With ITIL 4 rapidly approaching official release and companies the world over awaiting brand new certifications for their programs, there's a lot to be excited about in the ITIL world. While many organizations may already be comfortable with their current ITIL 3 implementations, it's worthwhile to take a look at how the change to the way ITIL is approached in ITIL 4 and see if it could be beneficial to your organization.
There's already a growing subset of the IT world hailing that ITIL is no longer useful in today's sprawling and flexible technology ecosystems, but that ignores the fact that ITIL is still very applicable to a number of organizations, even if it's not the best fit for all. Just like newer IT doctrines and methods of looking at service management have their place, ITIL still does as well.
The main difference between ITIL 3 and ITIL 4 is a bold new approach in philosophy. The core tenants and content for the library is still largely the same, and getting up-to-date with the new standard won't take a huge time investment for practitioners already familiar with ITIL. That being said, the program does address a changing IT landscape by shining a new light on the way ITIL looks at technology.
It's worthwhile to take a closer look at some of the major changes in ITIL 4 as well as cover a few of the benefits of ITIL as an IT solution. A number of popular blogs and IT community members have already taken a look at the ITIL 4 documentation earlier this year, like Joe the IT Guy, and there's an abundance of new material to get excited about looking at. For those of you who prefer to read the documentation yourself first-hand, you can dive in to the new ITIL 4 documentation anytime.
ITIL 4 Major Changes
There's a number of changes in ITIL 4, but most of these are related to the thinking behind ITIL rather than the processes with which they are managed. As an example, ITIL 4 greatly encourages and shepherds practitioners into thinking about ITIL collectively as an organization rather than in segmented groups. This movement from a more departmental approach to a living, breathing, cohesion between IT and the way its managed allows ITIL 4 to sit organically within an organizations IT framework, guiding it along the way without interjecting detrimental processes into the equation.
A strong emphasis on co-creation to create value for ITIL is another new guiding principle found in ITIL 4, and it's aimed at ensuring everyone gets what they need from the new implementation. It goes beyond working within the organization and expands to all stakeholders involved with the organization in order to create value among users.
Probably the biggest process-related change to ITIL 4 is a stronger focus on digital integration and the inclusion of digital changes that have come in the last decade. This will be a boon for companies who have already “gone digital” and started including a range of new technologies into their everyday business. From a wide range of smart-connected devices talking to each other and collectively being labeled the Internet-of-Things; a sweeping definition that encompasses thousands of products changing the way we interact with technology, to cloud-based services and more, these digital technologies now have a firm place within the ITIL architecture.
These changes are all aimed at making the way we interact with technology and how we render services a more streamlined and useful process. The value-centric thinking now placed upon the ITIL framework has given practitioners a powerful tool to ensure everyone involved in the technology process is getting what they need from the products and services they interact with.
Why use ITIL 4?
Evolving from a variety of earlier service frameworks, ITIL has been in use for decades now. As a tested and proven method for handling service management within a technology focused organization, ITIL offers companies the flexibility and scalability that's needed to keep consistent IT service. ITIL gives users a solid framework for service management that gives a range of options while still keeping tight control that ensures IT services are made available.
The framework looks to tackle all aspects of service. Rather than being a strict and rigid set of guidelines it's a collection of principles and tenants that aim to guide companies into the world of technology. By laying out these principles as an overarching guideline, ITIL can be applied to many different organizations regardless of size, sector, or objective.
Moving from another framework to ITIL 4 isn't difficult
If you already have an IT framework in place, don't worry: Swapping to ITIL 4 is meant to be a largely painless process, though it will take some work. You may want to consider changing your current process if:
- You don't feel your organization is having all its technology needs met by the current system.
- You're interested in a framework that's a better fit for your organization.
- You want your organization to try something that has decades of experience in the smooth operation of technology.
- You're not currently using any framework or guideline for service management.
If any of these points seem like they fit your organization, it may be time to consider a change to the new ITIL 4.
It's an exciting time for ITIL 4
Now that it's finally here, ITIL 4 offers a fresh new take on the ITIL framework that should last for another decade. If you haven't had an opportunity to take a look yet, head on over to the AXELOS website for more information on ITIL 4. It's definitely worth a look even if you're not convinced its time to switch!