June 17, 2024


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Understanding ITIL Plain and Simple

What is ITIL?

Information Technology Infrastructure Library, luckily ITIL for short, is a de-facto set of standards or practices for delivering IT services from inception through to delivery and lifecycle.

ITIL was developed in the 1980s by the UK government responding to growing dependence on IT in the private and public sectors. Government recognised that without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts had started independently creating their own IT management practices.

ITIL v3 is an extension of ITIL v2 which was subsequently replaced following the completion of the withdrawal period on 30 June 2011. ITIL v3 provides a more holistic perspective on the full life cycle of services, covering the entire IT organisation and all supporting components needed to deliver services to the customer. ITIL v2 tended to focus on specific activities directly related to service delivery and support. Although most of the v2 activities remained unchanged there have been significant changes to terminology in order to accommodate this expansion in remit.

Why is ITIL so important?

ITIL is argued to be the most widely adopted IT Service Management standard in the world. I would advocate that almost all blue chip listed companies will have adopted, in some capacity, ITIL best practice recommendations. It is important to remember that ITIL is not a standard that an organisation can be certified as. The point of ITIL is to provide organisations with a framework or structure to base IT strategy, objectives and mission statement. It can be adapted to work in any industry or sector and applied to any size organisation.

As a result of the popularity and proven credence of ITIL, organisations who adhere to the standard will expect new employees/candidates to have had exposure to and/or be qualified to at least ITIL v3 foundation level. If you want a job in IT or want to further your career then getting ITIL certified will give you a huge advantage in the job market.

ITIL qualification is split into four core levels

1. Foundation

2. Intermediate

3. Expert

4. Master


The purpose of the ITIL Foundation certificate in IT Service Management is to certify that you have gained knowledge of the ITIL terminology, structure and basic concepts and have understood the core principles of ITIL practices for Service Management.

The Exam format is as follows:

Multiple choice

40 questions per paper

26 marks required to pass (out of 40 available) – 65%

60 minutes duration

Closed book


ITIL Intermediate level has a modular approach where each module has a different, but specific focus. The concept here is that you are able to specialise in key areas of the ITIL framework. My blue chip organisations will structure their teams with a specific remit i.e. Service Desk, Change Management, Release Management, Problem Management. You can take as few or as many Intermediate qualifications as required to suit your needs. The Intermediate modules are much more detailed than the Foundation level does and require a greater understanding of the specialised field.

ITIL Master

This level of the qualification will assess your ability to apply and analyse the ITIL concepts in new areas.

A candidate must ensure they have an extensive base of practical ‘hands-on’ ITIL experience to enable them to demonstrate active involvement in implementation of the practices, in order to meet the requirements for the Qualification.

Read more about ITIL here http://www.smartitblogger.com/itil

Andrew Scott