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ITIL 101: An Executive Guide to the IT Infrastructure Library

ITIL 101: An Executive Guide to the IT Infrastructure Library

ITIL is a framework of best practices for delivering IT services. What's the big deal about it, and why is it considered so important in corporate computing? We explain the basics before you hunker down with the books.

What changed in ITIL V3?

ITIL V3, released on May 30, 2007, has cut the number of books and modified the focus of ITIL. It is now viewed as a service lifecycle. The core content is collapsed into five volumes:

  • Service Strategy — focusing on providing guidance on how to leverage service management capabilities that effectively deliver value to customers.

  • Service Design — translates plans and objectives into action items.

  • Service Transition — looks at how the design delivers the intended strategy, and whether it can be effectively executed. Change management is an important component.

  • Service Operation — this is the day-to-day service management guidance.

  • Continual Service Improvement — performance measurement and improvement through the life of the service.

An initial volume, The Official Introduction to IT Service Management, sets the stage. Each may be purchased in hard copy, in PDF soft copy, or in an online subscription for individual or concurrent users. According to the official Web site, the changes to ITIL may be summarised thusly:
  • Where V2 talked about business and IT alignment, V3 emphasises business and IT integration.

  • Where V2 talked about value chain management, V3 emphasises value network integration.

  • Where V2 talked about linear service catalogues, V3 emphasises dynamic service portfolios.

  • Where V2 talked about collection of integrated processes, V3 emphasises holistic service management lifecycle.

ITIL V3 also provides much more “how-to” guidance to assist in actually using the best practices. Each core book includes information on tools, recommending which processes it makes sense to automate, and suggesting criteria to use when selecting a tool. As promised by OGC, no prior certifications are voided by the advent of V3, but new V2 certification is being phased out over the next year, and update courses will be made available for those certified under V2 who wish to learn about the differences in V3.

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