What's new in ITIL 4? Everything you Need to Know

What is ITIL? How could ITIL 4 enhance your business? We look at how ITIL 4 practitioners optimize IT service management practices.

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ITIL, formerly known as the ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’, is the world’s most popular framework for IT Service Management (ITSM). Used across virtually every industry from technology to animation, ITIL is designed to help users perfectly align their IT services and business requirements. It fosters an atmosphere of continual service improvement that enables businesses to keep delivering the best end-products and services possible, all with minimal wastage and maximum focus.

At the itSMF USA Fusion 2017 conference, AXELOS Global Best Practice finally announced ITIL 4, the latest iteration of the framework. This new industry and community-driven version would not only improve on existing ITIL processes, but also acknowledge and overcome many of the most common hangups practitioners had with ITIL V3.

It is safe to say that the ITIL 4 announcement received a mixed reception. Many were excited, as ITIL V3 has garnered a variety of criticisms over the years, and in announcing ITIL 4 AXELOS appeared ready and willing to address them.

Others were, naturally, concerned about what the release would mean for existing ITIL V3 certifications. Would they remain valid? How would the ITIL 4 certification path be different? When would AXELOS announce how to bridge ITIL v3 and 4?

With ITIL 4 Foundation having been released early in 2019, the new framework already has a growing collection of practitioners. Let’s take a look at just what ITIL 4 has to offer!

How Does ITIL 4 Work?

To start with, it is worth pointing out that many of the core elements of ITIL V3 are still present in the new framework. That said, there are three major changes to be aware of.

The first is that ITIL 4 is far more industry and community-driven than its predecessor. The development of the new ITIL saw AXELOS working with ITSM practitioners, writers, reviewers, and other expert representatives in order to create a far more valid and satisfying framework. In the future, ITIL will also be continuously refined and improved by the ‘ITIL Development Group’, which currently boasts over 2000 members from many of the world’s largest and most successful organizations, in order to keep it fresh and innovative.

The second is that AXELOS has made it so that ITIL can be integrated with a number of other popular practices and frameworks, including Agile, DevOps, and Lean. This has not only made ITIL a more versatile tool, but it has also made it easier for organizations that already utilize other popular frameworks to make the transition to ITIL-style management.

The final change worth mentioning is the all-new ITIL 4 certification path. When studying the previous iteration of the framework, students would first study for the ITIL v3 Foundation certification exam before moving on to intermediate modules in either the ITIL Lifecycle or ITIL Capability streams. Students would then take the ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) module in order to reach the rank of "ITIL Expert".

The new version of ITIL will do things a little differently. Students will still start with the ITIL 4 Foundation module, but after this point, they will have two new streams to choose from:

  • ITIL Managing Professional (MP)

  • ITIL Strategic Leader (SL)

Each will contain several modules which must be passed in order to achieve either title. The ‘ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve’ module is also present in both streams, though students will only have to take this once in order to progress. Once a student has finished all intermediate modules, they will then be eligible to start moving towards the rank of ‘ITIL Master’.

If you are already certified in ITIL v3, don’t panic! As the modules for ITIL 4 are released, there will be a number of ways to transfer over to the new certification path. Your best choice will depend on your current ITIL certification level, so consider your options carefully. For example, the ITIL Managing Professional Transition module will allow ITIL v3 experts to reach the level of ITIL Managing Professional (MP). After this, taking the ITIL Leader Digital & Strategy module will allow them to also obtain the ITIL Strategic Leader (SL) designation.

ITIL 4 Certification Path

It is also worth remembering that ITIL V3 is not set for discontinuation until around June 2020. Because of this, there is still time for those studying the preexisting framework to reach higher certification levels.

How can an ITIL 4 Certification Help my Business?

There are several benefits to studying ITIL, both for individual ITSM practitioners and businesses. For one, students can choose which ITIL qualifications to pursue based on their own requirements, as only the ITIL Foundation module is mandatory. However, the potential advantages of studying the framework go deeper than that.

For starters, you should never underestimate the importance of IT service management for modern business. Virtually all companies now utilize IT in order to deliver fundamental products and services. Maximizing the value of these end-results, while also minimizing wastage, is an essential part of driving KPIs; so much so that fewer and fewer companies are willing to gamble their success by neglecting proven methodologies and best practices.

ITIL 4 is a completely modern ITSM framework that has been, and will continue to be, developed by experienced ITSM specialists. Adopting it will enable your business to produce the best services possible, regardless of its industry, size, or capabilities. This, in turn, will lead to boosted profits, an improved reputation among your customers, and even happier employees as your own internal ITSM processes become more refined.

