Optimise your Service Management by Applying ITIL Best Practices

In this article, we demystify the ITIL framework, explore its evolution and essential practices, and reveal how this methodology can transform your IT organization into a well-oiled machine.


What is the ITIL Process?

The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) process is a framework of best practices designed to improve IT service management (ITSM). Initially developed by the UK government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the late 1980s, ITIL has evolved over the years to adapt to technological changes and business needs.

Definition and Objectives

ITIL is designed to align IT services with business needs, improve efficiency, quality, and reliability of IT services, and provide a clear structure for digital transformation. It consists of a set of processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists that are neither organization-specific nor technology-specific, allowing companies to standardize their IT service management processes.

Evolution of Versions


In effect until 2007, ITIL V2 focused primarily on two disciplines: Service Support and Service Delivery. Key processes included incident management, problem management, change management, configuration management, and release management.


Launched in 2007, ITIL V3 introduced a service lifecycle approach divided into five phases: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement. This version emphasized a more holistic view of IT service management, integrating processes such as service level management, capacity management, and IT service continuity management.


Published in 2019, ITIL V4 brought significant improvements to address modern IT service management realities, such as customer experience and digital transformation. ITIL V4 introduces the Service Value System (SVS) and the service value chain, offering a flexible model for planning and improving service delivery. This version includes 34 practices categorized into three groups: general management practices, service management practices, and technical management practices. Understanding the key components of ITIL SVS is crucial to grasp how ITIL V4 elements interact to create value.

Principles and Practices

The guiding principles of ITIL include creating value, transparency, collaboration, simplicity, and focusing on user experience. ITIL practices cover various aspects of IT service management, such as:

  • Incident Management: Quickly responding to incidents to minimize operational impact.
  • Problem Management: Identifying and resolving the root causes of recurring incidents.
  • Change Management: Controlling and documenting changes made to IT services.
  • Configuration Management: Maintaining accurate records of IT assets and their relationships.

Benefits of Adopting ITIL

Adopting ITIL enables organizations to improve customer satisfaction, reduce downtime, optimize costs, and align IT services with strategic business objectives. ITIL also fosters a culture of continual service improvement, helping businesses adapt to changes and innovate in their IT service management practices.

In summary, ITIL is a widely recognized IT service management framework that helps organizations deliver high-quality IT services aligned with business needs, enhancing efficiency and fostering continuous improvement.


What is the Main Objective of ITIL?

The main objective of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is to align IT services with business needs and goals while improving operational efficiency and the quality of services provided. ITIL aims to provide a framework of best practices for IT service management, enabling organizations to standardize their processes, reduce costs, improve service quality, and minimize risks.

Here are some specific objectives of ITIL:

  • Alignment with Business Needs: ITIL helps align IT services with current and future business needs, ensuring that IT services support the organization’s strategic objectives.
  • Improvement of Service Quality: By adopting ITIL best practices, organizations can enhance the quality of services provided, resulting in better user satisfaction and reduced service interruptions.
  • Cost Optimization: ITIL enables better management of IT resources, leading to reduced operational costs and better justification of IT expenditures.
  • Productivity Improvement: Standardizing processes and adopting proven practices help increase the productivity of IT teams and overall operational efficiency.
  • Risk Management: ITIL provides tools and methods to identify, assess, and manage risks associated with IT services, contributing to greater resilience and better service continuity.
  • Continual Improvement: ITIL encourages a culture of continual improvement, allowing organizations to constantly evaluate and enhance their processes and services to meet changing business and user needs.

In summary, ITIL is designed to help organizations deliver high-quality IT services aligned with business needs while optimizing costs and improving efficiency.

What is ITIL Certification?

ITIL certification is a globally recognized qualification that attests to a professional’s knowledge and skills in IT service management (ITSM). It is based on a set of best practices aimed at aligning IT services with business needs, improving service quality, and optimizing operational efficiency.

Objectives of ITIL Certification

The objectives of ITIL certification include:

  • Aligning IT Services with Business Goals: Ensuring that IT services support the organization’s strategic objectives.
  • Improving Service Quality: Providing high-quality, reliable, and efficient IT services.
  • Optimizing Costs: Reducing operational costs by improving IT process efficiency.
  • Managing Risks: Identifying, assessing, and managing risks associated with IT services.
  • Fostering Continual Improvement: Encouraging a culture of continual improvement in IT services.

