The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.
Overview of ITIL v2
The eight ITIL version 2 books and their disciplines are:
The IT service management sets
- 1. Service Support
- 2. Service Delivery
- 3. ICT infrastructure management
- 4. Security management
- 5. Application management
- 6. Software asset management
- 7. Planning to implement service management
- 8. ITIL Small-scale implementation
Other operational guidance
To assist with the implementation of ITIL practices a further book was published (Apr 9, 2002) providing guidance on implementation (mainly of Service Management):
And this has more recently (Jan 26, 2006) been supplemented with guidelines for smaller IT units, not included in the original eight publications:
1. Service support
The Service Support ITIL discipline focuses on the User of the IT services and is primarily concerned with ensuring that they have access to the appropriate services to support the business functions.
To a business, customers and users are the entry point to the process model. They get involved in service support by:
- Asking for changes
- Needing communication, updates
- Having difficulties, queries
- Real process delivery
The service desk functions as the single contact-point for end-users' incidents. Its first function is always to document ("create") an incident. If there is a direct solution, it attempts to resolve the incident at the first level. If the service desk cannot solve the incident then it is passed to a 2nd/3rd level group within the incident management system. Incidents can initiate a chain of processes: incident management, problem management, change management, release management and configuration management. This chain of processes is tracked using the configuration management database (CMDB), - ITIL refers to configuration management system (CMS), which records each process, and creates output documents for traceability (quality management). Note - CMDB/CMS does not have to be a single database. The solution can be Federated.
2. Service delivery
The service delivery discipline concentrates on the proactive services the ICT must deliver to provide adequate support to business users. It focuses on the business as the customer of the ICT services (compare with: service support). The discipline consisted of the following processes:
- Service level management
- Capacity management
- IT service continuity management
- Availability management
- Financial management
3. ICT infrastructure management
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) management processes recommend best practice for requirements analysis, planning, design, deployment and ongoing operations management and technical support of an ICT infrastructure.
The infrastructure management processes describe those processes within ITIL that directly relate to the ICT equipment and software that is involved in providing ICT services to customers.
- ICT design and planning
- ICT deployment
- ICT operations
- ICT technical support
These disciplines are less well understood than those of service management and therefore often some of their content is believed to be covered 'by implication' in service management disciplines.
ICT design and planning provides a framework and approach for the strategic and technical design and planning of ICT infrastructures. It includes the necessary combination of business (and overall IS) strategy, with technical design and architecture. ICT design and planning drives both the procurement of new ICT solutions through the production of statements of requirement ("SOR") and invitations to tender ("ITT") and is responsible for the initiation and management of ICT Programmes for strategic business change. Key outputs from design and planning are:
- ICT strategies, policies and plans
- The ICT overall architecture & management architecture
- Feasibility studies, ITTs and SORs
- Business cases
ICT deployment provides a framework for the successful management of design, build, test and roll-out (deploy) projects within an overall ICT programme. It includes many project management disciplines in common with PRINCE2, but has a broader focus to include the necessary integration of release management and both functional and non functional testing.
ICT operations management provides the day-to-day technical supervision of the ICT infrastructure. Often confused with the role of incident management from service support, operations has a more technical bias and is concerned not solely with incidents reported by users, but with events generated by or recorded by the infrastructure. ICT operations may often work closely alongside incident management and the service desk, which are not-necessarily technical, to provide an 'operations bridge'. Operations, however should primarily work from documented processes and procedures and should be concerned with a number of specific sub-processes, such as: output management, job scheduling, backup and restore, network monitoring/management, system monitoring/management, database monitoring/management storage monitoring/management. Operations are responsible for the following:
- A stable, secure ICT infrastructure
- A current, up to date operational documentation library ("ODL")
- A log of all operational events
- Maintenance of operational monitoring and management tools.
- Operational scripts
- Operational procedures
ICT technical support is the specialist technical function for infrastructure within ICT. Primarily as a support to other processes, both in infrastructure management and service management, technical support provides a number of specialist functions: research and evaluation, market intelligence (particularly for design and planning and capacity management), proof of concept and pilot engineering, specialist technical expertise (particularly to operations and problem management), creation of documentation (perhaps for the operational documentation library or known error database). There are different levels of support under the ITIL structure, these being primary support level, secondary support level and tertiary support level, higher-level administrators being responsible for support at primary level.
The Known Error Database (KEDB) database contains all known error records. This database is created by problem management and used by incident management and problem management, and as part of service knowledge management systems.
4. Planning to implement service management
The ITIL discipline – planning to implement service management attempts to provide practitioners with a framework for the alignment of business needs and IT provision requirements. The processes and approaches incorporated within the guidelines suggest the development of a continuous service improvement program (CSIP) as the basis for implementing other ITIL disciplines as projects within a controlled program of work. Planning to implement service management focuses mainly on the service management processes, but also applies generically to other ITIL disciplines. Components include:
- Creating vision
- Analyzing organization
- Setting goals
- Implementing IT service management
5. Small-scale implementation
ITIL Small-scale implementation provides an approach to ITIL framework implementation for smaller IT units or departments. It is primarily an auxiliary work that covers many of the same best practice guidelines as planning to implement service management, service support, and service delivery but provides additional guidance on the combination of roles and responsibilities, and avoiding conflict between ITIL priorities.