ITIL® FAQs: All your questions about ITIL answered

By Simon Buehring on 24 Sep 2018

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ITIL is well-known in the IT industry as a best practice IT service management method. But what benefits does ITIL provide to organisations? What is ITIL certification? And how does ITIL certification benefit your career? Read this article for answers to all these questions and more!

What does ITIL stand for?

ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It's a best practice framework which helps organisations manage their IT products, services and infrastructure.

What is ITIL v3?

ITIL v3 is the 3rd version of the IT Infrastructure Library released in 2007. Whilst ITIL v2 focused mainly on basic IT operations, ITIL v3 focused on enabling IT to support an organisation's business goals. ITIL was updated in 2011 and version numbers were dropped from then on. From 2011, ITIL will be referred to simply by the year it was updated. The most recent version is ITIL 2011.

What is the latest ITIL Foundation version?

The latest ITIL Foundation certification is ITIL 2011 - the set of 5 core manuals which were released in 2011. Prior to the 2011 release, ITIL had different versions - v3 being the last one. Since the 2011 release however, ITIL is no longer referred to using a version number. Instead it is referred to by its year of release.

What is the latest ITIL certification?

The latest ITIL certification is based upon ITIL 2011 - the set of 5 core manuals which were released in 2011. Prior to the 2011 release, ITIL had different versions - v3 being the last one. Since the 2011 release however, ITIL is no longer referred to using a version number.

What does ITIL provide to organisations?

ITIL is the most well-known IT service management (ITSM) framework in the world. ITIL provides a set of generic ITSM best practice processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which can be applied by any organisation. ITIL enables an organisation to integrate its IT with the organization's strategy, thereby helping to deliver value. It also allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure improvements.

What is the benefit of ITIL certification?

The benefits of ITIL certification for an individual are:

  1. Learn how to apply ITIL in your work
  2. Learn how to communicate using ITIL terminology
  3. Become part of an international ITIL community
  4. Gain recognition from your colleagues at work
  5. Gain confidence from learning best practices
  6. Demonstrate your value to your boss from your qualification
  7. Improve your career prospects and progression in ITSM.

What is ITIL service management?

ITIL is a set of practices designed to manage IT products, services and infrastructure in alignment with an organisation's business needs. As such it’s the best-known IT Service Management (ITSM) framework. It is used by most large organizations across the globe to manage their IT services.

What is ITIL and IT Service Management (ITSM)?

ITSM (IT Service Management) refers to all the work which is involved to design, create, deliver, support and manage the lifecycle of IT services within an organisation.

ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is a best practice framework of processes, procedures and checklists comprised a set of 5 guidance manuals. ITIL contains a professional certification scheme.

What is ITIL used for?

ITIL is used by organisations worldwide to enable their IT services to support and align with business needs. It contains a set of best practices which helps organisations create, maintain and manage IT products, services and infrastructure in order to support everyday business as usual operations.

What are the ITIL qualifications?

The ITIL qualifications levels are:

  1. Foundation - exam-based
  2. Practitioner - exam-based
  3. Intermediate - exam-based
  4. Expert - exam-based
  5. Master - interview-based

What is ITIL certification?

ITIL certification is a set of professional qualifications for people working in IT Service Management (ITSM). They enable candidates to demonstrate different levels of knowledge and understanding of ITIL. The ITIL certification levels are:

  1. Foundation - general awareness of key ITIL concepts and terminology
  2. Practitioner - improves students' ability to apply ITIL in their organizations
  3. Intermediate - module-based demonstrating a more detailed focus on ITSM
  4. Expert - demonstrates knowledge of the entirety of ITIL
  5. Master - demonstrates your application of ITIL to achieve desired business outcomes.

What is ITIL Foundation?

ITIL Foundation is the entry-level certification for ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library). It's the world's most popular IT Service Management (ITSM) qualification. The ITIL Foundation multiple-choice exam tests student's knowledge of key ITIL concepts and terminology. Approximately 100,000 people take ITIL Foundation exams each year.

It is a key qualification for almost all jobs in ITSM. It is a pre-requisite to all other ITIL qualifications.

What is ITIL Practitioner?

ITIL Practitioner is the certification providing a step between the ITIL Foundation and ITIL Intermediate certification levels. It aims to improve the ability of individuals to adopt and adapt ITIL in their organisations. ITIL Foundation is a pre-requisite to sitting the multiple-choice Practitioner exam.

What is ITIL Intermediate?

ITIL Intermediate level certification is the middle level of the 5 ITIL certification leels. ITIL Intermediate has a modular structure which enables a student to choose different modules from within the ITIL portfolio. Students can take as many Intermediate qualifications as they need. ITIL Intermediate modules go into more detail than either Foundation or Practitioner levels.

What is ITIL Master?

ITIL Master certification is the highest level of ITIL certification. It is an interview-based qualification. Examiners ask students to explain and justify how they selected and applied a range of ITIL elements to achieve the desired business outcomes in various practical assignments.

What is ITIL Expert?

ITIL Expert is the 2nd highest level of ITIL certification. It is aimed at people interested in demonstrating knowledge of the whole of ITIL, rather than the selective aspects chosen at the Intermediate level. This level is a pre-requisite for the Master level.

What is ITIL training?

ITIL training refers to either classroom or online elearning course based upon the ITIL syllabus. The ITIL syllabus is written and maintained by AXELOS, the owners of ITIL. To gain one of the 5 levels of ITIL certification requires a student to pass one or more exams. The exams available are at Foundation, Practitioner and Intermediate levels.

Can ITIL be agile?

There's a core antagonism between agile and ITIL. Agile welcomes change and aims to bring services quickly to users. ITIL and traditional ITSM doesn't embrace change in the rapid way of ITIL because it values maintaining ongoing IT services in a low-risk, stable manner. To overcome this apparent conflict DevOps was born to combine the best of ITIL's traditional low risk approach and the flexibility and speed of agile.

Can ITIL be used for software development?

No, ITIL cannot be used for software development. ITIL is a set of practices designed to manage IT services in alignment with business needs. It is not a software development methodology. However, after software development have developed software and it has been accepted by users, it can be transitioned into operational use. This is where ITIL can be helpful because it provides the practices needed to manage this transition.

What's the difference between ITIL and PMP?

ITIL is an IT service management (ITSM) framework which helps organisations provide business value from its IT services and infrastructure. ITIL provides a set of generic ITSM best practices which can be applied by any organisation.

PMP (Project Management Professional) is a professional project management qualification accredited by the US-based PMI (Project Management Institute). It's based upon the PMBoK Guide which describes numerous project management tools and techniques to assist project managers when managing projects.

What's the difference between ITIL and PRINCE2?

ITIL is an IT service management (ITSM) framework which helps organisations provide business value from its IT services and infrastructure. ITIL provides a set of generic ITSM best practices which can be applied by any organisation.

PRINCE2 is a project management framework which provides organisations with a process-based set of best practices to manage and govern projects.

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Simon Buehring

Simon Buehring is the Founder and Managing Director of Knowledge Train.

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