Levels of ITIL Certification

ITIL certification is structured into several levels, each representing an advanced degree of competence and knowledge:

ITIL Foundation

  • Description: Introduction to basic ITIL concepts and terminology.
  • Objective: Provide a general understanding of the ITIL framework and its fundamental principles.
  • Prerequisites: None.
  • Exam: 40 multiple-choice questions, 60 minutes duration, 65% passing score.

ITIL Intermediate

  • Description: Deepening knowledge with specific modules.
  • Objective: Detailed understanding of ITIL processes and practices in specific areas.
  • Prerequisites: ITIL Foundation certification.
  • Modules: Divided into two streams: Service Lifecycle and Service Capability.

ITIL Managing Professional (MP)

  • Description: Practical and technical knowledge for managing IT services.
  • Objective: Manage IT services, teams, and workflows.
  • Modules: Includes modules such as “Create, Deliver and Support,” “Drive Stakeholder Value,” “High Velocity IT,” and “Direct, Plan and Improve.”

ITIL Strategic Leader (SL)

  • Description: Strategic skills to influence and guide IT strategy.
  • Objective: Prepare IT leaders to navigate the digital era.
  • Modules: “Direct, Plan and Improve” and “Digital and IT Strategy.”

ITIL Master

  • Description: The highest level, demonstrating comprehensive mastery of the ITIL framework.
  • Objective: Apply ITIL principles in real-world situations.
  • Prerequisites: ITIL Expert certification, at least five years of experience in IT service management.
  • Requirements: Submission of a detailed project demonstrating the application of ITIL principles and an interview with an assessment panel.

Benefits of ITIL Certification

  • International Recognition: ITIL certification is globally recognized and validates IT professionals’ skills.
  • Career Opportunities: ITIL-certified professionals are highly sought after and can access better-paid positions and broader career opportunities.
  • Skill Improvement: Certification provides practical and theoretical skills to improve IT service management.
  • Better Risk Management: ITIL-certified professionals are better equipped to identify and manage risks associated with IT services.

In summary, ITIL certification is a valuable asset for IT professionals, enabling them to demonstrate their expertise in IT service management and enhance their careers while contributing to their organization’s IT service efficiency and quality.

itil 4 certification

What is ITIL 4?

ITIL 4 (Information Technology Infrastructure Library version 4) is the latest version of the IT service management (ITSM) framework, released in February 2019. ITIL 4 brings significant improvements over previous versions, emphasizing value creation, flexibility, and integration with modern methodologies such as Agile, DevOps, and Lean.

Key Components of ITIL 4

Service Value System (SVS)

The SVS is a central element of ITIL 4, describing how all components and activities of an organization work together to co-create value. It includes several elements:

  • Guiding Principles: Universal recommendations to guide organizational actions and decisions.
  • Governance: Ensures organizational activities align with strategic objectives.
  • Service Value Chain: A flexible operating model describing key activities needed to transform demand into business value.
  • Continual Improvement: A constant effort to improve services, practices, and overall organizational performance.
  • Practices: 34 management practices grouped into three categories: general management, service management, and technical management.

Four Dimensions Model

ITIL 4 takes a holistic approach to service management, considering four essential dimensions:

  • Organizations and People: Organizational culture, roles, responsibilities, and individual skills.
  • Information and Technology: Tools, systems, and data necessary for service management.
  • Partners and Suppliers: Relationships with external partners and suppliers.
  • Value Streams and Processes: Workflows and processes contributing to value creation.

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

ITIL 4 introduces seven guiding principles to help IT professionals adopt and adapt the framework to their specific organizational needs:

  • Focus on Value: Always aim to create value for the business.
  • Start Where You Are: Use existing capabilities and improve them gradually.
  • Progress Iteratively with Feedback: Improve processes iteratively by collecting feedback.
  • Collaborate and Promote Visibility: Foster transparency and collaboration among teams.
  • Think and Work Holistically: Consider the overall impact of actions on the entire value system.
  • Keep it Simple and Practical: Simplify processes and adapt them to organizational needs.
  • Optimize and Automate: Automate processes as much as possible to reduce errors and increase efficiency.

itil : 7 guiding principles

ITIL 4 Certification

The ITIL 4 certification scheme is structured into several levels:

  • ITIL Foundation: Introduction to basic ITIL concepts and terminology.
  • ITIL Managing Professional (MP): Practical knowledge for managing IT services.
  • ITIL Strategic Leader (SL): Strategic skills to influence and guide IT strategy.
  • ITIL Master: The highest level, demonstrating comprehensive mastery of the ITIL framework.

In summary, ITIL 4 is a modern and flexible framework for IT service management designed to help organizations create value, improve efficiency, and adapt to technological and methodological evolutions.

