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What is ITIL?

By: Lisa Koning - Updated: 2 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
What Is Itil?

As a business manager it is likely that you will need to work with your Information Technology (IT) function for the provision of your various IT needs.

Your IT function will typically provide and maintain your technology (such as the computers and networks) and will usually provide and maintain the various applications that you need to run your business.

Unfortunately the IT function is often seen as a ‘world of it’s own’ that is difficult to understand with a language of it’s own, and therefore difficult to communicate with.

However a basic understanding of some key concepts will help a business manager better communicate with his or her IT partner. ITIL is one such term. This article will give you a basic understanding of what ITIL is.

ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It consists of a set of concepts and policies for IT service management.

IT Service Management covers various IT services including the management of IT infrastructure, IT development practices and IT operations policies, procedures and processes.

IT Service Management is driven by both technology and the huge range of organisational environments in which it operation, and as such is in a constant state of evolution.

ITIL is currently at Version 3 and is based on the best practice of ITIL users from both public and private sectors, across the globe. ITIL is used by hundreds of organisations worldwide and has a strong user following with an international user group.ITIL is based on best practice: it is periodically updated with expert advice and input from ITIL users, with an aim to remain both current and practical.


Organisations are becoming increasingly dependent on IT, to meet their strategy goals and to deliver their business needs. This has resulted in an increased demand for high quality IT services.

The benefits of ITIL include:

  • reduce costs for IT service management
  • improved IT services through the application of best practice
  • improved customer satisfaction due to a more professional approach to service delivery
  • application of industry standards
  • accessibility to guidance
  • improved productivity
  • better use of skills and experience

About ITIL

ITIL was developed by the OGC (Office of Government Commerce) and is intended as a framework for organisations to develop their IT Services.

The ITIL library consists of a number of books, each covering an IT management topic. Applications Management: ITIL: IT Infrastructure Library Series by the OGC, is the definitive guide and is complete with workbooks and a detailed analysis of each aspect.

The Core titles include:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement
  • Service Support
  • Service Delivery
  • Service Manage
  • Application Management
  • Planning to Implement Service Management
  • ICT Infrastructure Management
  • Business Perspective

ITIL qualifications

ITIL has a comprehensive professional qualification scheme, where candidates accumulate credits, which go towards the award of ITIL Expert in IT Service Management. There are four levels within the scheme: Foundation Level, Intermediate Level (Lifecycle Stream and Capability Stream), ITIL Expert and ITIL Master.

A range of courses are available online varying in cost. The OGC website lists ATOs (Accredited Training Organisations) that are accredited to provide ITIL training.

Finding out more about ITIL

The OGC have a website containing comprehensive information on ITIL www.itil.co.uk

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