It is not often that in our competitive world that we have anything that is without its competitors. Well, ITIL is a competitor-less IT service management framework.
Before I start talking about ITIL, let me spend some time on service management.
A service generally refers to maintenance or fixing things if they are broken. You get your car serviced which means that you are maintaining it so the car can function optimally. When your faucet is broken, you get it fixed by a plumber. He provides the service of fixing all things plumbing. Likewise, a gardener trims your grass and keeps it neat and tidy. The service he provides is landscaping.
So what is common in the three examples? None of them are creating something and they are not offering you something new. They are fixing a problem that you are facing, they are maintaining the existing systems – be it grass or your faucet.
The management of this work which is carried out involves an advertisement that is placed in the yellow pages, answering your phone call, carrying out the maintenance activities at the agreed time, billing, payment among things. The management of these activities is referred to service management.
The official definition reads:
A set of specialized organizational capabilities for enabling value for customers in the form of services.ITIL Publication, Axelos
Let me break this definition down.
Specialized organizational capabilities is the skillset that the people need to possess in order to carry out the maintenance activities. A plumber needs to have special skills to know where to look for faucet faults and to use the wrench and other tools to fix it. Likewise, a gardener must be adept at operating a lawn mower and must also know the patterns of lawn mowing. These are special skills. Not everybody can do it.
I will talk about value and services in a later post.
The terms service management and IT service management are used interchangeably. Both refer to the providing services. In the context of the IT world, they refer to IT services such as networks and servers and not the domestic services which I used as examples earlier. IT service management is abbreviated as ITSM.
Now I have hopefully laid the groundwork to talk about ITIL.
ITIL is a service management framework. As I said earlier, it does not have a competitor. The reason is simple enough. The framework is complete, logical and simply beautiful.
ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. Don’t fret seeing the word infrastructure. ITIL has nothing to do specifically with infrastructure anymore. Although ITIL started for infrastructure services, it has evolved over time and can now be applied to any technology. In other words, it is technology independent.