Let’s Explore ITIL® 4

With 12 years elapsed since the launch of ITIL v3 a key question on all our minds is how different will ITIL 4 be?  In our previous blogs, we have shared AXELOS’s vision and business value for ITIL 4, why launch in 2019 and the structure of the ITIL 4 qualification framework.  In this blog, we begin to explore what to expect in the new version and the differences from v3.

Firstly ITIL 4 is now much bigger, with an emphasis on the business and technology world, how it works today, and how it will work in the future with Agile, DevOps and digital transformation.  It retains many of the core elements that makes ITIL so valuable to individuals and organizations today and provides organizations with a simple and practical improvement model to maintain their resilience and agility in a constantly changing environment.

Value Driven Change – ITIL 4 takes you through a service value system which provides a holistic picture of what it really means to contribute to business value. Moving from traditional process led delivery, ITIL 4 supports faster quality and value driven delivery for people and organizations.  Change is a constant state and organizations are struggling to navigate it. ITIL 4 is a best practice that supports organizations in navigating this ongoing change.

Service value system – ITIL has evolved beyond the delivery of services to providing end-to-end value delivery. The focus is now on the co-creation of value through service relationship. The updated framework will focus on facilitating value co-creation via a service value system (SVS). The SVS represents how different components and activities can work together, in any type of organization, to facilitate value creation through IT enabled services. In ITIL 4, customers are an essential element in the process of creating value.

Service value chain – Incorporated within the SVS is the service value chain (SVC). The service value chain is the set of interconnected activities that, when sequenced in the right way, provides an operating model for the creation, delivery, and continual improvement of services. The service value chain allows an organization to define a number of variants of these sequences known as value streams, of which the v3 service lifecycle is one such example.  The service value chain is flexible and can be adapted to multiple approaches, including product-focused delivery teams, DevOps, and centralized IT.  The adaptability of the value chain enables organizations to react to changing demands from their stakeholders in the most effective and efficient ways.

Guiding principles – The ITIL guiding principles, first introduced in ITIL Practitioner, are at the core of ITIL 4. The guiding principles help IT professionals to adopt and adapt ITIL guidance to their own specific needs and circumstances. These guiding principles can (and should) be followed at every stage of service delivery. They allow professionals to define approaches and navigate difficult decisions.

Integration with other practices and new ways of working – ITIL 4 will reflect other frameworks and integrate new ways of working including Agile, DevOps, Lean, IT governance and leadership. The guiding principles draw from proven ways of working and foster a customer centric culture of collaboration, working holistically and gaining continual feedback. ITIL 4 will provide the flexibility needed to adopt and adapt what is relevant to each business and organizations while reinforcing the fundamentals for delivering quality IT service. All of this sets ITIL and service management in a strategic context, bringing together ITSM, Development, Operations, business relationships and governance in a holistic approach. This is a truly integrated model for digital service management.

Governance – The ITIL 4 framework also includes governance activities that enable organizations to continually align their operations with the strategic direction set by the governing body.

Focusing in on ITIL 4 Foundation

The Foundation level is designed as an introduction to ITIL 4 and enables candidates to look at IT service management through an end-to-end operating model for the creation, delivery and continual improvement of tech-enabled products and services. ITIL 4 Foundation candidates will gain an understanding of the following:

    • A holistic approach to the co-creation of value with customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services
    • The Guiding principles of ITIL 4
    • The four dimensions of service management
    • Key concepts from Lean IT, Agile, DevOps, and why these are important to deliver business value
    • How ITIL practices described in ITIL 4 will maintain the value and importance provided by the current ITIL processes, whilst at the same time expand to be integrated to different areas of service management and IT, from demand to value.

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