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What is ITIL? ITIL Definition

The IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®) is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world.

ITIL is a best practice framework that has been drawn from both the public and private sectors internationally. It describes how IT resources should be organised to deliver business value, documenting the processes, functions and roles of IT Service Management (ITSM).

In addition to this published material, ITIL is supported by a comprehensive qualifications scheme, accredited training organisations, and implementation and assessment tools.

ITIL was originally developed at the same time as, and in alignment with BS 15000, the former UK standard for IT Service Management. In 2005, BS15000 was fast-tracked to become ISO/IEC 20000, the first international standard in IT Service Management.

ITIL is owned by AXELOS which is committed to the maintenance and development of future versions of ITIL.

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What is the History of ITIL?

The need for ITIL emerged in the 1980s, when the British government determined that the level of IT service quality provided to them was not sufficient. The Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) was tasked with developing a framework for efficient and financially responsible use of IT resources.

The earliest version of ITIL was called GITIM, Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management.

Many large companies and particularly government agencies in Europe very quickly adopted the framework during the early 1990s.  ITIL was spreading far and was used in both government and non-government organisations. As it grew in popularity, both in the UK and across the world, IT itself changed and evolved, and consequently so did ITIL.

In the year 2000, The CCTA became a part of the newly formed Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and in the same year, Microsoft used ITIL as the basis to develop their proprietary Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF).

In 2001, version 2 of ITIL was released. The Service Support and Service Delivery books were redeveloped into more concise usable volumes and consequently became the core focus of ITIL. Over the following few years it became, by far, the most widely used IT service management best practice approach in the world.

In May 2007 version 3 of ITIL was published. This adopted more of a lifecycle approach to service management, with greater emphasis on IT business integration.

Further updates were made in Summer 2011 to correct errors, respond to reviewer feedback, remove inconsistencies and improve clarity and structure.

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ITIL Qualifications


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