ITIL is a set of best practices, processes, and guidelines for delivering IT services to customers. The main focus is to increase the value of the service to the business or customers and align it with business requirements and needs. ITIL contains detailed descriptions for processes, flows, success factors metrics, and transformation guidelines which can be adapted by the organization to work in their environment.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library is not prescriptive, it does not set the rules of how or how much of the framework must be adopted, allowing the organization the flexibility to implement as many processes as company require to address their specific needs. Each individual process has acknowledged value to the business and can be implemented separately.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library has 4 major revisions. The latest version of ITIL is 2011. All revisions have been based on suggestions and feedback from a wide community of consultants and practitioners. From the third revision, ITIL had been narrowed down to five life-cycle phases build in the circular pattern. The phases are:
- Service Strategy – At this stage company is aligning the IT Department with the core business. Service Strategy focus on understanding needs, requirements, direction. This phase consists of the following main processes: Strategy Management for IT Services, Service Portfolio Management, Financial Management for IT Services, Demand Management, and Business Relationship Management.
- Service Design – This stage is for design services that will be offered to the customers. It focusing on transforming services into a well-detailed Service description. Service Design consists of 11 main processes: Design Coordination, Service Catalogue Management, Service Level Management, Capacity Management, Availability Management, IT Service Continuity Management, Information Security Management, Supplier Management, Risk Management, Compliance Management, Architecture Management.
- Service Transition – The purpose of this phase is to move the service from the development stage to the operations stage. It focuses on the build validate, and delivery of new or changed IT service. The main processes of this stage are Transition Planning and Support (Project Management), Change Management, Change Evaluation, Service Asset, and Configuration Management, Release and Deployment Management, Service Validation and Testing, Knowledge Management.
- Service Operation – This stage ensures that services are delivered within the level agreed in SLA. It focusing on the day-to-day care and support of services. The main processes and functions of this stage are Event Management, Incident Management, Request Fulfillment, Problem Management, Access Management, Service Desk (Function), Technical Management (Function), IT Operations Management (Function), IT Operations Control (Sub-Function), Facilities Management (Sub-Function), Application Management (Function).
- Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – This stage exists for all the stages listed above. It focuses on the identification and management of incremental improvements to services. The main processes of this stage are Service Review, Process Evaluation, Definition of CSI Initiatives, Monitoring of CSI Initiatives.