ITIL, which stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, does not consist of formal "standards" in the sense of internationally recognized or government-regulated standards like ISO standards. Instead, ITIL is a set of best practices and guidelines for IT Service Management (ITSM) developed by AXELOS, a joint venture between the UK Government and Capita.
The ITIL framework is not prescriptive; it provides a flexible and adaptable approach to ITSM that can be tailored to fit the specific needs of each organization. The guidance offered by ITIL is based on decades of industry experience and is continuously updated to align with current industry trends and practices.
ITIL comprises a series of publications, often called "ITIL core publications" or "ITIL books." These publications provide detailed guidance on various aspects of IT Service Management and cover the following key areas:
- ITIL Service Strategy: This publication defines the business objectives and strategies for IT services. It helps organizations understand the value of their services and how to align them with the needs of the business.
- ITIL Service Design: This publication guides designing IT services that meet the requirements identified in the Service Strategy. It covers service architecture, technology, processes, and documentation.
- ITIL Service Transition: This publication deals with the transition of services from the design stage to the live environment. It includes processes for change management, release management, and other activities necessary to ensure a smooth service transition.
- ITIL Service Operation: This publication concentrates on the day-to-day management and delivery of IT services. It covers processes like incident management, problem management, event management, and other activities to maintain stable IT operations.
- ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI): This publication emphasizes the need for ongoing improvement in IT services. It introduces the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) model to drive continuous enhancements in IT service management.
While ITIL is not a formal standard, its widespread adoption and recognition in the IT industry have made it a de facto standard for ITSM best practices. Many organizations worldwide have embraced ITIL to improve their IT service delivery, enhance customer satisfaction, and achieve business objectives efficiently.