Monday, January 15, 2007

ITIL 101: Understanding the Basics

ITIL 101: Understanding the Basics
Copyright © 2007 Anne Sych

In the world of IT management, ITIL is the buzzword being heard around the globe. So what is ITIL and how does it affect your organization? Let's take a closer look!

Today's IT management has become more and more complex causing organizations worldwide to seek a standards based approach to IT management. The "IT Infrastructure Library", commonly referred to as ITIL(r), has become the most popular framework for best practices standardization worldwide.

While ITIL(r) is now embraced globally; it was originally created by the United Kingdom Government. ITIL (r) was developed in the 1980's by the CCTA, a predecessor of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). There, a team of CCTA staff embarked on documenting a common sense approach to managing IT services that would improve consistency while maintaining cost efficiency. Using a compilation of then best practices and their experience, the first IT Infrastructure Library(r) was developed. The OGC, still owns ITIL(r).

So what exactly is ITIL(r)? ITIL(r) is a series of best practice documentation materials that are used to aid the implementation of a framework for IT Service Management, or quoting the OGC: "a consistent and comprehensive documentation of best practice for IT Service Management". Since its development in the 1980s, ITIL(r) has undergone two major revisions:

  • Version 1 - 1986 – 1999: The original function-based practice of 40+ books dealing with a variety of IT practices.
  • Version 2 – 1999 – 2006: V2 of ITIL(r).

    Process-based practice of 8 'sets' and the globally accepted best practice framework for ITSM (Information Technology Service Management). The sets include:

  • Service Support
  • Service Delivery
  • Planning to Implement Service Management
  • ICT Infrastructure Management
  • Business Perspectives Volumes I and II
  • Software Asset Management
  • Application Management
  • Security Management

    Soon to be released in 2007 is Version 3. This new updated version will include:

  • Version 3 – 2007 - ??: V3 of ITIL(r).

    Service lifecycle-based practice will incorporate the essentials of V1 and V2 and tested current best practice for ITSM. Five lifecycle titles forming the core of V3 ITIL(r) practice will include:

  • Service Strategies
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement

    While Version 3 will include improved and modernized practices, tried and true standards from Versions 1 and 2 will be preserved. "These practices are still best of breed in our industry and still used every day. We have surrounded, enhanced and updated them with a broader scope for ITSM that widens the visibility of ITIL(r) and onto the radar of senior business and IT executives."
  • So if you have not done so already, now is the time to come on board with ITIL(r) best practices for IT management. Many organizations provide ITIL(r) education, training and certification. More information can be found at the OGC website (
  • Taken from, "Official Straight News Form the Source", Autumn, 2006,

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