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Understanding ITIL®

Business knowledgeThe IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) is a set of concepts and best practices for managing IT services. ITIL is considered to be the most widely accepted approach to IT Service Management (ITSM) in the world.

ITIL originated as a collection of books, each covering a specific ITSM practice. ITIL V1 quickly grew to over 40 volumes. In ITIL V2, the publications were consolidated to 8 volumes with the main focus on two Service Management sets: Service Support and Service Delivery.

The Five Principles of Lifecycle

The latest is ITIL Version 3, which was published in 2007 and consists of 26 processes and functions grouped into 5 volumes. These 5 volumes are discussed below:

Service Strategy

This is the central point of the Service Lifecycle. An IT service provider must have a clearly defined Service Strategy. The Service Strategy stage offers a precise understanding of the details of the services to be provided, identification of potential customers and their priorities, and awareness of market competition. This stage also identifies how to pitch a service in the market and the financial aspects required to deliver that service. The strategy adopted must provide value to the customers and stakeholders. The four main processes in the Service Strategy stage are Demand Management, Financial Management, Strategy Generation, and Service Portfolio Management.

Service Design

This phase provides guidance on the  Service Design of effective IT services as well as the architecture, processes, policies and documentation needed to meet current and future customer needs. Main processes include Service Catalogue Management, Service Level Management, Capacity Management, IT Service Continuity Management, Information Security Management, and Supplier Management.

Service Transition

The purpose of Service Transition is to build and deploy services that are required by a business into the live environment. This phase makes sure that the services already available in the live environment are not interrupted or disrupted when a new service is introduced into the environment. Key processes in Service Transition are Change Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, Release and Deployment Management and Knowledge Management.

Service Operation

Service Operation is the phase of the Service Lifecycle in which services are delivered efficiently and effectively. The aim here is to provide services as per the SLA with a balance between service reliability and cost. Service Operation processes include Event Management, Incident Management, Problem Management, Request Fulfillment, Access Management, Applications Management, Technical Management, and IT Operations Management.

Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

This stage of the Service Lifecycle maintains the service value for customers through continual evaluation and improvement of the quality of services. The key CSI process is the 7-step improvement process in which an organization identifies what and how to measure, gathers and processes the data, and uses the information and knowledge to implement corrective action.

To learn more about ITIL and how ITIL can benefit your company, contact Ashford Global IT today!

 

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About this author:

Jon Francum

Jon is the Director of Training at Ashford Global IT.

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