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What Is ITIL?
ITIL is a registered trademark of the British government agency OGC (Office of Government Commerce, formerly Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency - CTA) and stands for IT Infrastructure Library. Covering both service support and service delivery, this de facto standard in IT Service Management helps you standardise your business processes for more efficiency and cost transparancy. From 1992 to 1998, a total of 34 different documents, forming ITIL version 1, were published. In 2001, the version 2 documents were released. Version 3, the currently latest version and also referred to as ITIL Refresh or ITIL v3, was published on 1 June 2007.
ITIL v2 focuses on the establishment and development of processes and includes the following publications:
- Service Support - Helpdesk, Problem Management, and Change Management
- Service Delivery - Service Level Management, budget planning and cost allocation, Continuity and Availability Management
- Planning to Implement Service Management - guideline for ITIL implementation; information on the benefits of ITIL
- IT Infrastructure Management - networks, data centre operations, installation and update, system management
- Applications Management - software development lifecycle including testing, adaptation to new requirements, implementation
- The Business Perspective - Business Continuity Management, long-term partnerships in the context of outsourcing and Change Management
Later, the IT Security Management document was added to version 2. In the past, however, ITIL v2 was generally perceived to consist of the two books Service Support and Service Delivery only.
ITIL v3 shifts the focus to service. The corresponding publications refer to the entire service lifecycle:
- Service Strategy - conceptional and strategic background of IT services; definition, specification, logistics, and financial aspects from a business perspective; service lifecycle objective
- Service Design - architectural framework for development; definition, specification, logistics, and security aspects from an operational perspective; transfer of the business perspective into the service
- Service Transition - practical implementation of business requirements in the form of specific IT services; Change Management and standardised service delivery
- Service Operations - maintaining and securing the agreed performance in daily operations
- Continual Service Improvement: optimizing service quality and performance to ensure long-term company success
Benefits of ITIL
The introduction of ITIL in your company offers, amongst other things, the following benefits:
- More transparency - thanks to consistent terminology and standardised processes
- Increased customer satisfaction - thanks to more reliable and higher-quality IT services
- Lower costs - thanks to reduced overhead and operating costs
ITIL provides for a certification of individuals only. Since December 2005, there has been the possibility for companies to obtain certification based on ISO 20000, an internationally recognised IT Service Management standard.