, the deployment of IT services happens, and in this process of deploying IT services, it's necessary to do things in a very coordinated way. In service transition, there are 7 processes within this category:
In this phase, the primary focus is on maintaining the end-user experience while balancing costs, and finding any threats to IT services. This process includes resolving service failures, fixing problems, fulfilling user requests, and, of course, some routine operational tasks. This whole process includes five processes & 4 functions:
As this term refers to, the objectives of this stage are to improve service continually. It aims to learn from its past successes & failures. In this phase, there are 7 steps to consider :
In 2011, ITIL v3 was updated, and because of this update, ITIL v3 is also known as ITIL 2011 v3. It happened to resolve errors and inconsistencies in the text and the diagram across the whole suite. This update also had a new process called Business Relationship Management (BRM). So now, we have covered almost every aspect of ITIL v3 and its updated version. ITIL v3 became very popular among IT companies that have been using ITIL for a while. Overall, it provides many benefits for upgrading IT service management and developing an environment that is best suited for any business or organization. It was the leading framework in the IT industry until the arrival of ITIL v4.
This is the latest version of ITIL, which provides a more comprehensive and integrated infrastructure for IT service management. It was released by AXELOS (a joint venture between the Capita & UK Cabinet Office, which acquired ITIL in 2013) in February 2019. In this framework, the primary focus is on value, cost, and risk components, which deliver more flexibility to IT service management than ITIL v3.ITIL v4 emphasizes a set of practices rather than the typical processes to be followed. ITIL v4 has 4 dimensions.
ITIL v4 learned from its previous versions that service management in IT is not just about following processes and technologies, it's something beyond that. ITIL V4 takes care of people and the culture of the organization, which provides a wholesome experience for customer satisfaction.
This framework (v4), focuses on the adaptability and flexibility of IT, which are constantly changing and it's important for IT service management as well.
Giving value to IT services is the most important thing that many companies or organizations need. ITIL v4 furnishes IT services through value streams, which is the best way to add some value to their customers.
In this dimension, ITILv4 makes sure that the relationship with organizations or their customers has no issues so that they focus on their IT service management. The central aspect of ITIL v4 is the Service Value System (SVS). All 4 dimensions which we discussed above are contributed to the SVS. Governance, service value chain, and guiding principles are some key components of SVS.
There are 34 practices in ITIL v4 which are divided into three categories :
In this stage, there are a total of 14 practices, which are:
In this stage, there are 17 practices, which are:
In this stage, there are only 3 practices, which are:
The ITIL framework is a set of practices developed over the years by IT professionals from across the globe to streamline their IT service management. It has enormous benefits, but here we cover some important ones:
It minimizes the cost of using software and hardware in IT services. Its various practices help organizations eliminate waste and streamline their process.
With its flexible infrastructure for IT service management, it becomes super easy to deploy that practice that is adaptable or that practice that the organization needs.
A set of practices that align with the business needs, provides better alignment for utilizing ITIL in IT service management.
With the help of ITIL, organizations or businesses can expand the quality of IT services. It standardizes the IT service delivery process, which can lead to the overall improvement in the quality of IT service management.
It helps organizations become more sustainable in this digital age, which provides more agility for the organizations. ITIL also developed a compatible framework that can help organizations comply with industry regulations and standards.
There are a few more benefits of using ITIL, which are: enhanced customer satisfaction, improved risk management, better communication, increased efficiency, reduced IT downtime, and improved IT security and the list continues…
This is the most important part when considering ITIL. It has some drawbacks in sustaining it, in implementing it, and in the training as well.
It may suck if you don't pay enough attention to it. As we know, any new tech solution needs some time to understand it properly. ITIL training includes books, practices, and exams which can be hard to deal with. Implementing ITIL requires ITIL professionals who are pro-at using it.
The next big thing that can hinder the implementation of ITIL is cost. With its expensive books and many other materials, it becomes too expensive. Okay, let's assume that big and high-profile businesses can afford it, but it's almost impossible for small businesses.
It may sound like a strange thing, but I think it's hard to choose a framework that primarily focuses on IT services, and does not support other types of services in organizations.
Every company or organization has its way of doing things that work for them. With ITIL, it may resist cultural things, which they have been doing for a long time.
The implementation of ITIL can be tricky if you avoid thorough research and understanding of ITIL. You have to take each step with awareness and do things gradually. Here are some very crucial things that you can't ignore when implementing ITIL :
It's very important to understand what your company or organization needs. What is important for your organization, and what does it lack?
So that you can choose the best practices for your business.
You must have a better understanding of your culture. Is this business ready for a change? The perspective of your employees on the implementation of ITIL is also an important aspect to consider. Ultimately, you think that your organization's culture is not affected by the implementation of ITIL.
As we discussed above, ITIL is not a good choice for small businesses as it may be very complex to manage a framework like ITIL. So, before implementing ITIL into your business, focus on your business and get a better understanding of it.
It depends on how much your resources are capable of. If your resources (money, time, and people) are limited, then it will be challenging for your organization to implement ITIL. So before considering ITIL for your business, think about these facets first. So start small, don't get very fascinated with the implementation of ITIL, and see what industry you are in, focus on outcomes rather than bogged down in the processes. You can take advice from the ITIL experts to clarify things, and if you find the ITIL framework is the best option for your organization, then go for it (after a better understanding of your organization & ITIL).
ITIL is a very popular framework and adopted by companies across the world. ITIL makes its impact on various types of industries.
Popular companies which use ITIL are:
This giant entertainment company uses ITIL to streamline its IT services, which are spread all around the world for its global operations, including theme parks, hotels, and cruise ships.
The largest music-streaming service in the world, which has over 180 million active users, uses the ITIL framework to support its music-streaming services.
This No.1 software development company uses ITIL to manage its global IT infrastructure and to improve the development and delivery of its software products.
It uses the ITIL framework to manage its IT infrastructure, which includes payment processing systems and financial market infrastructure.
These are just a few examples of using ITIL. Many other companies have also leveraged ITIL, such as:
So there you have it. In this long but informative article, we discussed ITIL, its various versions, and its implementation. By the end of this article, I wanted to say that if you want a framework that is the best for your business to maintain IT service management & infrastructure, ITIL is the thing you should try, but after a better understanding of it. It's done from our side. If you have any further questions or suggestions about our content, take them to the comment box, and join the conversation!
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