ITIL is a public framework that describes Best Practice in IT service management. It provides a framework for the governance of IT, the ‘service wrap’, and focuses on the continual measurement and improvement of the quality of IT service delivered, from both a business and a customer perspective. This focus is a major factor in ITIL’s worldwide success and has contributed to its prolific usage and to the key benefits obtained by those organizations deploying the techniques and processes throughout their organizations. Some of these benefits include:
- increased user and customer satisfaction with IT services
- improved service availability, directly leading to increased business profits and revenue
- financial savings from reduced rework, lost time, improved resource management and usage
- improved time to market for new products and services
- Improved decision making and optimized risk.
ITIL was published between 1989 and 1995 by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO) in the UK on behalf of the Central Communications and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) – now subsumed within the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). Its early use was principally confined to the UK and Netherlands. A second version of ITIL was published as a set of revised books between 2000 and 2004.
The initial version of ITIL consisted of a library of 31 associated books covering all aspects of IT service provision. This initial version was then revised and replaced by seven, more closely connected and consistent books (ITIL V2) consolidated within an overall framework. This second version became universally accepted and is now used in many countries by thousands of organizations as the basis for effective IT service provision. In 2007, ITIL V2 was superseded by an enhanced and consolidated third version of ITIL, consisting of five core books covering the service lifecycle, together with the Official Introduction.
The five core books cover each stage of the service lifecycle, from the initial definition and analysis of business requirements in Service Strategy and Service Design, through migration into the live environment within Service Transition, to live operation and improvement in Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.