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What is ITIL®? – One Stop Solution to IT Infrastructure Library

Last updated on Dec 21,2022 2.4K Views

Swatee Chand
Sr Research Analyst at Edureka. A techno freak who likes to explore... Sr Research Analyst at Edureka. A techno freak who likes to explore different technologies. Likes to follow the technology trends in market and write...
What is ITIL®? – One Stop Solution to IT Infrastructure Library

Though profit and loss hold an integral value in any business model, businesses all over the world, however, strive to provide a better service and value to its customers. But this is possible only if your business has a proper and organized IT infrastructure. ITIL® is one of the best and leading IT Service Management framework which is recognized globally. Through the medium of this article, I will give you complete insights into what is ITIL®.

Below are the topics I will be covering in this article:

So, let’s get started.

What is ITIL®?

ITIL - What is ITIL - EdurekaITIL® stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It is a set of guidelines that helps an IT practitioner in delivering the best services. These guidelines are nothing but the best practices which are observed, gathered and put together over time to deliver anything but the best services. ITIL provides direction to an organization and its people in utilizing IT as a tool for changing, transforming, and developing the business. It mainly aims to enhance the overall performance of the business and deliver predicted service levels. It also helps the IT practitioners in delivering impactful and tech-powered services to the customers across the globe.

The systematic and structured approach of ITIL towards the IT service management helps an organization in managing risk, establishing cost-effective practices, strengthening customer relations. All these ultimately result in building a stable IT environment. In other words, ITIL is being adopted by the companies worldwide as it helps them in recognizing their benefits through structured and detailed processes. The organizations implementing this methodology are powered by the right technologies which are relevant for them, thus enhancing resource optimization.

I hope this gives you a clear understanding of what is ITIL® all about. Let’s now move and see what are the various advantages of using ITIL. Alternatively, you can check out the PRINCE2 Course by Edureka and get certified!

Advantages of ITIL®

Below I have listed down a few of the advantages of implementing ITIL®:

  1. With a structured approach, ITIL provides a stronger alignment of IT with business
  2. It helps in improving service delivery and hence provides better customer satisfaction
  3. ITIL optimizes the resource utilization which results in lower costs and expenses
  4. It provides wider visibility of the IT costs and various assets
  5. ITIL also helps in identifying business risk and service disruption with better management of services
  6. It enables a highly stable service environment that is completely feasible with constant business changes

Now that you are aware of how ITIL helps businesses, let’s now see how the idea of ITIL came into existence.

ITIL® Evolution

ITIL Evolution - What is ITIL® - EdurekaInitiation

The concept of ITIL® was first released in 1989 formerly known as GITIM (Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management). It was released with the aim of improving support and delivery for the organizations. By the early 1990s, a wide number of government agencies and private sector companies began to implement it worldwide. ITIL was soon extended to a 30-volume catalog which contained the best IT practices for catering client and business needs.


In 2000, ITIL went through its first major change and was named as ITIL® v2. This version mainly focussed to make ITIL an easily accessible framework and arranged the previously 30 – volume framework into 9 modules. With this change, ITIL gradually became the standard de-facto for IT best practices and big brands worldwide like Microsoft started adopting ITIL® making it the most widely used IT service management tool.

ITIL® v3 a.k.a. ITIL® Refresh Project

In 2007, ITIL went through one more major revision. This version of ITIL® emphasized more on IT business integration and built around the concept of service lifestyle structure. In this version, all 26 ITIL processes and functions were condensed into 5 volumes and on release gained the name ITIL Refresh Project. This version of ITIL adopted a lifecycle approach to service management.

Revision of ITIL® v3

In 2011, AXELOS released a revised version of ITIL® which resolved the major errors and inconsistencies that were faced in ITIL v3. In this version, the ITIL service catalog was divided into 5 volumes: ITIL Service Strategy, ITIL Service Design, ITIL Service Transition, ITIL Service Operation and ITIL Continual Service Improvement. Later in 2013, ownership of ITIL was handed over to AXELOS Ltd.

ITIL® v4

The latest version of  ITIL® that is ITIL v4 was released early in 2019. ITIL v4 provides better practical guidance to use ITIL, especially in collaborative environments. With this, organizations can now easily align ITIL with other frameworks such as DevOps, Agile, and Lean, etc. This version of ITIL holds a holistic philosophy towards service management which makes it broader and more inclusive for today’s IT environment.

Let’s now find out in detail, what all changed between ITIL v3 and ITIL v4.

ITIL v3 vs ITIL v4

There are 9 major changes that have been introduced in ITIL v4. Below I have listed each of them.

  1. ITIL v3 Processes are now updated to ITIL 4 Practices.
  2. The ITIL v3 service lifecycle is replaced with the ITIL Service Value System (SVS)  containing the service value chain within.
  3. ITIL v4 focusses more on co-creation of value
  4. The 9 guiding principles of ITIL v3 Practitioner are now reduced to 7 guiding principles in ITIL v4.
  5. 26 processes of ITIL v3 are now replaced by 34 practices in ITIL v4.
  6. The 4 P’s of ITIL v3 which are people, process, product, and partners, are changed to 4 dimensions of ITIL v4 which are Organizations and People, Information and Technology, Partners and Suppliers, and Value streams and Processes.
  7. CSI (Continual Service Improvement) in ITIL v3 is now known as Continual Improvement which reflects more than the improvement of just the services.
  8. ITIL v4 gives importance to Governance.
  9. ITIL v4 supports the adoption and exploitation of automation and AI for the aid of ITSM practitioners.

This brings us to the end of this article on what is ITIL®.

If you found this ‘What is ITIL®‘ article relevant, check out the ITIL Foundation Certification by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 250,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe. This course is designed to give you the right expertise and skills that provide a modular approach to the ITIL® framework and consists of various aspects of ITIL® best practices like ITIL® service operation and design.

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What is ITIL®? – One Stop Solution to IT Infrastructure Library