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  • ITIL

    ITIL, formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management ITSM that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.

    ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are not organization-specific nor technology-specific, but can be applied by an organization toward strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure. It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement. There is no formal independent third party compliance assessment available for ITIL compliance in an organization. Certification in ITIL is only available to individuals. Since 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS, a joint venture between Capita and the UK Cabinet Office. AXELOS licenses organizations to use the ITIL intellectual property, accredits licensed examination institutes, and manages updates to the framework. Organizations that wish to implement ITIL internally do not require this license.

    The ITIL 4 Foundation Book was released February 18, 2019. In its former version known as ITIL 2011, ITIL is published as a series of five core volumes, each of which covers a different ITSM lifecycle stage. Although ITIL underpins ISO/IEC 20000 previously BS 15000, the International Service Management Standard for IT service management, there are some differences between the ISO 20000 standard, ICT Standard by IFGICT and the ITIL framework.


    Responding to growing dependence on IT, the UK Government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency CCTA in the 1980s developed a set of recommendations. It recognized that, without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts had started independently creating their own IT management practices.

    The IT Infrastructure Library originated as a collection of books, each covering a specific practice within IT service management. ITIL was built around a process model-based view of controlling and managing operations often credited to W. Edwards Deming and his plan-do-check-act PDCA cycle.

    After the initial publication in 1989–96, the number of books quickly grew within ITIL Version 1 to more than 30 volumes.

    In 2000/2001, to make ITIL more accessible and affordable, ITIL Version 2 consolidated the publications into nine logical "sets" that grouped related process-guidelines to match different aspects of IT management, applications and services. The Service Management sets Service Support and Service Delivery were by far the most widely used, circulated, and understood of the ITIL Version 2 publications.[]

    The ITIL 4 Edition starts with the ITIL Foundation book, which was released on February 18, 2019.

    ITIL 4 Edition

    The ITIL Foundation book of the ITIL 4 Edition introduces some new concepts and evolves existing knowledge. There are two key components of the ITIL 4 framework

    ITIL 4 Edition defines as first key component the service value system SVS. ITIL named five core components of the ITIL SVS:

    The second key component in ITIL 4 Edition is the four dimension model. The four dimensions reflect the former 4 P’s of ITIL – people, products, partners, processes. Each component of the SVS should consider these four dimensions, which are:

    Processes transform with a set of activities input and output. The processes underpin the value streams. There are political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors, which influence a service provider.

    The well known ITIL processes are now named as 34 practices. They’re part of the ITIL SVS. Each practice is in relation with the six activities of the ITIL service value chain: plan, improve, engage, design and transition, obtain/ build as well as deliver and support.

    The 14 practices without a service management specific focus are named general management practices.

    ITIL 4 Edition names 17 service management specific practices:

    The three technical management practices are:

    ITIL 2007 edition

    ITIL 2007 edition previously known as ITIL Version 3 is an extension of ITIL Version 2 and fully replaced it following the completion of the withdrawal period on 30 June 2011. ITIL 2007 provides a more holistic perspective on the full life cycle of services, covering the entire IT organization and all supporting components needed to deliver services to the customer, whereas ITIL Version 2 focused on specific activities directly related to service delivery and support. Most of the ITIL Version 2 activities remained untouched in 2007, but some significant changes in terminology were introduced in order to facilitate the expansion.

    A summary of changes has been published by the UK Government. In line with the 2007 edition, the 2011 edition consists of five core publications – Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement. ITIL 2011 is an update to the ITIL framework that addresses significant additional guidance with the definition of formal processes which were previously implied but not identified, as well as correction of errors and inconsistencies.

    Twenty-six processes are listed in ITIL 2011 edition and described below, along with which core publication provides the main content for each process.

    ITIL 2007 has five volumes, published in May 2007, and updated in July 2011 as ITIL 2011 for consistency:

    Due to the similarity between ITIL Version 3 of the year 2007 and ITIL of the year 2011, no bridge examinations for ITIL Version 3 certification holders were created or made available for ITIL 2011 certification.

