The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a collection of concepts and practices combined in a series of books to be applied in IT Service Management (ITSM), IT development and IT operations. At first it was created in late of 1980 by Central Computing and Telecommunication Agency (CCTA). The names ITIL and IT Infrastructure Library are registered trademarks of the United Kingdom's Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
ITIL can be classified as a collection of best practices, and its target is large companies, as well small ones.
ITILv3 in numbers:
- Five books - Strategy, Design, Transition, Operation and Continual Service Improvement (CSI)
- 84 checklists and document templates
- 23 overall process - two for Strategy, 10 for Design, seven for Transition, seven for Operation and four for CSI
Responding to growing dependence on IT, the UK Government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s developed a set of recommendations. It recognized that without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts were independently creating their own IT management practices.
The IT Infrastructure Library originated as a collection of books, each covering a specific practice within IT Service Management. ITIL was built around a process-model based view of controlling and managing operations often credited to W. Edwards Deming and his plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.
After the initial publication in 1989-1996, the number of books quickly grew within ITIL v1 to over 30 volumes.
In 2000/2001, to make ITIL more accessible (and affordable), ITIL v2 consolidated the publications into eight logical "sets" that grouped related process-guidelines to match different aspects of IT management, applications, and services. However, the main focus was known as the Service Management sets (Service Support and Service Delivery), which were by far the most widely used, circulated, and understood of ITIL v2
In April 2001 the CCTA was merged into the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), an office of the UK Treasury. In 2006, the ITIL v2 glossary was published. In May 2007, this organization issued the version 3 of ITIL (also known as the ITIL Refresh Project) consisting of 26 processes and functions, now grouped under only 5 volumes, arranged around the concept of Service lifecycle structure. In 2009, the OGC officially announced that ITIL v2 would be withdrawn and launched a major consultation as per how to proceed.
According to Wikipedia, service is "an intangible equivalent of a economic good". Customers "buy" a service when they:
- Don't want or can afford with service price; OR
- Don't want or can afford with risk.
Service price or risk can't be used as basis to define service value.
A service value is defined by fit to purpose (utility) and fit to use (warranty). Fit to purpose, or utility, means that service needs to fulfill customer needs. It doesn't matter that you rent a high specialized black-and-white printer for half of average market price if the user really needs a color wax printer.
Fit for use, or warranty, means that service is available when a user needs it. A good example for this is a cell phone, it needs to be ready to use wherever you want to place a call. If connection keeps dropping every time, it is worthless. Warranty can be measured by availability, capacity, continuity and security.
Some definitions for better understanding of ITIL.
Portfolio comprises all services offered (current), retired, or to be offered. Current services are available in Catalog. Services being developed - to be offered - can be found in Pipeline. When a service ceases to be offered, it goes to Retired list.