Whether you’re new to IT Service Management (ITSM) or you want to level up your ITSM operation, it’s important to understand, and be able to explain, the difference between ITSM and ITIL. In the simplest terms, ITSM is the practice of managing IT operations as a service, while ITIL is a framework that can help you form the foundation of an ITSM strategy for your organization. Organizations that implement an ITIL framework as usually operating at a higher IT maturity level compared to those that don’t use ITIL. The ITIL framework is one that evolves, and anyone interested can get certified in the latest version of ITIL.
As we know, ITSM is defined as the implementation and management of quality IT services to meet the needs of a business. ITSM refers to all the activities carried out, planned, delivered, operated and controlled by an organization to provide IT services to stakeholders (employees, customers, students, faculty, etc.). Under the ITSM model, the IT department is often thought of as a service desk.
ITSM aims to bring together people, processes and technology in a way that creates value for the business. It focuses on the following goals:
Today, organizations in healthcare, the government, technology, and other sectors use ITSM to standardize IT services and create value for end-users according to their different industry-specific IT needs. ITSM has also led to the development of several IT management frameworks that can apply to both centralized and decentralized systems, the most comprehensive and widely used being the ITIL framework.
ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library and refers to a specific framework for ITSM that was developed in the UK in the 1980s. ITIL prescribes a set of specific methods, practices, and processes for managing the organization’s IT operations and services. Those wanting to use ITIL can get certified – the latest iteration being ITIL 4. ITIL 4 provides the guidance organizations need to address new service management challenges and harness the potential of modern technologies in the age of cloud, agile and DevOps transformations. A vital component of the ITIL 4 framework is the use of a single, uniform and cohesive set of guidelines for the management of IT services.
When thinking about ITSM vs ITIL, it’s important to understand the relationship between the two. ITSM describes how an organization manages its IT services; and ITIL is a framework for ITSM – a specific set of process and guidelines for the provisioning of IT services. It’s not really a one vs. the other comparison and having strategies for both are vital to building out a mature IT offering.
The ITIL framework bases itself on the five phases of the service life cycle. The guidelines set out the necessary processes, associated challenges and best practices for each phase of the service life cycle, as well as the requirements for the implementation of each phase. These guidelines can, and should, be used to kick off internal discussions and policy creation within an organization to ensure service delivery is optimized appropriately for the end-user.
The 5 stages of ITIL are:
In conclusion, any organization building their ITSM strategy around the ITIL framework is setting themselves up for success. Here are a few other things to consider as you mature your ITSM offerings:
Check out these customer stories to see how organizations are embracing ITSM systems to support their ITIL initiatives:
To learn more about ITIL and ITSM best practices check out the latest customer stories and eBooks from TeamDynamix, here.
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