    The centre and origin point of the ITIL Service Lifecycle, the ITIL Service Strategy SS volume, provides guidance on clarification and prioritization of service-provider investments in services. More generally, Service Strategy focuses on helping IT organizations improve and develop over the long term. In both cases, Service Strategy relies largely upon a market-driven approach. The Service Strategy lifecycle stage is often considered as the core of the service lifecycle. In the Service Strategy stage, the strategic approach for the whole lifecycle is identified to provide values to the customers through IT service management. Key topics covered include service value definition, business-case development, service assets, market analysis, and service provider types. List of covered processes:

    For candidates in the ITIL Intermediate Capability stream, the Service Offerings and Agreements SOA Qualification course and exam are most closely aligned to the Service Strategy SS Qualification course and exam in the Lifecycle stream.

    The objective of Strategy Management for IT Services is to assess the service provider’s offerings, capabilities, competitors as well as current and potential market spaces in order to develop a strategy to serve customers. Once the strategy has been defined, this ITIL process is also responsible for ensuring the implementation of the strategy.

    The customer needs services to achieve business outcomes. The service portfolio management process ensures that services enable the accomplishment of strategic goals and objectives as well as tracks the cost and the value of each investment in a service throughout its lifecycle to ensure that it produces its desired returns. The purpose of Service Portfolio Management is ensuring the service offerings are defined and meet the requirements of the customers.

    The service portfolio contains information about the performance of investments in services the service provider manages on behalf of the business. The service portfolio comprises: the pipeline section, which contains the services that are yet to be offered; the service catalogue section, which contains the details of operational services; and the retired section, which contains details of the services that are no longer offered.

    IT Financial Management comprises the discipline of ensuring the IT infrastructure is obtained at the most effective price which does not necessarily mean cheapest and calculating the cost of providing IT services so an organization can understand the costs of its IT services. These costs may then be recovered from the customer of the service. This is the second component of the service delivery process.

    The Service Design SD volume provides good-practice guidance on the design of IT services, processes, and other aspects of the service management effort. Significantly, design within ITIL is understood to encompass all elements relevant to technology service delivery, rather than focusing solely on design of the technology itself. As such, service design addresses how a planned service solution interacts with the larger business and technical environments, service management systems required to support the service, processes which interact with the service, technology, and architecture required to support the service, and the supply chain required to support the planned service. Within ITIL, design work for an IT service is aggregated into a single Service Design Package SDP. Service design packages, along with other information about services, are managed within the service catalogues.

    List of covered processes:

    A model used to help define roles and responsibilities in service design is a RACI matrix Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.

    Service catalogue management maintains and produces the service catalogue and ensures that it contains accurate details, dependencies and interfaces of all services made available to customers. Service catalogue information includes:

    Service-level management provides for continual identification, monitoring and review of the levels of IT services specified in the service-level agreements SLAs. Service-level management ensures that Operational Level Agreements OLAs are in place with internal IT support-providers . in addition, external providers/suppliers agreements are referred to as underpinning contracts UCs. The process involves assessing the impact of change on service quality and SLAs. The service-level management process is in close relation with the operational processes to control their activities. The central role of service-level management makes it the natural place for metrics to be established and monitored against a benchmark.

    Service-level management is the primary interface with the customer as opposed to the user serviced by the service desk. Service-level management is responsible for:

    The service-level manager relies on the other areas of the service delivery process to provide the necessary support which ensures the agreed services are provided in a cost-effective, secure and efficient manner.

    Availability management allows organizations to sustain IT service-availability in order to support the business at a justifiable cost. High-level activities are realizing availability requirements, compiling availability plans, monitoring availability, and monitoring maintenance obligations.

    Availability management addresses the ability of an IT component to perform at an agreed level over a period of time.

    Capacity management supports the optimum and cost-effective provision of IT services by helping organizations match their IT resources to business demands. The high-level activities include:

    Capacity management is focused on strategic capacity, including capacity of personnel e.g., human resources, staffing and training, system capacity, and component or tactical capacity.

    IT service continuity management ITSCM covers the processes by which plans are put in place and managed to ensure that IT services can recover and continue even after a serious incident occurs. It is not just about reactive measures, but also about proactive measures – reducing the risk of a disaster in the first instance.

    ITSM is regarded by the application owners as the recovery of the IT infrastructure used to deliver IT services, but as of 2009[update] many businesses practice the much further-reaching process of business continuity planning BCP, to ensure that the whole end-to-end business process can continue should a serious incident occur at primary support level.

