ITIL is an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It is described as “Framework Good Practices” for IT departments.
It was first introduced in 1989 by the UK government. ITIL comes from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). In the early 1990s, ITIL began to change the face of the IT industry, not just in the UK, but around the world.
How ITIL has evolved to date
In 2000, ITIL V2 entered the market. And ITIL has developed standardized methods for best practices in the IT industry.
ITIL V2 only had two main processes
- Technical assistance, and
- Provision of services.
In 2011, ITIL V3 was released and consisted of five stages. Each of these five stages focused on a specific service lifecycle.
Knowledge of ITIL helps us
- Reduce costs,
- Build more efficient IT frameworks, and
- Provide the best possible services in the IT industry
Most companies adopt ITIL standards in their projects.
In 2019, ITIL 4 was released and remains the last version of ITIL. IT management was the priority area for improvement in ITIL 4.
This latest ITIL update is a response to technological, organizational, structural and other changes in the IT space. Most companies find it difficult to keep up with this progress. Therefore, ITIL 4 becomes necessary to cope with these changes.
ITIL 4 has improved its standards. It has therefore become the standard framework for best practice. It supports organizations going through change.
Advances in ITIL 4 position it well to deliver value, faster, to individual users and organizations.
Information: facts about things
Technology: Invention of tools to make our daily lives easier
Infrastructure: IT services
Library: collections of data, knowledge and intelligence
Benefits of ITIL standards in the IT industry
What makes ITIL standards admired in the IT industry?
- Save time and improve service delivery: ITIL standards dramatically reduce problem resolution time. This time saving improves IT service delivery and customer satisfaction.
- It is accepted worldwide: a global procedure that is maintained by all organizations to improve IT quality services.
- Manage business impact: ITIL standards help the service desk team. They can proactively reduce any unwanted business impact due to IT management issues.
- Incident management: Incident management is a vital part of the ITIL process.
- Grant entry into IT: ITIL knowledge allows people from any field to enter the IT industry with minimal resistance
ITIL consists of five dimensions or steps aimed at providing improved quality of service in the IT industry. These dimensions are subdivided into 26 processes and four functions.
Each of the five stages focuses on a specific phase of the service lifecycle. These five dimensions give users the freedom to create their standard operating mode. Thus, they can provide top notch IT services.
The strategy step is the first step in the ITIL process.
The service strategy stage focuses on the design and development of the strategy. This step aims to meet customer service management needs.
Users prioritize their service delivery at this stage. Especially when they’re just getting started with ITIL. But this service strategy step can also be used to improve an existing service or to create a new service from scratch.
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The service design stage uses developments from the service strategy stage to build a design process. Knowledge of service design benefits the presales team. Managers and business leaders benefit by responding more effectively to their customers’ concerns.
Service Transition provides guidance for moving developed and modified services to operations.
Now, Service Transition guides the transition from developed and modified services to operations.
Continuous improvement of services
The service improvement stage provides direction to improve services.
Service improvement recommends areas for improvement in all phases of the project life cycle.
This step offers improvements. It monitors and measures values such as process compliance, quality and performance.
Important ITIL processes and functions
Let’s explore basic ITIL processes and their functions.
ITIL processes and functions
Any degradation of service in the IT department is an “incident”. Incident management is a quick restoration of service. But this should have little or no impact on business operations.
We have five types of incidents: P1, P2, P3, P4 and P5.
Priority = Impact + Urgency
The incident management process ensures that the expected quality of service is achieved and delivered.
A problem is an unknown cause of one or more incidents. And preventing a problem or incident is problem management.
You will need to perform a root cause analysis (RCA) to understand the root cause of a problem before you can fix it.
This process improves the availability of services and the quality of IT services provided by ITIL users.
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This process is used to improve or modify service operations. Changes are recorded, planned, designed, tested, and first implemented in the lower environment. And then, if they work as expected, the changes are moved to service operations.
However, it is recommended to ensure that before making any changes to service operations, there is a recovery plan.
Every change must be recorded and must be approved by authorized persons. These authorized persons would be one of these persons:
CAB – Advisory Committee on Change
ECAB – Emergency Change Advisory Committee
Version and deployment management
This process ensures that the required changes are first tested and deployed in a lower environment. And then if they work as expected, those changes are moved to service operations.
This process controls access to applications. Authorized users have access to applications and unauthorized users are denied access. This feature ensures that only authorized users can access the services.
Service level management
Service level management ensures the timely delivery of all IT services.
Ensure service availability is provided in all departments according to the agreed schedule.
Service Desk: This team is responsible for restoring service to users as quickly as possible, in the event of a service failure.
IT Operations Management: This responds to day-to-day operational activities. Mainly the activities necessary to manage and maintain the IT infrastructure of an organization.
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Things to know and remember in ITIL 4
Known Error: An issue that has been analyzed and has a workaround, but has not been permanently fixed.
Problem: unknown cause of one or more incidents
SOR: service failure report
Alert: warning of reaching the threshold frequency.
Incident management: Restoration of normal service as soon as possible. And with minimal business impact.
SLA: stands for service level agreement. It is an agreement between a customer and a service provider.
OLA: This is an operational level agreement, which is an agreement between a service provider and internal teams.
UPC: Stands for Underpinning Contract. This agreement is made between a service provider and a supplier.
Priority: defined as P = Impact + Urgency
Service request: this is a user request to access new applications.
Change: the removal, addition or modification of any item is a change.
Normal Change: This is a change that follows all the steps described in a change management process.
Urgent Change: This is the change that requires quick approval. He must therefore follow a different procedure in the change management process.
Deployment: means testing and implementing the required changes in lower environments or in production.
Key Performance Indicator: Metric to measure improvements and performance when managing IT services.
Service: means providing value to customers or meeting customer requirements.
Major incident management plays an essential role
P1 / P2 incidents are major incidents.
Yes a problem has an impact on production and affects most users, it falls under P1 / P2. Major incidents have unique procedures for dealing with them.
By using ITIL’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), we can manage, resolve and reduce major incidents.
Priority = Impact + Urgency
How to move from operations to IT with ITIL knowledge
ITIL has its standards and procedures for providing enhanced IT services. Your experience does not matter if you decide to gain knowledge about ITIL and obtain certification.
You would have a better chance of gaining internal opportunities within your organization. You would be one step ahead of others who do not have the ITIL knowledge and certification.
PMO role of ITIL help
Learning ITIL benefits IT professionals and others.
Business leaders and senior staff have the ability to better respond to customer concerns.
PMOs who have ITIL knowledge give their business an edge. They proactively solve problems and better approach their business and customers. ITIL knowledge also helps in understanding the quality of products.
ITIL certification is mandatory for IT jobs
Nowadays, most companies are looking for ITIL certified candidates.
The ITIL system has five levels of certification.