Information Technology Infrastructure Library

Information Technology Infrastructure Library
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts and policies for managing information technology (IT) infrastructure, development and operations.

ITIL is published in a series of books, each of which covers an IT management topic. The names ITIL and IT Infrastructure Library are registered trademarks of the United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce (OGC). ITIL gives a detailed description of a number of important IT practices with comprehensive checklists, tasks and procedures that can be tailored to any IT organization.

ITIL Certifications lead to the credential of ITIL Foundation Associate, ITIL Practitioner, ITIL Service Manager.

ITIL Certifications are managed by the ICMB (ITIL Certification Management Board) which is composed of the OGC, IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) International and two examinations institutes: EXIN (based in the Netherlands) and ISEB (based in the UK).

The EXIN and ISEB manage the exams and award qualifications at Foundation, Practitioner and Manager/Masters level currently in 'ITIL Service Management', 'ITIL Application Management' and 'ICT Infrastructure Management' respectively.

A voluntary registry of ITIL-certified practitioners is operated by the ITIL Certification Register.

Organizations or a management system may not be certified as "ITIL-compliant." An organization that has implemented ITIL guidance in ITSM, however, may be able to achieve compliance with and seek certification under ISO/IEC 20000.

On July 20, 2006, the OGC signed a contract with the APM Group to be its commercial partner for ITIL accreditation from January 1, 2007.[1].

Many of the concepts did not originate within the original UK Government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) project to develop ITIL. According to IBM:

“ In the early 1980s, IBM documented the original Systems Management concepts in a four-volume series called A Management System for Information Systems. These widely accepted “yellow books,” ... were key inputs to the original set of ITIL books."[2][3] ”

The primary author of the IBM yellow books was Edward A. Van Schaik, who compiled them into the 1985 book A Management System for the Information Business[4] (since updated with a 2006 re-issue by Red Swan Publishing[5]). In the 1985 work, Van Schaik in turn references a 1974 Richard L. Nolan work, Managing the Data Resource Function[6] which may be the earliest known systematic English-language treatment of the topic of large scale IT management (as opposed to technological implementation).

What is now called ITIL version 1, developed under the auspices of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), was titled "Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management Methodology" (GITMM) and over several years eventually expanded to 31 volumes in a project initially directed by Peter Skinner and John Stewart at the CCTA. The publications were retitled primarily as a result of the desire (by Roy Dibble of CCTA) that the publications be seen as guidance and not as a formal method and as a result of growing interest from outside of the UK Government.

During the late 1980s the CCTA was under sustained attack, both from IT companies who wanted to take over the central Government consultancy service it provided and from other Government departments who wanted to break free of its oversight.[citation needed] Eventually CCTA succumbed and the concept of a central driving IT authority for the UK Government was lost. This meant that adoption of CCTA guidance such as ITIL was delayed, as various other departments fought to take over new responsibilities.

In some cases this guidance was lost permanently. The CCTA IT Security and Privacy group, for instance, provided the CCTA IT Security Library input to GITMM, but when CCTA was broken up the security service appropriated this work and suppressed it as part of their turf war over security responsibilities.

Though ITIL was developed during the 1980s, it was not widely adopted until the mid 1990s for the reasons mentioned above. This wider adoption and awareness has led to a number of standards, including ISO/IEC 20000 which is an international standard covering the IT Service Management elements of ITIL. ITIL is often considered alongside other best practice frameworks such as the Information Services Procurement Library (ISPL), the Application Services Library (ASL), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), the Capability Maturity Model (CMM/CMMI), and is often linked with IT governance through Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT).

In December 2005, the OGC issued notice of an ITIL refresh [7], commonly known as ITIL v3, which became available in May 2007. ITIL v3 initially includes five core texts:

Service Strategy
Service Design
Service Transition
Service Operation
Continual Service Improvement
These publications update much of the current v2 and extend the scope of ITIL in the domain of service management.

IT Service Management as a concept is related but not equivalent to ITIL which, in Version 2, contained a subsection specifically entitled IT Service Management (ITSM). (The five volumes of version 3 have no such demarcated subsection). The combination of the Service Support and Service Delivery volumes are generally equivalent to the scope of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard (previously BS 15000).

