Introduction to ITIL v3 Foundations

Introduction to ITIL v3 Foundations

ITIL, or the IT Infrastructure Library, is one of the most talked about and sought after certifications in IT right now. If you are currently an IT director or manager, Service Desk Manager, or network administrator, or you aspire to be any one of those things at some point, ITIL is certainly a certification to keep on your radar.

So what is it? ITIL is about Service Management in IT. It’s about what happens when an IT department is introducing a new service into an organization and everything that comes before it’s introduction and after. It’s about your customers attaining value in the services that you provide them. But more than anything else, ITIL is about making sure that your IT processes and objectives run in parallel with the objectives and goals of the business. For years, that hasn’t been the case. For years, IT has been about a team of people running around making sure the computers worked and that the network was up. That is no longer the case. IT is now about facilitation, about fostering the goals of the business, and providing the tools and services for organizations to reach their potential.

As IT became more firmly entrenched in companies everywhere starting in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, it was clear the winds of change had begun to gust. The movement was made out of simple necessity – more computers meant more complexity, more complexity meant more change, and drastic change alters the way organizations operate. Consistent change and mismanagement puts IT departments into a reactive state that they forever struggle to get out of. Many IT departments feel the crush of additional technology solutions and routinely fail to utilize what they already have. The answer to technology issues is often “more technology!” which simply compounds the problem. IT services go under-utilized because they are often introduced improperly and are maintained inadequately. To make the IT department work efficiently and proactively requires a new way of thinking and operating. ITIL is way to harness your companies assets so that the technology is actually serving your customers and providing them value instead of merely existing.
ITIL v3 Foundations is where everything starts. It is the introductory course and certification for those diving into the deep waters of Service Management. The certification exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions. The test taker must answer 26 of those 40 questions correctly to pass. The difficult part for those new to ITIL is memorizing the various processes and functions that reside within each stage of the Service Lifecycle. What is the Service Lifecycle you say? The 5 stage Service Lifecycle is ITIL .

Let’s say your IT department is introducing an image deployment service into your organization. Until now, all installations on workstations were performed manually from DVD or installed over the network using downloaded source files, but that’s all going to change based on this new service. Sounds great, but before any of this ever happens there are Strategy meetings to determine the cost of the new service and the demand the organization has for it. After it’s decided that it’s a good idea and that the company has the resources necessary to build and sustain the service, the IT department then has to figure out how to Design the service.

Further considerations are brought up at this point like Capacity Management (how much storage space will we need for all of our corporate images and what are the prospects of that number significantly increasing in the near future?), Security Management (how do we protect the images once they are on the image server?), Service Continuity Management (how do we get the imaging service back to a usable state in case of disaster?), and Availability Management (is our imaging platform reliable enough to meet our customers SLA’s?).
Once the Design of the service is finalized, it’s time to forward the information onto Transition where the new service will enter into testing and ultimately Release Management. Transition also happens to be where Change Management plays a vital role with the understanding that what the IT department does on daily basis can have drastic consequences on the rest of the organization.

When Testing is complete and the service has gone through Release Management, it enters into the Operational phase of the Service Lifecycle. The Operations phase is where the value of the service is finally realized because that is where your customers actually touch the service. They are finally able to benefit from it. In our case, recovery times and deployments should see a significant reduction in time spent on those processes with the implementation of the image deployment service. So there are four major phases represented in this example: Strategy, Design, Transition, and Operations.
But wait! Didn’t I mention there five phases to the Service Lifecycle? Yes. The one we didn’t touch on is Continual Service Improvement (CSI). CSI comes in at the tail end of the Lifecycle, but it is present within every phase. In other words, the ideas introduced in the CSI phase, such as the 7 Step Improvement Process, are applicable to every other phase. We can always get better every step of the way and CSI is there to remind us of that.

So there you have it. The 5 phases of the Service Lifecycle: Strategy, Design, Transition, Operations, and Continual Service Improvement. ITIL takes a service and represents that service from it’s inception up until it’s living and breathing within your IT department. It is a thoughtful framework that has been proven to foster efficiency and productivity time and time again.

For more ITIL training course information visit Directions Training or follow us on Twitter @DirectionsTrain or call toll-free 1-855-575-8900.

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