The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of adaptable best practices for delivering information technology as a service. The ITIL framework breaks down the process of IT service management into several phases, including service selection, planning, delivery, and maintenance. It also includes detailed guidance for each phase.
Your goal in adopting ITIL practices is to make IT service management (ITSM) within your organization more efficient and predictable. The ITIL framework is also designed to encourage organizations to align their IT service delivery with their overall business goals.
ITIL has been a go-to IT standard since the late 1980s. It was most recently updated in 2019 to ITIL 4. This iteration emphasizes helping organizations maintain flexibility in their IT service management, especially cloud-based practices, without neglecting legacy, on-premise infrastructure.
So ITIL sounds powerful, but is it suitable for your organization? And is it worth you getting ITIL certified? We think the answer is yes, but there are some things you should know about how ITIL and its certifications work before you dive into the ITIL pool. We’ll cover all the essentials you need to know in this article.
ITIL is about organization and best practices
The principles of IT service management were first developed to help businesses harness the power of IT most effectively. The ITIL framework looks to help organizations:
- Better manage risk
- Increase their productivity
- Reduce the costs of service delivery
- Improve customer relations, and
- Create a more agile set of IT services
ITIL looks to do these things by structuring four critical dimensions of your business:
- Organizations and People
- Information and Technology
- Partners and Suppliers
- Value Streams and Processes
In the current ITIL 4 framework, the set of business activities you carry out to structure those dimensions and achieve those outcomes are called the Service Value Chain. This Chain breaks down into six phases.
In this phase, the responsible service team ensures they understand the company’s long-term goals and how the IT service in question fits into them. They also need to understand how the service affects, and is affected by, the four dimensions of the business—the organization and people, other IT services, partners and suppliers, and the company’s value streams and processes. Once understood, that team then plans out how they will build the service in question.
With planning underway, the service teams reach out to key stakeholders inside and outside the organization. These stakeholders need to understand the project’s goals and should provide input to modify planning as required.
Design & Transition
Here the service team designs what the new systems and processes they need will look like. They also set requirements they need to meet, such as metrics for performance, regulatory compliance, or levels of customer satisfaction.
Next, the service team brings together all the people, technology, and other resources they need to complete their design. That could mean purchasing existing technology or developing your own.
Delivery & Support
Once built, the systems must deliver value to the organization across the four critical dimensions described above.
This is the phase where the Service Value Chain loops. Your service team collects data from all previous phases, assesses performance, and lays the groundwork for the next Planning phase.
Getting ITIL Certified Helps You Align Your IT and Business Practices
Getting ITIL certified yourself and shifting your organization towards ITIL methodologies comes with many benefits, including:
Improving Your ROI on IT Assets
Using an ITIL framework can lead to reliable financial returns. Under ITIL, companies will use their technologies more effectively, maximize the life cycles of that technology, and take advantage of new automated workflows.
Increasing Work Efficiency
The ITIL framework was designed from the outset to increase organizational performance. Certifying your workforce in ITIL practices and acquiring ITIL-centric management tools will provide them with the capability to work together in new, more effective ways. The real benefit won’t be in how they use technology. It will be in how they plan and improve how technology is introduced in your workplace.
Gaining Access to ITIL-Aligned Technologies
ITIL-certified individuals will be able to quickly understand the value and capabilities of IT service management software. These powerful tools allow your company to organize how they work in centralized software portals. Manage projects, track service requests, and plan your next ITIL-based improvements, all on a single platform.
Improving Your Customer Experience
ITIL does more than improve internal-facing processes, like project management. ITIL can improve customer-facing activities through its models for service desks and tighter controls over production and development.
The Different ITIL Certifications
Professionals can pursue ITIL 4 certifications at four different levels.
ITIL 4 Foundation certification is the introductory level certification that all ITIL professionals must complete. It demonstrates that the holder has a solid understanding end-to-end of the ITIL model and its processes.
The following two certification “streams” represent different ITIL specialties you can pursue.
ITIL Managing Professional
This certification stream is designed for IT professionals who work directly with technology or work in other operational capacities. They demonstrate practical knowledge of how to carry out ITIL best practices focusing on service creation, delivery, and support.
ITIL Strategic Leader
The Strategic Leader stream focuses more on the overlap between IT and business strategy. ITIL Strategic Leader certifications demonstrate that the holder has a solid understanding of generating value by aligning IT services to overall business goals.
ITIL Master Level
ITIL Masters certifications are designed for business or IT executives. As part of the certification process, you must demonstrate experience in successfully applying ITIL principles to achieve specific goals.
C2 ATOM is ITIL Certified
It is important to note that all of the certifications above are for individual professionals. An organization cannot be directly “ITIL certified,” but they can demonstrate that their organization or their product follows ITIL best practices. IT solutions on the other hand can be certified.
For example, C2 ATOM is a Pink Elephant ITIL Certified and verified ITIL-supporting application for IT service management.
C2 ATOM is an all-in-one web-based service desk software that improves IT support, customer service and service delivery. We’ve demonstrated ATOM’s support for many ITIL processes, including:
- Request Fulfillment
- Service Asset & Configuration Management
- Service Catalog Management
- Change Management
- Incident Management
- Problem Management
Want to introduce ITIL practices to your company the easy way? Try out C2 ATOM today.