    ITSCM involves the following basic steps:

    The ITIL-process Security Management describes the structured fitting of information security in the management organization. It is based on the code of practice for information security management system ISMS now known as ISO/IEC 27001.

    A basic goal of security management is to ensure adequate information security. The primary goal of information security, in turn, is to protect information assets against risks, and thus to maintain their value to the organization. This is commonly expressed in terms of ensuring their confidentiality, integrity and availability, along with related properties or goals such as authenticity, accountability, non-repudiation and reliability.

    Mounting pressure for many organizations to structure their information security management systems in accordance with ISO/IEC 27001 requires revision of the ITIL Version 2 security management volume, which culminated in the release of the 2007 edition.

    The purpose of supplier management is to obtain value for money from suppliers and contracts. It ensures that underpinning contracts and agreements align with business needs, Service Level Agreements and Service Level Requirements. Supplier Management oversees process of identification of business needs, evaluation of suppliers, establishing contracts, their categorization, management and termination.

    Service transition ST, as described by the ITIL service transition volume, relates to the delivery of services required by a business into live/operational use, and often encompasses the "project" side of IT rather than business as usual BAU. This area also covers topics such as managing changes to the BAU environment.

    List of ITIL processes in service transition:

    Change management aims to ensure that standardised methods and procedures are used for efficient handling of all changes. A change is an event that results in a new status of one or more configuration items CIs, and which is approved by management, is cost-effective, enhances business process changes fixes – all with a minimum risk to IT infrastructure.

    The main aims of change management include:

    Common change management terminology includes:

    There are three types of changes: Standard Change, Normal Change, Urgent/Emergency Change

    Service asset and configuration management is primarily focused on maintaining information i.e., configurations about Configuration Items i.e., assets required to deliver an IT service, including their relationships. Configuration management is the management and traceability of every aspect of a configuration from beginning to end and it includes the following key process areas under its umbrella:

    Release and deployment management is used by the software migration team for platform-independent and automated distribution of software and hardware, including license controls across the entire IT infrastructure. Proper software and hardware control ensures the availability of licensed, tested, and version-certified software and hardware, which functions as intended when introduced into existing infrastructure. Quality control during the development and implementation of new hardware and software is also the responsibility of Release Management. This guarantees that all software meets the demands of the business processes. Release management utilizes Definitive Media Library for storage of software.

    The goals of release management include:

    Release management focuses on the protection of the live environment and its services through the use of formal procedures and checks.

    A Release consists of the new or changed software and/or hardware required to implement approved changes. Release categories include:

    Releases can be divided based on the release unit into:

    Service Operation SO aims to provide best practice for achieving the delivery of agreed levels of services both to end-users and the customers where "customers" refer to those individuals who pay for the service and negotiate the SLAs. Service operation, as described in the ITIL Service Operation volume, is the part of the lifecycle where the services and value is actually directly delivered. Also the monitoring of problems and balance between service reliability and cost etc. are considered. The functions include technical management, application management, operations management and service desk, as well as responsibilities for staff engaging in Service Operation.

    The service desk is one of four ITIL functions and is primarily associated with the Service Operation lifecycle stage. Tasks include handling incidents and requests, and providing an interface for other ITSM processes. Features include:

    Primary purposes of a service desk include:

    The service desk function can have various names, such as

    The three types of structure for consideration:

    ITIL application management encompasses a set of best practices proposed to improve the overall quality of IT software development and support through the life-cycle of software development projects, with particular attention to gathering and defining requirements that meet business objectives.

    Software asset management SAM is a primary topic of ITIL Version 2 and is closely associated with the ITIL Application Management function. SAM is the practice of integrating people, processes, and technology to allow software licenses and usage to be systematically tracked, evaluated, and managed. The goal of SAM is to reduce IT expenditures, human resource overhead and risks inherent in owning and managing software assets.

    SAM practices include:

    SAM represents the software component of IT asset management. This includes hardware asset management because effective hardware inventory controls are critical to efforts to control software. This means overseeing software and hardware that constitute an organization's computers and network.

