ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a framework for IT service management that provides a set of best practices and guidelines for managing and delivering IT services effectively and efficiently. ITIL was developed by the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s and has since become a widely used and globally recognised approach to IT service management.
The ITIL framework is comprised of five core stages or lifecycle phases.
The ITIL Service Strategy stage is the first stage of the ITIL service lifecycle and focuses on developing and aligning IT services with the business strategy and objectives. It involves analysing customer needs and market trends, defining service portfolios, and creating a service strategy that meets the needs of the business. The main aim of this stage is to ensure that the IT organisation understands the business requirements and can develop a service strategy that supports the business goals and objectives.
The Service Strategy stage includes the following key processes:
Service Portfolio Management
This process involves defining and managing the service portfolio, including all the IT organisation’s services or plans. It analyses customer needs, market trends, and the organisation’s strategic objectives to determine which services to offer and how to invest in service development and improvement.
This process focuses on managing the costs and value of IT services, including budgeting, accounting, and cost optimisation. It involves developing financial models to support service investments and evaluating the financial impact of service changes.
This process focuses on understanding and managing customer demand for IT services. It involves analysing customer needs, forecasting demand, and developing strategies to meet customer needs while optimising resource utilisation.
Business Relationship Management
This process focuses on developing and maintaining cheerful customer and stakeholder relationships. It involves identifying customer needs, managing customer expectations, and developing strategies to improve customer satisfaction.
The Service Strategy stage helps IT organisations align their services with business goals and objectives, identify service improvement and development opportunities, and optimise resource utilisation and financial management.
The ITIL Service Design stage is the second stage of the ITIL service lifecycle. It focuses on designing and developing IT services that meet the business requirements defined in the Service Strategy stage. It involves designing new services, updating existing ones, and creating service-level agreements (SLAs) defining service expectations and performance metrics. The main objective of this stage is to ensure that the IT organisation can design and develop efficient, effective services that meet customer needs.
The Service Design stage includes the following key processes:
Service Catalogue Management
This process involves creating and maintaining a service catalogue that describes all the IT organisation’s services or plans to provide. It consists in defining service descriptions, service levels, and service dependencies.
Service Level Management
This process focuses on defining, negotiating, and managing service level agreements (SLAs) between the IT organisation and its customers. It involves defining service performance metrics, monitoring service performance, and reporting service performance to customers.
This process focuses on ensuring that IT resources can meet the demands of the business. It involves analysing and forecasting resource usage, developing capacity plans, and implementing capacity management processes.
This process ensures that IT services are available to customers when needed. It involves analysing and improving service availability, developing plans, and implementing availability management processes.
IT Service Continuity Management
This process ensures that IT services can be recovered during a disaster or disruption. It involves analysing and mitigating risks to service continuity, developing recovery plans, and implementing IT service continuity management processes.
Information Security Management
This process ensures that IT services are secure and protected from unauthorised access. It involves developing security policies, implementing security controls, and monitoring and reporting security incidents.
The Service Design stage helps IT organisations design and develop services that meet the business’s and its customers’ needs. It ensures that these services are reliable, secure, and available when needed.
The ITIL Service Transition stage is the third stage of the ITIL service lifecycle and focuses on implementing and transitioning new or changed services into the production environment. It involves testing and validating services, training users and support staff, and managing the transition from development to production environments. The main objective of this stage is to ensure that new or changed services are delivered to customers with minimal disruption and the desired level of quality.
The Service Transition stage includes the following key processes:
This process focuses on managing changes to IT services and related components. It involves assessing and prioritising change requests, evaluating the impact of changes, and coordinating the implementation of changes.
Service Asset and Configuration Management
This process focuses on maintaining an accurate and up-to-date inventory of all IT assets and their relationships with each other, and the services they support. It involves identifying and controlling changes to assets and configurations and providing accurate information to support other ITIL processes.
Release and Deployment Management
This process focuses on planning, coordinating, and deploying changes to IT services and related components. It involves developing release plans, testing and validating releases, and coordinating the deployment of discharges to the production environment.
This process focuses on capturing, storing, and sharing knowledge and information related to IT services and components. It involves creating and maintaining knowledge repositories, analysing and improving knowledge management processes, and promoting knowledge sharing across the IT organisation.
The Service Transition stage helps IT organisations ensure that new or changed services are implemented smoothly and minimally disrupt the production environment. By managing changes and releases carefully and maintaining accurate and up-to-date information about IT assets and configurations, the IT organisation can improve service quality and minimise the risk of service disruptions or failures.
The ITIL Service Operation stage is the fourth stage of the ITIL service lifecycle and focuses on managing IT services daily. It involves monitoring and resolving incidents and service requests, managing service-level performance, and continuously improving the service quality. The main objective of this stage is to ensure that IT services are delivered to customers efficiently, effectively, and with the desired level of quality.
The Service Operation stage includes the following key processes:
This process focuses on restoring normal service operations quickly after an incident or service disruption. It involves logging, categorising, prioritising, and resolving incidents, identifying the root cause of incidents and implementing preventative measures.
This process focuses on identifying and resolving underlying problems that may be causing multiple incidents. It involves analysing incident data, identifying trends and patterns, and coordinating efforts to identify and resolve underlying issues.
This process focuses on fulfilling requests for IT services and related components. It involves logging, categorising, prioritising, and fulfilling service requests and monitoring and reporting on request fulfilment performance.
This process focuses on detecting and responding to IT events impacting service quality or availability. It involves monitoring and detecting events, categorising and prioritising them, and coordinating the response to them.
This process focuses on controlling access to IT services and related components. It involves managing user accounts, implementing access controls, and monitoring and reporting on access activity.
The Service Operation stage helps IT organisations deliver IT services to customers efficiently, effectively, and with the desired level of quality. By carefully managing incidents, problems, and requests and monitoring events and access activity, the IT organisation can improve service quality and minimise the risk of service disruptions or failures.
Continual Service Improvement
The ITIL Continual Service Improvement stage is the fifth and final stage of the ITIL service lifecycle and focuses on improving the quality and performance of IT services over time. It involves analysing service performance, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes to enhance the quality of service and efficiency. The main objective of this stage is to ensure that IT services are continually improved to meet changing business requirements and customer needs.
The Continual Service Improvement stage includes the following key processes:
This process focuses on reviewing and analysing service performance to identify areas for improvement. It involves evaluating service level agreements (SLAs), analysing service data and metrics, and identifying trends and patterns in service performance.
This process focuses on evaluating ITIL processes to identify areas for improvement. It involves analysing process performance, identifying inefficiencies or bottlenecks, and recommending improvements.
This process defines and collects service data and metrics to measure service performance. It involves defining service metrics, collecting and analysing service data, and using metrics to identify areas for improvement.
This process focuses on reporting on service performance to stakeholders. It involves creating and distributing service reports, analysing service performance data, and recommending service improvements.