ITIL – What Is The IT Infrastructure Library

ITIL, formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. In its current form (known as ITIL 2011 edition), ITIL is published as a series of five core volumes, each of which covers a different ITSM lifecycle stage. Although ITIL underpins ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS15000), the International Service Management Standard for IT service management, there are some differences between the ISO 20000 standard and the ITIL framework.

ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are not organization-specific, but can be applied by an organization for establishing integration with the organization’s strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure. It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement.

Since July 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS Ltd, a joint venture between HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc. AXELOS licenses organizations to use the ITIL intellectual property, accredits licensed Examination Institutes, and manages updates to the framework.

Responding to growing dependence on IT, the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s developed a set of recommendations. It recognized that, without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts had started independently creating their own IT management practices.

The IT Infrastructure Library originated as a collection of books, each covering a specific practice within IT service management. ITIL was built around a process model-based view of controlling and managing operations often credited to W. Edwards Deming and his plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.

After the initial publication in 1989–96, the number of books quickly grew within ITIL v1 to more than 30 volumes.

In 2000/2001, to make ITIL more accessible (and affordable), ITIL v2 consolidated the publications into nine logical “sets” that grouped related process-guidelines to match different aspects of IT management, applications and services. The Service Management sets (Service Support and Service Delivery) were by far the most widely used, circulated, and understood of the ITIL v2 publications.[citation needed]

In April 2001, the CCTA was merged into the OGC, an office of the UK Treasury.

In 2006, the ITIL v2 glossary was published.

In May 2007, this organization issued version 3 of ITIL (also known as the ITIL Refresh Project) consisting of 26 processes and functions, now grouped into only 5 volumes, arranged around the concept of Service lifecycle structure. Version 3 is now known as ITIL 2007 Edition.

In 2009, the OGC officially announced that ITIL v2 certification would be withdrawn and launched a major consultation as per how to proceed.

In July 2011, the 2011 edition of ITIL was published, providing an update to the version published in 2007. The OGC is no longer listed as the owner of ITIL, following the consolidation of OGC into the Cabinet Office. The 2011 edition is owned by HM Government.

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