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ITIL 4 Update: Why It's Happening and What You Need to Know

01/09/19 Update: ITIL 4 has now been released! You can take ITIL 4 courses here.

ITIL is thinking about the future…

That’s why a big change is coming in early 2019.

The first major update to ITIL in 2011 was announced by Peter Hepworth from AXELOS at the itSMF USA Fusion 2017 conference. It consists of a renewed focus on:

• The core principles of quality service management

• Practical guidance on how to use ITIL

• How ITIL can be used in conjunction with DevOps, Agile and Lean

This blog entry will explore the updates and clarify what they mean for ITIL students and those looking to get certified.

Peter discussed both ITIL’s ‘continued relevance’ and its ‘ongoing evolution.’ He highlighted that both existing companies and start-ups are using ITIL, proving its continued relevance. Peter mentioned several companies using ITIL as evidence of its relevance, including a ‘Florida-based fintech startup.’

He also alluded to the future role of automation in ITIL. Automation permeates discussions of the future of service management. AXELOS’s report in January 2017, ‘The Future IT Service Management Professional’, says that 89% of professionals ‘think that an increase in automation will take over the repetitive tasks of IT.’

This update has arrived at a time when ITIL has been labelled as being no longer relevant. This is a myth that we explored in one of our previous blog entries, ‘Top 5 ITIL Myths Debunked.’

In fact, current adoption levels are the biggest proof of ITIL’s relevance. AXELOS state that ‘over a million IT professionals in the US rely on ITIL’s best practice guidance to deliver business success […]As a reflection of this, the update will continue to include the widely-adopted core principles of ITIL.’

As Peter explained, alongside AXELOS’s Chief Product Officer Margo Leach, agility is a big component of successful service management. They defined agility as ‘a business’s ability to respond to commercial threat, and respond to market demands and opportunities.’

Of course, ITIL can be tailored to meet the needs of a fast-based service lifecycle. However, it is likely that the current need for agility is what inspired the new focus on ITIL’s partnership with DevOps, Agile and Lean. ITIL’s detractors often claimed DevOps was a more ‘relevant’ version of ITIL. For more information on this, you can visit out blog post ‘ITIL versus DevOps: An Imaginary Conflict?’

An increased focus on ITIL’s practical applications, and its place in the service management community, is exciting news for professionals studying for their ITIL certification. This update alleviates doubts about employability in an agile industry.

The new ITIL update from ITIL 2011 to ITIL 4 is due to be released in the first quarter of 2019 although specific dates are yet to be announced. AXELOS have assured that ‘the crossover period from the current version will allow sufficient time to minimize the impact on your day-to-day operations.’ Finally, ITIL certificate holders will be pleased to know that this update in no way invalidates their qualifications.

With this impending update, becoming ITIL certified is more relevant now than ever. To see our ITIL training courses, click here. Our Foundation course comes with a Pass Pledge, meaning unsuccessful candidates can retake the exam for free within three months of their first attempt. If you have any further questions about ITIL, click here to get in contact with us.