Who Uses ITIL?

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is widely adopted by various organizations across different sectors worldwide. Here are examples of the types of organizations and companies that use ITIL:

Sectors Using ITIL

IT Service Providers

  • Internal IT Departments: Used by IT departments within companies to improve IT service efficiency and quality.
  • Managed Service Providers: Companies that manage IT services for other organizations.
  • Cloud Service Providers: Companies offering cloud services adopt ITIL to ensure service reliability and quality.

Financial Services

  • Banks, insurance companies, and investment firms: Use ITIL to ensure the smooth operation of critical IT systems, securely manage customer data, and comply with various regulations.


  • Hospitals and medical centers: ITIL helps ensure the availability and reliability of essential IT services for patient care, medical record management, scheduling, and billing.

Government Organizations

  • Local, regional, and national government entities: Improve service delivery to citizens, manage government IT infrastructure, and enhance cybersecurity measures through ITIL.


  • Universities and schools: Use ITIL to manage IT services, including student information systems, online learning platforms, and campus networks.

Retail and E-commerce

  • Retailers and e-commerce companies: Manage online platforms, order processing, inventory management, and customer support systems with ITIL.


  • Telecommunications companies: Provide reliable and efficient communication services using ITIL best practices.


  • Manufacturing companies: Ensure the smooth operation of IT systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), production control, and supply chain management.

Transport and Logistics

  • Transport and logistics organizations: Manage the infrastructure and IT systems crucial for shipment tracking, fleet management, and route optimization.

Non-Profit Organizations

  • Charities and humanitarian agencies: Improve the efficiency of their IT operations to better serve their stakeholders.

Tech Startups

  • Small businesses and startups: Some startups and small businesses also adopt ITIL practices to establish a solid foundation for IT service management as they grow.

Examples of Companies Using ITIL

  • Marriott International: Uses ITIL to develop a vendor management framework based on ITIL V3.
  • Oracle: Aligns its service management processes with the ITIL framework.
  • KPMG LLP: Uses ITIL for project management and business development.
  • Deloitte: Implements processes to improve efficiency and compliance with ITIL standards.
  • Intel: Uses ITIL for incident, problem, service request, knowledge, and access management.

In summary, ITIL is adopted by a variety of organizations across different sectors to improve IT service management, align IT services with business objectives, and ensure better quality and efficiency of services.

service it itil

Why Take ITIL Training and Get ITIL Certification?

Taking ITIL training offers numerous benefits for IT professionals and businesses alike. Here are the main reasons why it is beneficial to undergo ITIL training:

Benefits for Professionals

  • Skill Development: ITIL training allows professionals to acquire in-depth skills in IT service management. It covers proven techniques for quickly identifying and resolving issues, managing risks, and anticipating changes.
  • Professional Recognition: ITIL certifications are internationally recognized, enhancing professionals’ credibility and expertise in IT service management. This can open doors to new career opportunities and better-paid positions.
  • Salary Increase: ITIL-certified professionals can see a significant increase in their salary. According to some sources, salaries can increase by up to 15% after obtaining ITIL certification.
  • Common Language: ITIL training enables professionals to speak a common language recognized by IT professionals worldwide. This facilitates communication and collaboration within teams and with external stakeholders.

Benefits for Businesses

  • Improved IT Service Quality: ITIL provides a structured and consistent framework for IT service management, improving the quality of services offered. Companies can better meet customer needs and increase satisfaction.
  • Cost Optimization: By adopting ITIL best practices, companies can streamline their IT operations, reduce costs, and eliminate waste, leading to better operational efficiency.
  • Alignment with Business Goals: ITIL helps align IT services with the strategic objectives of the business. This ensures that IT decisions and initiatives support the organization’s overall goals.
  • Improved Risk Management: ITIL training teaches professionals how to assess, prevent, and manage risks related to IT service delivery. Companies can thus reduce incidents and enhance the security of their systems.
  • Encouraging Innovation: ITIL promotes a proactive rather than reactive approach, allowing companies to anticipate changes in the IT environment and explore new solutions to meet evolving business and customer needs.
  • Continual Improvement: The main objective of the ITIL methodology is to provide a framework for continuous improvement of IT services. This enables companies to regularly define and track clear, measurable, and achievable performance objectives.

training itil 4 foundation

In summary, undergoing ITIL training and obtaining ITIL certification offers significant benefits for both professionals and businesses, enhancing skills, service quality, operational efficiency, and fostering innovation and continual improvement.

About the author

ITTA is the leader in IT training and project management solutions and services in French-speaking Switzerland.

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