The basics:

ITIL® is the most widely accepted  approach  to IT service management in the world; it focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.

Target audience:

IT service providers and IT professionals in a wide range of roles


ITIL was created in the 1980s by the UK government’s CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency) with the objective of ensuring a better use of IT services and resources. ITIL is owned by AXELOS; the current version is ITIL 2011 (published July 2011), which updates ITIL v3.

ITIL advocates that IT services must be aligned to the needs of the business and underpin the core business processes.  It provides guidance to organizations on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate  business change, transformation and growth. The ITIL best practices  are described in five core guides that map the entire ITIL Service Lifecycle. (See figure below)

  • itilService Strategy – understanding who the IT customers  are, the service offerings to meet their needs, and the IT capabilities and resource to deliver the services
  • Service Design - assures that new and changed services are designed effectively to meet customer expectations,  including the technology, architecture and processes that will be required
  • Service Transition - the service design is built, tested  and moved into production  to assure that the business customer can achieve the desired value
  • Service Operation - delivers the service on an ongoing basis, including managing  disruptions to service and supporting end-users
  • Continual  Service Improvement - measures and improves the service levels, the technology  and the efficiency and effectiveness or processes.  It incorporates many of the same concepts articulated in the Deming Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act

Scope and constraints:

IT Service Management lifecycle from service strategy  through  design,transition, live operation and continuous improvement. Used in organizations large and small, across many different sectors worldwide.

Supported  by quality services from a wide range of providers including examination institutes, accredited training  providers and consultancies, software and tool vendors.

The updated  guidance reflects the latest international standards  relating to service management, including the 2011 edition of ISO/IEC 20000.


  • Universally accepted as the good practice guidance for IT Service Management, with process and service focus
  • Supported  by a vast community of ITIL practitioners, gathered around itSMF (IT Service Management Forum)


When implementing ITIL-based IT Service Management processes  in an IT provider organization, the most common pitfalls are:

  • Narrow focus on the IT Unit’s technology  and process perspectives to gain incremental improvements (the organization should be embarking  on a radical transformation journey to run IT as a business)
  • Failing to do an assessment before  implementing ITIL practices  (identifying how the current organization structure compares to the ITIL framework and the changes to the organization and its culture that will be needed)
  • Short term expectations (it is not a quick fix, achieved  with just a handful of personnel  trained and the purchase of some ITIL tools).

Want to know more?

VHP offers two book publications on ITIL 2011 Edition, both are endorsed by AXELOS:
IT Service Management Based on ITIL® 2011 Edition, available in  English and Dutch
- ITIL® 2011 Edition – A Pocket Guide, available in  English, German and Dutch

9789401800174_CoverLRTitle: IT Service Management Based on ITIL® 2011 Edition
Author: Pierre Bernard
ISBN: 9789401800174
Price: € 34,95 (VAT excl.)
Order your hardcopy at: (US) (netherlands)

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