Axelos is in the process of releasing more modules to its latest version of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, otherwise known as ITIL®. This new version, named ITIL® 4, was released in February 2019. More recently, Axelos released the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition Module, which gives professionals with all levels of experience various paths to certification.
Naturally, the big question is (as it is for any product undergoing an updated version, come to think of it), what does this new release bring to the table? Let’s face it, not every new version of a utility or application is necessarily a better product (Windows 8 says “hello”). So what new features does ITIL 4 offer that would induce people to move away from previous versions of ITIL? Will this be worth the hype?
Previous ITIL® Versions
The first iteration of ITIL came out in the early 1980s and consisted of a series of books published over the span of a decade. ITIL V2 came out as the millennium changed, released in 2001, and dealt with 10 core processes and the service desk.
The next version came out in 2007, and many users referred to this new release as ITIL® V3, but the publishers chose instead to simply call it ITIL 2007. This version introduced a service lifecycle broken down into five stages: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement. Instead of 10 processes, the new version now presented over two dozen.
This brings us to ITIL V3, which has also been referred to as ITIL 2011, the most recent version before the upgrade. Aside from introducing the Business Relationship Management (BRM) process, this new version didn’t offer many changes. It was, however, easier to read, and with many inconsistencies edited out.
ITIL® V3 Framework
ITIL is a framework for providing IT service management that consists of best practices and processes that may be implemented (ITSM). ITIL has been one of the most extensively utilized frameworks for providing ITSM since its original release in the 1980s. The framework emphasizes enhancing customer happiness by offering good service delivery at a reasonable cost.
Various versions of ITIL have been released throughout time in order to keep up with evolving business requirements. The third edition of the ITIL best practices framework, known as ITIL V3, was introduced in 2007. ITIL V3 was updated in 2011, and as a result, ITIL V3 is also known as ITIL 2011 V3. This current edition is more suited to today's corporate climate since it features strategic elements that better integrate IT service management with business needs.
ITIL® V4 Framework
ITIL 4 is a digital operating model that allows businesses to create effective value from IT-supported services and products. ITIL 4 builds on ITIL's decades of development, adapting known ITSM techniques to the larger contexts of digital transformation, customer experience, and value streams.
The Difference Between ITIL® V3 & ITIL® V4
The differences that distinguish ITIL 4 from the older versions are the inclusion of additional best practices and new material on integration.
The new version encourages fewer silos, increased collaboration, facilitating communication across the whole organization, and the integration of Agile and DevOps into ITSM strategies. ITIL 4 is designed to be more customizable and flexible. In essence, the new version encourages a more holistic view of IT.
ITIL 4 focuses more on the concepts of costs, outcomes, risks, and value. Building on a good selection of ideas championed by ITIL Practitioner, the bedrock principles of the new version are:
Focus on value
Start where you are
Progress iteratively with feedback
Collaborate and promote visibility
Think and work holistically
Keep it simple and practical
Optimize and automate
The bottom line—ITIL 4 is a refinement of ITIL V3, reflecting changes in the corporate culture where teamwork and communication are given additional weight, integrating IT into the overall business structure.
ITIL V4 Practices
Another important part of the ITIL® 4 Service Value System is management techniques (SVS). Management practice is a collection of organizational resources used to conduct work or achieve a goal, according to ITIL. The three main management practices in the ITIL® 4 are:
General Management Practices
Practices that can be used across the organization to ensure the company's success and the services it provides. There are 14 domains in this type of Management Practice:
Workforce Talent Management
Service Financial Management
Information Security Management
Organizational Change Management
Measurement and Reporting
Service Management Practices
Service management practices apply to the development, deployment, delivery, and support of certain services in an organization. In this Management Practice, there are 17 domains:
Service Validation and Testing
IT Asset Management
Service Catalog Management
Service Request Management
Monitoring and Event Management
Service Level Management
Service Continuity Management
Service Configuration Management
Capacity and Performance Management
Technical Management Practices
Practices adapted from the domains of technology management for the objectives of service management. The technical management practice includes 3 domains:
Software Development and Management
Infrastructure and Platform Management
ITIL 4: The 7 Guiding Principles
The concept of the seven guiding principles is one of the most intriguing aspects of ITIL 4. These principles are suggestions that can be applied to any corporation or organization and provide universal, long-term assistance. These 7 guiding principles are summarized below:
1. Focus on value
If what one does is not adding value to the company, we should think about why we are doing it. "Because we've always done that," is a common response to this topic. This guiding principle provides us with a compelling reason to come to a halt! Everything that we do in the service management sector has to be related to the bottom line. Every activity should contribute in some way to the company's vision being realized.
2. Start where you are
We almost never start level 0. Even if we are creating a whole new process, there might be things that we are doing right now that will help us meet some of the goals we are aiming for. Before embarking on a new project, let us take a step back and examine the current situation. We need to figure out where we are now and make improvements from there. Instead of starting from the ground up, we need to constantly strive to improve on what we currently have.
3. Progress iteratively with feedback
We need to take little steps forward, then take a step back to see if we have accomplished what we had set out to do. We must never try to get from zero to hero in one go. Changes that are manageable and measurable should be made instead. We need to move on to the next iteration once these have been incorporated and assessed for value.
4. Collaborate and promote visibility
We cannot succeed if we operate in a vacuum. Confining ourselves to a cubicle, planning improvements for processes or other changes on our own while disregarding the people who will utilize or benefit from the changes is a definite way to fail. We need to get out there and speak to people to learn about their jobs and why they do them. We need to plan improvements with them, then enjoy our victories and discuss our shortcomings together.
5. Think and work holistically
Business and IT are not two separate organizations anymore. Everything that we do in service management must be contributed to and be a part of the larger business ecosystem in a world where all services are IT-enabled. Think about networks, servers, and applications, in the context of the value of a business: how do all these components enable business users to give value to customers and more.
6. Keep it simple and practical
Avoid overcomplicating things. The majority of us do something like this: we create 20-step processes that cover every imaginable eventuality. Something happens as soon as we do this, and all of our planning would be for nothing. Instead, building procedures with the bare minimum of functionality in mind, and teaching (and encouraging) employees to think outside the box when scenarios happen that aren't precisely aligned with our processes is a better way to do practical things. Examining what we are doing now and thinking about why we are doing it, and seeing if it adds value to our business, goes a long way. If it does not, we need to stop doing what we were doing.
7. Optimize and automate
The efficient utilization of limited resources should always be a priority to us. We need to examine our present workflows and see if any of them can be automated. If a few things cannot be automated, then those should be done using human labor. This allows them to focus on occupations that are more difficult and satisfying. We need to remember the most important aspect of automation, i.e., we need to optimize processes before automating them, as automating inefficient processes typically might lead to undesirable results.
What are the ITIL 4 Certification Levels?
Interested in ITIL 4?
That was a review on ITIL 4 vs ITIL V3. With all the exciting new developments with ITIL, this is a good time to get in on becoming an ITIL Expert. If you are an IT professional who is already well versed in ITIL, then you will need to be brought up to speed on the new version. That’s why Next Solutions Limited offers the ITIL 4 Training Program, teaching you the newest ITIL information on demand.