The Case for ITIL(r) 4


By Chris Littlewood FLPI MBCS ITIL Expert

The ITIL v3 framework you are probably accustomed to was created in 2007. In February 2019, AXELOS introduced ITIL 4. The question may arise for some...

Why should I care about the ITIL 4 update?

There are many reasons why an individual or an organisation should consider ITIL as a framework for their IT best practice in general.

Emphasis on Integration

To start, simply the fact that ITIL has been around since the late 80's, and the last update was in 2007, is a reason to understand an update. ITIL has gone through four iterations, as indicated in its title: ITIL 4. For the framework to stay relevant, it is essential for it to continue to evolve. Version 4 was updated in alignment with a number of other frameworks including:

    • Agile

    • Lean

    • COBIT(r)

    • PRINCE2(r)

    • SIAM

    • Kanban

    • and others

Business and IT look to prosper together, which makes that alignment even more relevant.

It's All About "Adopt & Adapt"

Second, ITIL has remained the leading framework in Service Management since its start, so you would have to agree they know what they are doing. ITIL has always focused on: Adopt and Adapt. Adopt the best practice and adapt it to the way that your organisation works.

Keep Your Knowledge Current

Third, Axelos, the owners of ITIL, has responded to the need for a number of concepts which move away from the linear lifecycle steps of v3 with this update. The addition of these concepts in ITIL 4 keep you up to date with what is currently relevant.

Some changes that were made include, streamlining the Guiding Principles from 9 to 7, which were first introduced in 2016 in the ITIL Practitioner. They have added the Service Value System (SVS), which begins with Opportunity / Demand and ends with Value. Then, on the outer edges of the SVS sit The Guiding Principles and Continual Improvement. Governance and Practices surround the inner core which is the Service Value Chain (SVC).

The Service Value Chain is the heart of the Service Management. This consists of Plan, Improve, Engage, Design and Transition, Obtain and Build, together with Deliver and Support. So, you can see that some of v3 is still incorporated in this update.

Other changes are the wording of the definition of Service from delivering to co-creation, acknowledging that all stakeholders have a part to play in the service, not just IT. Also, that relationships are key to achieving the value.

The 4 Dimensions

The 4 P's have been removed and replaced with 4 Dimensions:

    • Organisations and People

    • Information and Technology

    • Partners and Suppliers

    • Value Streams and Processes

These dimensions are subject to the PESTLE factors:

    • Political

    • Economic

    • Social

    • Technological

    • Legal

    • Environmental

Processes become Practices for better or worse, and the Practices are split into General, Service, and Technology.

The Future of ITIL

With the 4 ITIL specialist modules, combined with ITIL 4 and the Managing Professional, the future for ITIL will both align with the business to co-create value, and ensure that ITIL 4 links with the new and emerging IT frameworks such as DevOps & SIAM.

Learn More about ITIL Certification & Training


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