    IT operations primarily work from documented processes and procedures and should be concerned with a number of, specific sub-processes, such as output management, job scheduling, backup and restore, network monitoring/management, system monitoring/management, database monitoring/management, storage monitoring/management, etc.

    An event may indicate that something is not functioning correctly, leading to an incident being logged. Events may also indicate normal activity, or a need for routine intervention such as changing a tape. Event management depends on monitoring, but it is different. Event management generates and detects notifications, while monitoring checks the status of components even when no events are occurring. Events may be detected by a CI sending a message, or by a management tool polling the CI. After an event has been detected it may lead to an Incident, Problem or Change, or it may simply be logged in case the information is needed. Response to an event may be automated or may require manual intervention. If actions are needed then a trigger, such as an SMS message or an incident being automatically logged, can alert support staff.

    Incident management aims to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible and minimize the adverse effect on business operations, thus ensuring that the best possible levels of service quality and availability are maintained. 'Normal service operation' is defined here as service operation within service-level agreement SLA limits.

    An incident is defined as:

    The objective of incident management is to restore normal operations as quickly as possible with the least possible impact on either the business or the user, at a cost-effective price. The transformation between event-to-incident is the critical junction where Application Performance Management APM and ITIL come together to provide tangible value back to the business.

    Request fulfilment or request management focuses on fulfilling Service Requests, which are often minor standard changes e.g., requests to change a password or requests for information.

    The term "standard change" means pre-approved, repeatable, pre-defined, low risk changes. If the change does not meet these criteria then it is not a standard change and should be defined as a request for change.

    Problem management aims to resolve the root causes of incidents and thus to minimize the adverse impact of incidents caused by errors within the IT infrastructure, and to prevent recurrence of incidents related to these errors. A "problem" in this context is the unknown underlying cause of one or more incidents, and a 'known error' is a problem that is successfully diagnosed and for which either a work-around or a permanent resolution has been identified. The CCTA Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency defines problems and known errors as follows:

    Problem management differs from incident management. Problem management aims primarily to find and resolve the root cause of a problem and thus prevent further incidents; the purpose of incident management is to return the service to normal level as soon as possible, with smallest possible business impact.

    The problem-management process reduces the number and severity of incidents and problems on the business, and documents the details of the problem and resolution to be available for the first-line and second-line of the help desk. The proactive process identifies and resolves problems before incidents occur. Such processes include:

    The error control process iteratively diagnoses known errors until they are eliminated by the successful implementation of a change under the control of the Change Management process.

    The problem control process aims to handle problems in an efficient way. Problem control identifies the root cause of incidents and reports it to the service desk. Other activities are:

    Root-cause analysis RCA is a formal problem-solving and reporting process and a critical component of Problem Management. Once a problem or potential problem has been identified, the root cause analysis process begins. The purpose of a root cause analysis is two-fold:

    Classic root-cause analysis methods include the 5-whys and Ishikawa diagram or fishbone diagram. Others have since developed more advanced root cause analysis methodologies, some with corresponding software applications.

    Benefits from employing a standard, structured root-cause analysis methodology include:

    Identity management IdM less commonly called Access and Identity Management AIM as a process focuses on granting authorized users the right to use a service, while preventing access to non-authorized users. Certain identity management processes execute policies defined in Security Management.

    Continual service improvement, defined in the ITIL continual service improvement volume, aims to align and realign IT services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to the IT services that support the business processes. It incorporates many of the same concepts articulated in the Deming Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act. The perspective of CSI on improvement is the business perspective of service quality, even though CSI aims to improve process effectiveness, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT processes through the whole lifecycle. To manage improvement, CSI should clearly define what should be controlled and measured.

    CSI needs upfront planning, training and awareness, ongoing scheduling, roles created, ownership assigned, and activities identified to be successful. CSI must be planned and scheduled as process with defined activities, inputs, outputs, roles and reporting. Continual Service Improvement and Application Performance Management APM are two sides of the same coin. They both focus on improvement with APM tying together service design, service transition, and service operation which in turn helps raise the bar of operational excellence for IT.

