What's new with ITIL 4?

There are six key differences between ITIL v3 and the latest update, ITIL 4.


The ITIL 4 framework expands itself to the wider context of customer experience, value streams and digital transformation. It has been updated to reflect the developments in technology happening around the world, and now encompasses new technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing that have moved into mainstream use since the launch of ITIL V3.


ITIL 4 emphasises a holistic approach by defining the dimensions of service management that are collectively essential to the facilitation of value. It’s no longer just about IT — ITIL 4 has a broader focus on services.

These four dimensions of service management are:

  • Organisations and people
  • Information and technology
  • Partners and suppliers
  • Value streams and processes

By taking a more comprehensive approach to service management, ITIL 4 can help you to provide confidence and reassurance to your customers, while consistently delivering better services.


ITIL 4 has evolved beyond the delivery of services to providing value co-creation with the customers and the development of the new ITIL Service Value Chain.


In ITIL 4, there are now practices rather than processes covering roles, skills, people and resources. All ITIL 4 practices have been refreshed to reflect the evolution of IT service management (ITSM) and current ways of working.

A practice is a set of organisational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective. Each ITIL practice supports multiple service value chain activities, providing a comprehensive and versatile toolset for ITSM practitioners.

These resources are grouped into three categories:

  • General management practices
  • Service management practices
  • Technical management practices

Only 15 of the ITIL practices are studied and examined at Foundation level, and seven of these (in bold) are examined in more detail:

  1. Information security management
  2. Relationship management
  3. Supplier management
  4. IT asset management
  5. Monitoring and event management
  6. Release management
  7. Service configuration management
  8. Deployment management
  1. Continual improvement
  2. Change control
  3. Incident management
  4. Problem management
  5. Service request management
  6. Service desk
  7. Service level management

The Guiding Principles released in ITIL Practitioner are now core to the ITIL 4 framework.

A guiding principle is a recommendation that guides an organisation in all circumstances, regardless of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or management structure.

The seven guiding principles of ITIL 4 are:

  • Focus on value
  • Start where you are
  • Progress iteratively with feedback
  • Collaborate and promote visibility
  • Think and work holistically
  • Keep it simple and practical
  • Optimise and automate

ITIL 4 looks at everything related to IT, including development, and so the update will reflect other frameworks, and integrate with new ways of working including Agile, DevOps, Lean, IT governance and leadership.