ITIL began in the 1980s to address the widespread poor delivery of IT services. In response the UK government requested a framework to enable a more efficient and financially responsible use of IT within the government and private sectors.
ITIL has become extremely successful in guiding organizations to manage their IT infrastructure. By doing so, it enables organizations to become more competitive by helping them deliver business benefits and achieve better returns on investment.
Since the 1990’s, ITIL has undergone 4 major revisions. ITIL v4 is the latest version and was released in 2018.
ITIL v3 version incorporated a lifecycle approach to IT service management which we shall describe below.
ITIL v3 service lifecycle
The answers to these questions can be found within each of the ITIL service lifecycle stages.
All the ITIL service management lifecycle is described in 5 manuals. Each manual covers one stage of the lifecycle. The 5 lifecycle stages are:
Let us look at an example of a taxi company wanting to replace its drivers with driverless vehicles.
ITIL Service Strategy (SS)
The corporate business strategy will have individual strategies for different business units, one of which is an IT strategy. The IT strategy therefore supports and validates the business strategy.
The IT strategy covers different aspects, including IT service strategy. An IT service strategy explains how IT services will enable the organization to achieve its objectives, and how IT services support the business strategy.
The ITIL Service Strategy stage of the ITIL service management lifecycle focuses on the concepts an IT service provider uses to build its IT service strategy.
It describes how the service provider must set clear objectives and performance targets for the IT service strategy to be successful in serving its customers.
ITIL Service Design (SD)
The ITIL Service Design stage provides 2 things:
ITIL Service Transition (ST)
The stage known as ITIL Service Transition utilizes a service knowledge management system (SKMS) to support organizational learning. This helps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all the IT service management lifecycle stages. It enables people to learn lessons, supports informed decision-making, and improve service management.
ITIL Service Operation (SO)
ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI)
After the new service is live in its operating environment, customers can gain even more value by continuous improvement of the service. This occurs by seeking feedback from any stage of the service lifecycle to identify improvement opportunities for other stages of the lifecycle.
The ITIL Continual Service Improvement stage provides guidance on creating and maintaining value for customers. It focuses on improving the quality of service, operational efficiencies and business continuity by ensuring that the service portfolio remains aligned to business strategy.