    Improvement initiatives typically follow a seven-step process:

    ITIL Version 2

    The eight ITIL Version 2 books and their disciplines are:

    The IT service management sets

    Other operational guidance

    To assist with the implementation of ITIL practices a further book was published Apr 9, 2002 providing guidance on implementation mainly of Service Management:

    And this has more recently Jan 26, 2006 been supplemented with guidelines for smaller IT units, not included in the original eight publications:

    The Service Support ITIL discipline focuses on the User of the ICT services and is primarily concerned with ensuring that they have access to the appropriate services to support the business functions.

    To a business, customers and users are the entry point to the process model. They get involved in service support by:

    The service desk functions are the single contact-point for end-users' incidents. Its first function is always to document "create" an incident. If there is a direct solution, it attempts to resolve the incident at the first level. If the service desk cannot solve the incident then it is passed to a 2nd/3rd level group within the incident management system. Incidents can initiate a chain of processes: incident management, problem management, change management, release management and configuration management. This chain of processes is tracked using the configuration management database CMDB, - ITIL refers to configuration management system CMS, which records each process, and creates output documents for traceability quality management. Note - CMDB/CMS does not have to be a single database. The solution can be Federated.

    The service delivery discipline concentrates on the proactive services the ICT must deliver to provide adequate support to business users. It focuses on the business as the customer of the ICT services compare with: service support. The discipline consisted of the following processes:

    Information and Communication Technology ICT management processes recommend best practice for requirements analysis, planning, design, deployment and ongoing operations management and technical support of an ICT infrastructure.

    The infrastructure management processes describe those processes within ITIL that directly relate to the ICT equipment and software that is involved in providing ICT services to customers.

    These disciplines are less well understood than those of service management and therefore often some of their content is believed to be covered 'by implication' in service management disciplines.

    ICT design and planning provides a framework and approach for the strategic and technical design and planning of ICT infrastructures. It includes the necessary combination of business and overall IS strategy, with technical design and architecture. ICT design and planning drives both the procurement of new ICT solutions through the production of statements of requirement "SOR" and invitations to tender "ITT" and is responsible for the initiation and management of ICT Programmes for strategic business change. Key outputs from design and planning are:

    ICT deployment provides a framework for the successful management of design, build, test and roll-out deploy projects within an overall ICT programme. It includes many project management disciplines in common with PRINCE2, but has a broader focus to include the necessary integration of release management and both functional and non functional testing.

    ICT operations management provides the day-to-day technical supervision of the ICT infrastructure. Often confused with the role of incident management from service support, operations has a more technical bias and is concerned not solely with incidents reported by users, but with events generated by or recorded by the infrastructure. ICT operations may often work closely alongside incident management and the service desk, which are not-necessarily technical, to provide an 'operations bridge'. Operations, however should primarily work from documented processes and procedures and should be concerned with a number of specific sub-processes, such as: output management, job scheduling, backup and restore, network monitoring/management, system monitoring/management, database monitoring/management storage monitoring/management. Operations are responsible for the following:

    ICT technical support is the specialist technical function for infrastructure within ICT. Primarily as a support to other processes, both in infrastructure management and service management, technical support provides a number of specialist functions: research and evaluation, secondary support level and tertiary support level, higher-level administrators being responsible for support at primary level.

    The Known Error Database KEDB database contains all known error records. This database is created by problem management and used by incident management and problem management, and as part of service knowledge management systems.

    The ITIL discipline – planning to implement service management attempts to provide practitioners with a framework for the alignment of business needs and IT provision requirements. The processes and approaches incorporated within the guidelines suggest the development of a continuous service improvement program CSIP as the basis for implementing other ITIL disciplines as projects within a controlled program of work. Planning to implement service management focuses mainly on the service management processes, but also applies generically to other ITIL disciplines. Components include:

    ITIL Small-scale implementation provides an approach to ITIL framework implementation for smaller IT units or departments. It is primarily an auxiliary work that covers many of the same best practice guidelines as planning to implement service management, service support, and service delivery but provides additional guidance on the combination of roles and responsibilities, and avoiding conflict between ITIL priorities. The typical IT Organizational structure that maps to ITIL framework.

    Related frameworks

    A number of frameworks exist in the field of IT Service Management alongside ITIL.

    The Microsoft Operations Framework MOF is based on ITIL Version 2. While ITIL deliberately aims to be platform-independent, MOF is designed by Microsoft to provide a common management framework for its products. Microsoft has mapped MOF to ITIL as part of their documentation of the framework.

