Introduction to ITIL
ITIL, a globally implemented tool, facilitates, transforms and develops businesses. The objective of ITIL is to enhance productivity and attain predictability on the delivery of services. It is a systemized structure developed for the standardization of Information Technology (IT) services in a business.
ITIL, abbreviated for the “Information Technology Infrastructure Library”, can be defined as a collection of detailed procedures for managing IT services, with an objective to align it with the business objectives.
ITIL first came into existence in 1980 and was developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) of Britain. There have been several revised editions of ITIL. The recent version (V4) contains five books; each of these books outlines the various phases and processes of the IT service growth cycle.
a) Version 1 (1989): The initiative by the CCIA to standardize IT services.
b) Version 2 (2001): Improvised version on IT Service assistance and delivery.
c) Version 3 (2007): Introduction of ‘feedback option’ for continual improvement in the ITIL service growth-cycle. It consists of instructional guidelines on strategy, designing & operations.
d) Version 4 (2019): Upgradation of practical guidelines, establishing ties between ITIL and DevOps. It highlights the essence of IT leadership and its value in today’s time.
Currently, AXELOS holds ownership of ITIL, a joint alliance between the British Cabinet and Capita Plc.
ITIL Service Growth Cycle
The ITIL structural framework comprises of 5 processes and allied functions for each stage.
|Financial Management (FM)||Service Level Management (SLM)||Change Management (ChM)||Incident Management (IM)||Continual Service Process Improvement (CSPI)|
|Service Portfolio Management (SFM)||Availability Management (AM)||Asset & Configuration Management (ACM)||Problem Management (PM)|
|Demand Management (DM)||Capacity Management (CM)||Release & Deployment Management (RDM)||Access Management (AM)|
|Strategy Operations (SO)||Continuity Management (CoM)||Transition Planning & Support (TPS)||Event Management (EM)|
|Information Security Management (ISM)||Service Validation & Testing (SVT)||Request Fulfillment (RF)|
|Service Catalogue Management (SCM)||Knowledge Management (KM)||Technical Management (TM)|
|Supplier Management (SM)||Application Management (AM)|
|IT Operations Management (IOM)|
It comprises of conceptual, strategic guidelines about the scope of services, aligning it with business aims. It highlights the importance of interlink between internal and external stakeholders in delivering service of high value.
- ‘FM’ includes managing costs and associated benefits while delivering services. Monitoring of expenses, managing budgets, and costing involved in service delivery are 3 basic functions of FM.
- ‘SFM’ has 4 consecutive processes of defining, analyzing, approving and leasing of services.
- ‘DM’ includes forecasting, understanding and ascertaining whether or not the organization has appropriate resources to meet the customer demands.
- ‘SO’ is all about efficient management of customer complaints, requirements and fixing service malfunctions to deliver value.
It is about developing a service plan and outlining allied functions for introducing service into the production environment.
- ‘SLM’ manages the contractual agreement between the consumer and service offeror by creating Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) and developing services as per agreed quality standards.
- ‘AM’ ensures all infrastructural facilities, tools, resources, and processes are sufficient as agreed upon by the business provider as per the SLA.
- ‘CM’ is about managing IT resources to deliver service targets by monitoring costs and time effectively.
- ‘CoM’ is being able to offer services continually as per agreed minimum standards by developing plans to effectively manage risks.
- ‘ISM’ safeguards the organizational data by adhering to information confidentiality.
- ‘SCM’ is a service archive containing the list and details of various services available to the consumers.
- ‘SM’ is about managing the vendors bypassing tenders, evaluating, renewing and closing the contracts as per business requirements.
In this stage of the service growth cycle, the design is developed, evaluated and then goes into the production stage to be prepared for release.
- ‘ChM’ manages changes at all stages of the service growth-cycle, by limiting disruptions in the services.
- ‘ACM’ maintains records details about configuration and interconnections between them.
- ‘RDM’ plans, monitors, and sets up releases for testing and production environment.
- ‘TPS’ plans and co-ordinates the consumption of resources within the estimated time, cost and quality standards.
- ‘SVT’ ensures that the releases and consequent services meet customer needs and verifies if IT operations can assist these services.
- ‘KM’ is about accumulating, scrutinizing, sharing and storing knowledgeable information within an organization.
Operations are about ensuring effective delivery of IT services by adhering to consumer complaints, fixing up service errors and smoothly functioning with routinized functional operations.
- ‘IM’ is about effectively managing incidents by registering, categorizing, investigating through proper diagnosis and coming up with resolutions to bring in the normalcy of functioning at the earliest.
- ‘PM’ aims to prevent any incidental disruptions from taking place and minimizing the consequential effects of the same, which could not be prevented.
- ‘AM’ abides by the policies of Information Security Management (ISM) by allowing access to authorized users and restricting access to non-authorized ones.
- ‘EM’ is about detecting, monitoring, prioritizing, evaluating and managing the events to come up with appropriate resolutions so as to retain normal functioning.
- ‘RF’ grants requests about any information or minor service alterations to be made.
- ‘TM’ aims to provide expert technical assistance to ensure the efficient delivery of IT services.
- The objective of ‘AM’ is to manage applications throughout their growth cycle and bring in continual improvements to their elements.
- ‘IOM’ monitors and manages IT infrastructure and services for routine execution of operational functions and infrastructural elements.
5. Continual Improvement
- CSPI is a continual process of improvement to maximize the effectiveness of IT methods and services. CSPI employs quality management methods based on past service successes and malfunctions. Reviewing services and examining processes enable to channelize efforts in targeted directions and bringing in required changes to the service offerings. These changes are company-specific and would vary as per the company culture, strengths and lacunae. It is essential to identify the lacunas that have an adverse impact on an organization, modify those processes and prioritize the same to bring in targeted outcomes.
Thus, the ITIL growth cycle requires effective execution of the above-mentioned stages to attain required business outcomes!
This has been a guide to What is ITIL. Here we discuss the basic concept; ITIL structural framework comprises of 5 processes and allied functions. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –