Let's Explore ITIL® 4

In this blog, we explore ITIL 4 and the differences from v3.

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The Scope of ITIL 4

Firstly, ITIL 4 is now much more extensive, emphasizing 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 make 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 that provides a holistic picture of what it means to contribute to business value. Moving from the 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 service delivery to end-to-end value delivery. The focus is now on the co-creation of value through service relationships. 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 to facilitate value creation through IT-enabled services in any organization. In ITIL 4, customers are an essential element in creating value.

Service value chain

The service value chain (SVC) is incorporated within the SVS. The service value chain is the set of related activities that, when sequenced correctly, provides an operating model for creating, delivering, and continually improving services. The service value chain allows an organization to define several 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 adopt and adapt ITIL guidance to their 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 complex 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 organization while reinforcing the fundamentals for delivering quality IT service. This sets ITIL and service management in a strategic context, bringing together ITSM, Development, Operations, business relationships and governance holistically. This is a truly integrated model for digital service management.


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 on ITIL 4 Foundation

The Foundation level is designed as an introduction to ITIL 4. It 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, and DevOps, and why these are important to deliver business value
    • ITIL practices described in ITIL 4 will maintain the value and importance provided by the current ITIL processes while expanding to be integrated into different service management and IT areas, from demand to value.


To learn more about ITIL 4, watch our exclusive video series featuring ITIL Experts: Learning Tree Consultant - Hitesh Patel and AXELOS ITSM Product Ambassador Akshay Anand. - ITIL 4 Evolution on YouTube


Add value and build better relationships with customers through ITIL


This piece was originally posted on February 27, 2019, and has been refreshed with updated styling, links, and information. ITIL®, PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile®, AgileSHIFT®, MoP®, and MSP® are registered trademarks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.