    The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency BECTA used ITIL as the basis for their development of Framework for ICT Technical Support FITS. Their aim was to develop a framework appropriate for British schools, which often have very small IT departments. FITS became independent from BECTA in 2009 and is now maintained and supported by The FITS Foundation. FITS is now used in excess of a thousand schools in the UK, Australia and Norway as the standard for ICT Service Management in the Education sector Video: What people are saying

    The process framework of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard previously BS 15000 is largely equivalent that of the Service Support and Service Delivery parts of ITIL Version 2. While it is not possible for an organization to be certified as being ITIL compliant, certification of an organization is available for ISO/IEC 20000.

    COBIT is an IT governance framework and supporting toolset developed by ISACA. ISACA view ITIL as being complementary to COBIT. They see COBIT as providing a governance and assurance role while ITIL providing guidance for service management.

    The Business Process Framework eTOM published by the TeleManagement Forum offers a framework aimed at telecommunications service providers. In a joined effort, TM Forum and itSMF developed an Application Note to eTOM GB921 that shows how the two frameworks can be mapped to each other. It addresses how eTom process elements and flows can be used to support the processes identified in ITIL.

    IBM Tivoli Unified Process ITUP is aligned with ITIL, but is presented as a complete, integrated process model compatible with IBM's products.

    FitSM is a standard for lightweight service management. Its process framework is quite similar to that of ISO/IEC 20000 and the Service Support and Service Delivery parts of ITIL Version 2, but adopts Service Portfolio Management from later ITIL versions. FitSM contains several parts, including samples and templates for core ITSM documents, that are published under Creative Common licenses.

    DevOps, an emerging framework which focus on continuous integration and delivery of software. It recognizes that the relationship between developer team and operations team is broken and fills in the gap to promote trust between two teams. This solves the gap that ITIL framework creates—teams working in silo where they possess a "not my issues" attitude.


    The new ITIL 4 Foundation which is an update from ITIL v3/2011 was launched on 18 February 2019. ITIL 4 is a new certification scheme that will slowly replace the existing scheme it is based on the transformation to a digital environment. It is designed to offer a clearer career path for professionals from Foundation to higher levels.

    The certification scheme[] differs between ITIL Version 2 and ITIL 2007/2011, and bridge examinations now retired allowed owners of ITIL Version 2 certificates to transfer to the new program.[] ITIL Version 2 offers three certification levels: Foundation, Practitioner and Manager. These were progressively discontinued in favour of the new scheme introduced along with the publication of the 2007 Edition. ITIL certification levels are now: Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master. In addition, the single-process practitioner certifications that were offered by OGC for ITIL Version 2 have now been replaced and the offering expanded by what are known as complementary certifications.

    The ITIL certification scheme now offers a modular approach. Each qualification is assigned a credit value; so that upon successful completion of the module, the candidate is rewarded with both a certification and a number of credits. At the lowest level – Foundation – candidates are awarded a certification and two credits. At the Intermediate level, a total of additional 15 credits have to be earned. These credits may be accumulated in either a "Lifecycle" stream or a "Capability" stream; or combination thereof. Each Lifecycle module and exam is three credits. Each Capability module and corresponding exam is four credits. A candidate wanting to achieve the Expert level will have, among other requirements, to gain the required number of credits 22. That is accomplished with two from Foundations, then at least 15 from Intermediate, and finally five credits from the "Managing Across the Lifecycle" exam. Together, the total of 22 earned credits allows a person to request designation as an ITIL Expert. Advancing from the expert to the master level does not require additional credits, but does require at least five years of IT domain work experience and an extensive usage of ITIL practices.

    The complementary certifications also have point values, ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 credits, which can be applied towards ITIL Expert certification. However, only a maximum of six credits from complementary certifications can be applied towards the Expert certification.

    The ITIL Certification Management Board ICMB manages ITIL certification. The Board includes representatives from interested parties within the community around the world. Members of the Board include though are not limited to representatives from the UK Office of Government Commerce OGC, APM Group APMG, The Stationery Office TSO, ITIL Examination Panel, Examination Institutes EIs and the IT Service Management Forum International itSMF as the recognised user group.

