What ITIL v3 really means to your business

IT has been a long wait for ITIL v3 but it promises to deliver for businesses.


IT has continued to evolve over the years, and today it is at the heart of business processes and performance. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has also had to evolve, expanding from its initial, narrow focus on the management of IT operations to address the broader issues associated with the development and delivery of end-to-end business services.

The newest edition of the ITIL best practices framework arrived on 30 May. A total of five books (Service Strategies, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement) will replace the current books. The new books emphasise not only the operational aspects of IT but additionally, IT service strategies, design, transition and continuous service improvement. They focus on the positioning of the ITIL processes at appropriate, multiple points in the lifecycle of IT services – as well as providing updated guidance for currently implemented ITIL processes.

This third iteration draws upon lessons learned from earlier ITIL efforts and can help IT organisations further improve their efficiency, effectiveness, and alignment with the business. By showing how to graduate from simply implementing individual ITIL processes to adopting a true service-centric approach, ITIL v3 will bring transparency to the relationship between IT and the business, which is ultimately the goal of IT service management.

The new books deliver what was missing from previous versions: more prescriptive guidance including detailed flow charts, process models, and organisation charts for faster and more cost effective implementations. The guidance also incorporates new processes that map to current and forward thinking and practical ITSM implementations incorporating knowledge management, service portfolio management and the service catalogue. Practitioners should keep in mind that the templates are merely guides; each organisation still needs to define its business and IT requirements. If those requirements are not appropriately defined, no version of ITIL will deliver tangible business results.

Organisations adopting ITIL can refine their IT processes and automate tasks to deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings. The best approach to this implementation is to work together with colleagues – from both the business and the IT side – and brainstorm what the business needs and how IT can support those needs. Process models are best derived from modeling your own “as is” processes and analysing them for improvement, so it would be useful to include someone with modeling skills in the session.

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