As a result of recent updates to ITIL practices, IT teams are encouraged not to take ITIL too prescriptive. ITIL 4 transitions from step-by-step processes to holistic “practices” that include culture, business goals, and stakeholders. The 34 practices are categorized as follows: general management practices, service management practices, and technology management practices.


ITIL books Directory Blue
The world`s most widely used IT service management guide. Since 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS Ltd, a joint venture between Capita Plc and the UK Cabinet.

Businesses are increasingly reliant on technology, and IT teams are beginning to play a key role in companies' operations. The ITIL (in particular its latest version ITIL 4 - download the book here ITIL 4 Foundation PDF) is a framework that gives IT teams the flexibility and stability they need to successfully support their business.

What is ITIL?

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library, see this link for a guide ) is a recognized set of guidelines designed to help organizations get the most out of IT by aligning IT services with business strategy.

ITIL history

The ITIL library was created in the 1980s by the British government. At the time of its creation, the government was looking for a set of standards to improve IT efficiency. Over time, the library has evolved and gained popularity as new versions were released. ITIL is currently owned by Axelos, a joint venture between the UK Cabinet and Capita. In 2019, they released the latest version of ITIL # 4, which takes a more holistic and flexible approach to ITSM.

ITIL and ITSM: What's the Difference?

To understand the difference between ITIL and ITSM, let's start by defining the latter. ITSM, or IT Service Management, is the process of managing the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers by IT teams. This includes all the processes and activities for developing, creating, delivering, and maintaining IT services. ITSM is service oriented. Its basic tenet is that IT products should be delivered as services.

Thus, ITSM is a kind of methodology for delivering IT services to a business, and ITIL is a widely used set of practices for implementing ITSM in business. For those familiar with Agile techniques, the difference between ITSM and ITIL will remind you of the difference between Agile and Scrum. If ITSM (or Agile) is a methodology, then ITIL (or Scrum) is a framework for implementing this methodology.

There is clearly a close relationship between the two: the ITIL library was built with ITSM in mind. But the difference between the two can be summed up in one sentence: ITIL is a framework or set of guidelines for implementing ITSM.

ITIL framework

With the release of ITIL 4, the library has undergone changes that put it on a par with such new technologies and ways of working as Lean, Agile and DevOps. It provides teams with a holistic vision focused on customer and business value. The latest update made the ITIL library more flexible and adaptable. These changes are evident in both the new ITIL 4 framework and guidelines.

For example, ITIL 4 introduced the Service Value System (SVS), the main input for which is opportunity or need, and the main result is value.