The Information Technology Infrastructure Library® (ITIL) is a set of best practice guidance for IT Service Management. ITIL is owned by the OGC (UK's Office of Government Commerce) and consists of a series of publications giving guidance on the provision of quality IT Services, and on the processes and facilities needed to support them. It was created for that organizations of all kinds could more effectively control costs and the efficiency of IT services contractors. ITIL is supported by a comprehensive qualifications scheme, accredited training organizations, and implementation and assessment tools.
ITIL is organized around a Service Lifecycle: which includes:
- Service Strategy: establishes collaboration between business strategists and IT to develop IT service strategies that support the business strategy. It helps to understand who the IT customers are, the service offerings that are required to meet the customers’ needs, the IT capabilities and resource that are required to develop these offerings and the requirements for executing it successfully, bearing in mind the that the cost of delivery must be consistent with the value delivered to the customer.
- Service Design: assures that the overarching IT architecture and each IT service are designed to effectively meet business objectives by being both fit for purpose and fit for use. Additionally, processes required to manage services, management systems and the tools necessary to adequately monitor and support them, are also part of the design phase.
- Service Transition: manages and controls changes into the live IT operational environment to assure that the business customer can achieve the desired value. This phase addresses managing changes, controlling the assets and configuration items (underlying components – hardware, software, etc) associated with new and changed systems, service validation and testing and transition planning to assure that users, support personnel and the production environment has been prepared for the release to production.
- Service Operation: delivers and supports the operational IT services on an ongoing basis, overseeing the daily overall health of the services in such a way that they meet business needs and expectations and deliver forecasted business benefits. This includes managing disruptions to service through rapid restoration of incidents, determining the root cause of problems, detecting trends associated with recurring issues, handling daily routine end user requests and managing service access.
- Continual service improvement: offers a mechanism for IT to measure and improve the service levels, the technology, and the efficiency and effectiveness of processes used in the overall management of services.