What's new in ITIL 4?

Posted by The Piksel Team on Aug 21, 2020 11:06:33 AM

From its first edition in 1989, to its most recent version - ITIL 4 - the IT Information Library framework has undergone numerous revisions.

In this blog post, we aim to highlight the conflicting history of the ITIL framework, as well as summarise the new developments in ITIL 4.

With that in mind, let’s get started.

DevOps and the history of ITIL

From the first 30 volumes of ITIL, to the standardisation of ITIL 2, the beginnings of the IT Infrastructure Library were focused upon Service Support and Service Delivery.

Then, in 2007, with the creation of ITIL 3, we saw a big drive towards Service Management. The emphasis in this volume was on the full-service lifecycle, as well as strategy and business integration.

However, in line with the launch of ITIL 3, the face of IT was changing far faster than it had before; IT was now critical to business development across all sectors. And, with that, the introduction of agile working and continuous deployment were essential for businesses to remain competitive. As these agile developments progressed, some projects ended up straying from the seemingly rigid structure of ITIL 3. Many IT professionals saw this as a conflict and chose DevOps over ITIL, claiming that ITIL’s day had been and gone.

Of course, that’s far from true.

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ITIL 4: a brief summary

The ITIL 4 framework still pays tribute to its previous editions. The framework aims to evolve and meet modern needs, refining its four dimensions of IT service management. These are:

  • Organisation and people. This relates to engagement with IT services and technology, and the importance of ensuring your whole staff is on board.
  • Information and technology. This refers to the environment or technology used within the IT service management (for example, on-premise servers or cloud computing).
  • Partners and suppliers. Some technologies require suppliers. So you need to ensure these suppliers align with how you want to operate. This involves monitoring service agreement and back-to-back contracts.
  • Value streams and processes. This is where change enablement, incident management and problem management come into play. It encompasses evaluating the success and failures of IT managed services and related technologies. You can then implement these learnings.

However, there are plenty of changes within the newest framework, such as:

  • The addition of more general management, service management and technical management best practices
  • The introduction of ‘governance’ as a core service value system (SVS)
  • Terminology changes (i.e. the ‘ITIL 3 processes’ are now ‘ITIL 4 practices’)

Arguably the biggest change we’ve seen is the change within the guiding principles. The previous nine guiding principles from the ITIL Practitioner Guide are now seven:

  1. Focus on value
  2. Start where you are
  3. Progress iteratively with feedback
  4. Collaborate and promote visibility
  5. Think and work holistically
  6. Keep it simple and practical
  7. Optimise and automate

The change you should focus on here is within the seventh principle. Whereas previous editions caused some friction between DevOps and operational teams (as we’ve already discusse), it shows that ITIL 4 is thoroughly embracing automation.

For managed service providers, this means streamlining services through automation where possible and freeing up time for IT professionals. They need to balance manual IT services with technological advancements to provide the best service possible.

What does this mean for you?

Historically, some IT professionals considered DevOps and the ITIL framework as two opposing forces. However, it’s important to note that the ITIL is just a framework. And that the inclusion of automation within ITIL 4 suggests a change in attitude.

At Piksel Group, we combine ITIL best practices, DevOps and other modern IT trends – such as agile working and BYOD policies – to ensure we deliver the highest quality, tailored managed service experience possible to our customers.

Ultimately, this combined approach offers you:

  • Consistency. You know what IT services you’re getting, who you’re dealing with, and what will happen in the event of an IT disaster.
  • Accurate cost breakdowns. The transparency of our services allows you to associate costs with each service accurately.
  • Business alignment. An ITIL-driven approach ensures we keep pace with your changing business demands. Our managed services will always be tailored, up-to-date and aligned with your important business goals.

Keen to find out more about ITIL 4 and how our IT managed services can help your business? Get in touch with our team today.

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Topics: ITIL 4

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