ITIL - Overview


ITIL is a framework providing best practice guidelines on all aspects of end to end service management. It covers a complete spectrum of people, processes, products and use of partners.

Now a days, ITIL is being practiced by almost every company providing IT services to its customers.

ITIL Framework

The processes, tasks and checklists described in ITIL are not organization-specific, but can be implemented by any organization. It gives organization a framework to plan, implement and measure IT services.

ITIL was published in 1989 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) in UK on behalf of the Central Communications and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), now subsumed within the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

Why ITIL is required?

ITIL helps business managers and IT managers to deliver services to the customers in an effective manner and hence gaining the customer’s confidence and satisfaction. The areas where ITIL plays an effective role are as given below −

  • IT and business strategic planning

  • Integrating and aligning IT and business goals

  • Implementing continuous improvement

  • Acquiring and retaining the right resources and skill sets

  • Reducing costs and the Total Cost of Ownership

  • Demonstrating the business value to IT

  • Achieving and demonstrating Value for Money and Return on Investment.

  • Measuring IT organization effectiveness and efficiency

  • Developing business and IT partnerships and relationships

  • Improving project delivery success

  • Managing constant business and IT change

ITIL Versions

In its first form, ITIL was a collection of books which covered all aspects of IT service management. Since then, ITIL underwent many changes and thus many versions of ITIL exist as given below −


This is the first version of ITIL and comprised 31 books initially.

ITIL V2 (2000 to 2004)

The V1 was replaced with 7 books and gained much prominence during 2000 to 2004. Many companies across several countries currently are adopting this version and this has become an accepted version too.

ITILV2 (2007)

This is yet another modified and consolidated version of the previous ITILV2 and this is called with 3rd version of ITIL, consisting of five core books covering the service lifecycle. ITIL V3 included 26 processes and 4 functions.

In 2011, the 2011 edition of V3 was published. It was an updated version released in 2007.

ITIL Publications

ITIL core publications include a set of five manuals − Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Management.

ITIL Publications

Benefits of ITIL

The following diagram shows the benefits that ITIL offers −

Benefits of ITIL


A comparison of ITIL V2 and ITIL V3 is shown in the following table −

Focused on product, process and people. Focused on product, process, people and partner.
Process oriented approach Lifecycle based approach.
Security management is part of evaluation Security management is a separate process
Emphasizes on service design and service strategy Equal attention to all processes
Comprises 10 processes and 2 functions Comprises 26 processes and 4 functions.