Outside of ITIL, other IT Service Management approaches and frameworks exist, including the Enterprise Computing Institute's library covering general issues of large scale IT management, including various Service Management subjects.

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) has developed the Framework for ICT Technical Support (FITS) and is based on ITIL, but it is slimmed down for UK primary and secondary schools (which often have very small IT departments). Similarly, The Visible OPS Handbook: Implementing ITIL in 4 Practical and Auditable Steps claims to be based on ITIL but to focus specifically on the biggest "bang for the buck" elements of ITIL.

Organizations that need to understand how ITIL processes link to a broader range of IT processes or need task level detail to guide their service management implementation can use the IBM Tivoli Unified Process (ITUP). Like MOF, ITUP is aligned with ITIL, but is presented as a complete, integrated process model.

Smaller organizations that cannot justify a full ITIL program and materials can gain insight into ITIL from a review of the Microsoft Operations Framework which is based on ITIL but defines a more limited implementation.

The enhanced Telecom Operations Map eTOM published by the TeleManagement Forum offers a framework aimed at telecommunications service providers. In a joined effort, tmforum and itSMF have developed an Application Note to eTOM (GB921 V, version 6.1 in 2005, a new releases is scheduled for summer 2008) that shows how the two frameworks can be mapped to each other. It addresses how eTom process elements and flows can be used to support the processes identified in ITIL.

The IT Infrastructure Library originated as a collection of books each covering a specific practice within IT Service Management. After the initial publication, the number of books quickly grew within ITIL v1 to over 30 volumes. In order to make ITIL more accessible (and affordable) to those wishing to explore it, one of the aims of ITIL v2 was to consolidate the publications into logical 'sets' that grouped related process guidelines into the different aspects of IT management, applications and services.

While the Service Management sets (Service Support and Service Delivery) are by far the most widely used, circulated and understood of ITIL publications, ITIL provides a more comprehensive set of practices as a whole. Proponents believe that using the broader library provides a comprehensive set of guidance to link the technical implementation, operations guidelines and requirements with the strategic management, operations management and financial management of a modern business.

The eight ITIL version 2 books and their disciplines are:

The IT Service Management sets

1. Service Delivery
2. Service Support
Other operational guidance

3. ICT Infrastructure Management
4. Security Management
5. The Business Perspective
6. Application Management
7. Software Asset Management
To assist with the implementation of ITIL practices a further book was published providing guidance on implementation (mainly of Service Management):

8. Planning to Implement Service Management
And this has more recently been supplemented with guidelines for smaller IT units, not included in the original eight publications:

9. ITIL Small-Scale Implementation
ITIL is built around a process-model based view of controlling and managing operations often credited to W. Edwards Deming[citation needed]. The ITIL recommendations were developed in the 1980s by the UK Government's CCTA in response to the growing dependence on IT and a recognition that without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts were independently creating their own IT management practices and duplicating effort within their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) projects resulting in common mistakes and increased costs.[citation needed] In April 2001 the CCTA was merged into the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), an office of the UK Treasury.[8]

One of the primary benefits claimed by proponents of ITIL within the IT community is its provision of common vocabulary, consisting of a glossary of tightly defined and widely agreed terms. A new and enhanced glossary has been developed as a key deliverable of the ITIL v3 (also known as the ITIL Refresh Project)

ITIL v3, published in May 2007, comprises five key volumes: (A Good overview PDF is listed [1]here)

1. Service Strategy
2. Service Design
3. Service Transition
4. Service Operation
5. Continual Service Improvement

Service Strategy
Service strategy is shown at the core of the ITIL v3.1 lifecycle but cannot exist in isolation to the other parts of the IT structure. It encompasses a framework to build best practice in developing a long term service strategy. It covers many topics including: general strategy, competition and market space, service provider types, service management as a strategic asset, organization design and development, key process activities, financial management, service portfolio management, demand management, and key roles and responsibilities of staff engaging in service strategy.

Service Design
The design of IT services conforming to best practice, and including design of architecture, processes, policies, documentation, and allowing for future business requirements. This also encompasses topics such as Service Design Package (SDP), Service catalog management, Service Level management, designing for capacity management, IT service continuity, Information Security, supplier management, and key roles and responsibilities for staff engaging in service design.