    Since the early 1990s, ] OGC signed over the management of the ITIL trademark and the accreditation of examination providers to APM Group in 2006. Now, after signing a contract with ]

    On July 20, 2006, the OGC signed a contract with the APM Group to become its commercial partner for ITIL accreditation from January 1, 2007. APMG manage the ITIL Version 3 exams. APMG maintains a voluntary register of ITIL certified practitioners at their Successful Candidate Register.

    Since 2014, Axelos is the owner of the ITIL personnel certification scheme.

    ITIL exams are administered by Accredited Training Organizations ATOs which are accredited by Examination Institute EI. The Examination Institutes, which issue the ITIL certificates, in turn need to be accredited by Axelos.

    Following the passing an APMG/EXIN exam in IT service management based on ITIL, some people will wear a metal pin on their shirt or jacket. This badge, provided by the ITSMF with basic gold colour is set in the form of the ITIL-logo. The ITIL pins consist of a small, diamond-like structure. The meaning and the shape of the diamond is meant to depict coherence in the IT industry infrastructure as well. The four corners of the pin symbolise service support, service delivery, infrastructure management and IT management.

    There are no ITIL Version 4 pins given automatically when a candidate passes their ITIL 4 Foundation exam and receives a digital certificate the default, free option. However, if a printed paper certificate is purchased from PeopleCert ITIL's Examination Institute, the traditional four-diamond pastel-green pin will also be shipped. It is the same pastel-green pin as was issued for ITIL V3 and ITIL 2011. Foundation.

    There were five colours of ITIL Version 3 pins - each corresponds to the colour of the associated core publication:

    There are three colours of ITIL Version 2 pins:

    Exam candidates who have successfully passed the examinations for ITIL will receive their appropriate pin from APMG, EXIN or their certification provider regional office or agent.

    Organizations and management systems cannot claim certification as "ITIL-compliant". An organization that has implemented ITIL guidance in IT Service Management ITSM, may be able to achieve compliance with and seek certification under ISO/IEC 20000. However, while relatively closely aligned, ISO/IEC 20000 and ITIL Version 2 do not define identical processes. This gap has become much wider with ITIL versions 2007 and 2011. ITIL now defines twice as many ITSM processes as ISO/IEC 20000 26 compared to 13, but there are also more subtle differences, for example:


    While a number of researchers have investigated the benefits of the ITIL implementation, it has been criticised on several fronts, including:

    Rob England author of the "IT Skeptic" blog has criticised the protected and proprietary nature of ITIL. He urges the publisher, Cabinet Office, to release ITIL under the Open Government Licence OGL.

    CIO Magazine columnist Dean Meyer has also presented some cautionary views of ITIL, including five pitfalls such as "becoming a slave to outdated definitions" and "letting ITIL become religion." As he notes, " doesn't describe the complete range of processes needed to be world class. It's focused on ... managing ongoing services."

    In a 2004 survey designed by Noel Bruton author of "How to Manage the IT Helpdesk" and "Managing the IT Services Process", organizations adopting ITIL were asked to relate their actual experiences in having implemented ITIL. 77% of survey respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that "ITIL does not have all the answers". ITIL proponents accept this, citing ITIL's stated intention to be non-prescriptive, expecting organizations to engage ITIL processes with existing process models. Bruton notes that the claim to non-prescriptiveness must be, at best, one of scale rather than absolute intention, for the very description of a certain set of processes is in itself a form of prescription.

    While ITIL addresses in depth the various aspects of service management, it does not address enterprise architecture in such depth. Many of the shortcomings in the implementation of ITIL do not necessarily come about because of flaws in the design or implementation of the service management aspects of the business, but rather the wider architectural framework in which the business is situated. Because of its primary focus on service management, ITIL has limited utility in managing poorly designed enterprise architectures, or how to feed back into the design of the enterprise architecture.

    Closely related to the architectural criticism, ITIL does not directly address the business applications which run on the IT infrastructure; nor does it facilitate a more collaborative working relationship between development and operations teams. The trend toward a closer working relationship between development and operations is termed "DevOps". This trend is related to increased application release rates and the adoption of agile software development methodologies. Traditional service management processes have struggled to support increased application release rates – due to lack of automation – and/or highly complex enterprise architecture.