ITIL (The Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT Services with the needs of business. ITIL® was developed in the 1980’s by the British Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in response to a growing dependence on IT in UK Central Government departments. Some years later the CCTA changed its name to OGC – Office of Government Commerce, then later moved ownership of ITIL® across to the Cabinet Office. In 2013 AXELOS, a new joint venture was formed between the Cabinet Office and Capita plc to run the Cabinet Office’s Best Management Practice portfolio, including the ITIL® and PRINCE2® professional standards. Following this move, the ownership is now listed as being AXELOS rather than the Cabinet Office.
In its current form (known as ITIL® 2011 edition), ITIL is published in a series of five core volumes, each of which covers an IT Service lifecycle stage: Strategy, Design, Transition, Operations and Continual Service Improvement. ITIL also underpins ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS15000), the International Service Management Standard for IT Service Management.
The objective of the framework is to provide services for customers that are fit for purpose, stable and so reliable that the business views the IT Services department (or IT Supplier) as a trusted provider. Although developed by the UK Government, ITIL® offers good-practice guidance applicable to all types of organisations that provide IT Services to businesses. ITIL® has been successfully deployed around the world for over twenty years, and over this time has evolved from a specialised set of Service Management topics with a focus on function, to a process-based framework which now provides a broader holistic Service Lifecycle.
Working alongside the CCTA, Pink Elephant was a major contributor to the development of ITIL® in the early eighties, and was responsible for introducing ITIL® in the Netherlands and North America.
The strength of ITIL is in the fact that the framework is vendor neutral and is the result of the development by hundreds of individuals, private businesses and Government departments – worldwide, thereby claiming its position as Good Practice. In addition, ITIL® can be adopted and adapted to any size of business, from small business to global corporations. ITIL® is good business practice that has been adapted to the IT Services environment.
What benefits will adopting ITIL® give me?
By adopting the ITIL® framework organisations can achieve the following major benefits:
IT Qualification Scheme
One of the objectives in the development of the framework was to build a complementary Training Framework and Qualification scheme. This was driven by the Government’s need to place some sort of ‘measure’ on the Consultants it employed – a ‘proof of knowledge’ in ITIL®.
The ITIL Qualifications scheme provides a modular approach to the ITIL® framework, and is comprised of a series of qualifications focused on different aspects of ITIL® Best Practice, to various degrees of depth and detail.
These are the levels of qualifications within the scheme:
The modular, tiered structure of the qualification not only offers candidates the flexibility in relating to the different disciplines and areas of ITIL®, but generally makes ITIL® qualifications more accessible and achievable.
The ITIL® framework also connect well with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).
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