Recently, in IT circles, you can often hear the term ITIL in relation to building the work of an IT department, providing services to a business, or a new way of organizing technical support. However, not all IT managers understand exactly what this is about.

The detailed view is given by a number of ITIL books. Here are 10 key facts that will make the definition of ITIL clearer.

1. ITIL stands for IT Infrastructure Library

The ITIL contains a complete and detailed set of best practices that are used to design and implement IT service management. The implementation of these practices gives the business a number of advantages:

  • Increased competitive advantage through reduced costs and management flexibility.
  • Increase efficiency by optimizing IT processes.
  • Understanding IT for Business and Gaining Value.
  • Increased user and customer satisfaction.

ITIL books

2. The organization that develops and maintains ITIL is located in the UK

The ITIL library was commissioned by the British government in the 1980s. Work on it was carried out from 1986 to 1989, and publications began in 1992. However, for a long time outside the UK, it was little known, until a large number of large companies announced the use of ITIL, and publications about the implementation experience began to appear in the media. Throughout the entire existence of the library, it continues to actively develop and now the third version is available (ITIL v. 3).

Today, more than 10,000 companies around the world use ITIL for IT management.


During the development of the library, ITIL changed the number of books and their organization.

Now the third edition of ITIL (ITIL v.3) is relevant, which was released in May 2007. It has been heavily redesigned from the second to support the new “service lifecycle format” approach.

ITIL v. 3 already contains only 5 books, and not 7, as in the second edition:

  • Service Strategy,
  • Service Design,
  • Service Transition,
  • Service Operation,
  • Continual Service Improvement.

In addition, this edition includes two more books: ITIL Overview and The Pocket Guide, as well as a set of additional industry guidelines.

4. To succeed with ITIL, you need a strong initiator

Implementation of ITIL practices is a change in corporate culture. In the early stages, users will be unhappy with the fact that they have to do everything differently than before, not in the way they are used to. To overcome this skepticism, a strong initiator is needed – a “locomotive” who can convince people and promote the project, as well as interest the business in changing IT. Without such a person, realization will not lead to the desired success.

5. ITIL is not a project management tool

ITIL practices are focused on the delivery of IT services to an organization and the process of continuous improvement of services and the processes that provide them, rather than on project management of the company.

6. ITIL libraries don’t contain much information

The library contains best practices and best practices for organizing an IT service delivery model. It describes some of the processes and patterns, but not a detailed methodology for implementing the process approach. A company that decides to use ITIL receives general principles, but must develop specific processes for its infrastructure on its own. For a more practical study of building IT according to the ITIL methodology, you can take the new ITIL® Practitioner course, aimed specifically at people who have already mastered the model of providing IT services for business, but do not understand how to best implement their knowledge.

7. ITIL is not a tool

Many professional tools can be used to implement ITIL principles, but they are not required. If the company is small, simple document templates and spreadsheets will suffice, while large organizations will require specialized software.

8. ITIL does not apply on an all-or-nothing basis

Since ITIL describes approaches from different areas, the company can apply all at once or only some of them – there are no strict regulations.

9. ITIL practices can be implemented in stages

Since there are no rules that all practices must be implemented at once, many companies choose a phased implementation over a certain period. This allows you to save resources and achieve sustainable success at each of the intermediate stages.

We have already written in the blog about the importance of the phased implementation of ITIL practices using the example of ITSM.

10. ITIL certification

There are three main levels of ITIL certification:

  • Foundation. This level means that you understand basic terms and have a basic knowledge of the ITIL model.
  • Practitioner – Your knowledge of the ITIL model is sufficient to apply specific processes in practice.
  • Intermediate – for specialists with in-depth knowledge of individual sections of ITIL.
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