New ITIL Service Guidelines Reflect 2020 Business Standards
In its first update in more than a decade, ITIL guidelines address how IT operations work today, with a focus on flexibility and shared value creation.
When businesses want to ensure their IT services are aligned with business needs, they often turn to the ITIL framework. A new version — ITIL 4 — is designed to meet modern software development trends and best practices for IT operations.
What Is ITIL
ITIL formerly stood for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It helps organizations demonstrate compliance and provides checklists, processes, and procedures that can be applied to organizations. It is owned by AXELOS, which issues licenses to use the ITIL intellectual property, manages updates, and accredits third-party licensed exam providers.
ITIL 4 was released in February 2019 in five core volumes, each covering a stage of IT service management. It was the first update to the standards since 2007 and the first new volume of standards published since 2011.
ITIL 4 includes several components and practices. The two components are the four dimensions model and the service value system.
The four dimensions model identifies the following elements of service management:
- Organizations and people
- Information and technology
- Partners and suppliers
- Value streams and processes
The service value system illustrates how the components work together to generate value. The elements are:
- Guiding principles
- Service value chain
- Continual improvement
In ITIL 4, there are 34 management practices intended as resources that provide guidance, define key concepts and terms, and identify success factors. They are grouped into three categories:
- General Management: Strategy management, portfolio management, workforce and talent management, architecture management, service financial management, measurement and reporting, continual improvement, information security management, risk management, knowledge management, organizational change management, relationship management, project management, and supplier management
- Service Management: Business analysis, service catalog management, service level management, service design, availability management, capacity and performance management, monitoring and event management, service continuity management, service desk, incident management, service request management, problem management, release management, service validation and testing, change enablement, service configuration management, and IT asset management
- Technical Management: Deployment management, infrastructure, and platform management, and software development and management
The scale and breadth of ITIL 4 help guide IT practices that drive better business outcomes.
As noted in a recent AXELOS blog post, “This is where ITIL has helped and still helps: understanding business objectives, business outcomes, and linking business processes to IT services as a value chain. It provides an international language understood from software developers to the board level of companies as a way of orchestrating business, technology, and digital services.”
What’s New in ITIL 4?
ITIL 3 was structured around detailed descriptions of 26 processes within a service lifecycle. ITIL 4 drops the lifecycle approach in favor of practices; however, some of the core components of the old system are still present. Here are some of the core differences:
- Information Security. ITIL 3 did not address identity management as a core component of information security. In ITIL 4, identity and access management are presented as core cybersecurity principles, requiring practices and solutions that address both areas. ITIL 4 encourages organizations to ensure that only authorized users access sensitive information.
- Organizational Change Management. ITIL 4 recognizes the human element when it comes to IT change management. The new framework emphasizes the management capabilities and techniques necessary to effectively communicate and lead change within an organization, recognizing the stresses such changes can have on employees.
- Process Flexibility. ITIL 4 recognizes there are different operating models and approaches to work. Instead of defined service processes, ITIL 4 allows service providers to create customized processes that work within their organizations.
- Measurement and Reporting. ITIL 4 places a greater emphasis on measures and reporting. Among the new emphasis are suggestions for tracking metrics, such as uptime and time taken to close help-desk tickets. It represents new industry standards that look to data for IT service management improvements.
- Value Creation. Earlier ITIL versions described IT teams “delivering value” to clients. The new version changes the language to “value co-creation.” The change recognizes that IT teams work in close partnership with clients to develop processes and manage changes that result in good outcomes.
- Fewer Guiding Principles. Guidance for IT practitioners has been reduced from nine principles to seven:
- 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
At DeVeera, we help Bay Area businesses develop sound IT processes and deliver solutions that improve business outcomes. To learn more about how DeVeera can help your business, contact us today.