Importantly, the new ITIL is also designed to be flexible enough to incorporate future technological developments. After all, in this current digital age, there are always new disruptive factors to take into account. With the enterprise agility offered by ITIL, you will be better able to evolve your business when necessary, helping you to maintain an invaluable edge over your competitors.

It can also be beneficial to invest in corporate ITIL training for multiple employees at once. This will greatly improve collaboration, allowing your teams to work smarter both in managing IT and creating, implementing, and maintaining services in practice.

Finally, given the popularity of ITIL, it is worth keeping in mind that a fully up to date ITIL certification could make you far more desirable to potential employers. Once more of the ITIL 4 modules are released, studying them could provide an excellent springboard for a career in ITSM.

What do I Need to Know About the ITIL 4 Modules?

ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP) Transition

With the announcement of ITIL 4, students and practitioners of ITIL V3 were eager to find out how necessary it would be to update their qualifications. On the one hand, the insight offered by ITIL V3 is still highly relevant. On the other hand, ITIL 4 is enough of a departure that most ITIL V3 qualifications are not valid prerequisites for its certification scheme. In short, those who had invested serious time in ITIL V3 training were left wondering whether they would have to restart from scratch.

‘ITIL Managing Professional (MP) Transition’ is a module designed to fix this problem. Anyone who holds the ‘ITIL V3 Expert’ qualification (or a minimum of 17 credits) can take the module to become an ITIL 4 Managing Professional with just one exam. The qualification covers ITIL 4 Foundation and every module within the ‘Managing Professional’ stream, allowing successful students to reach the rank of ITIL Expert with just one additional examination.

ITIL 4 Foundation

ITIL 4 Foundation serves as an introduction to the framework, providing students with a summary of AXELOS’ new approach to ITSM. This includes an explanation of the end-to-end ‘Service Value System (SVS)’, along with the frameworks which have been recently integrated with ITIL, such as DevOps, Agile and Lean.

The module covers a number of key elements, including ITIL’s guiding principles, the four dimensions of service management, the Service Value System (SVS), the Service Value Chain (SVC), and 7 ITIL practices. Students will also be prepared to pursue intermediate modules, whether they want to focus on ‘Managing Professional’ or ‘Strategic Leader’.

ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver & Support (CDS)

ITIL Specialist: Create, Deliver & Support looks at the core service management activities that make up ITIL 4. Students will learn how to integrate various activities and value streams to create, deliver and support IT services and products. The module also covers tools, practices and methods designed to boost performance and ensure quality and continuous improvement.

Students will come away from the module with a keen understanding of how to deliver reliable and innovative technology-enabled results. This kind of consistently high quality is essential in today’s IT market, where the best competitors are constantly looking for ways to maximize the value of their work.

ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV)

ITIL Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value examines engagement and interaction between service providers and their suppliers, customers and users (in other words, their ‘stakeholders’). With an understanding of how this works, students will be better equipped to translate stakeholder demands into tangible value.

Students will learn to use a variety of tools and methods designed to maximize stakeholder satisfaction. The module also covers elements such as ‘Service Level Agreement (SLA)’ design, communication, relationship management, multi-supplier management, User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) design and customer journey mapping. ITIL practitioners will then be able to use the module as a reference guide for future projects.

ITIL 4 Specialist: High Velocity IT (HVIT)

ITIL Specialist: High Velocity IT focuses on the environment of modern IT. Digital organizations and operating models must contend with a high-velocity market, where being competitive means having to maximize your speed, responsiveness, agility, and cost-effectiveness as you strive to release high-quality products and services. To maximize your business value, you cannot ignore the reality of this situation. Instead, you need to equip yourself to master it.

Students will look at valuable and widely-used working practices that can help them thrive in high-velocity environments, such as Agile and Lean. They will also look at useful technology, including automatic testing, automation, and clouds.

ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve (DPI)

ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve looks at how IT service managers can apply a strong strategic direction to their work, learning and improving their practices as they go in order to guarantee laser-guided focus.

Students will also learn about the impact and influence of Lean and Agile ways of working, and how these styles can be leveraged within the ITIL framework.

Finally, the module examines various strategic and practical methods for planning and delivering continual improvement for IT-enabled products and services. This is also another module which can be treated as a reference guide by successful practitioners.

ITIL 4 Leader: Digital & IT Strategy (DITS)

ITIL Leader: Digital & IT Strategy focuses on the alignment of IT and digital business strategies. These days, organizations across most industries are heavily impacted by new and disruptive technology. This module examines how ITIL can be applied at a high-end strategic level, enabling practitioners to rapidly respond and adapt in order to remain competitive.

This module is ideal for anyone with an interest in the leadership of ITSM, regardless of their level of experience. Students will learn about how to deal with disruptive technology, not just now but in the future. Considering the continuously-rapid evolution of IT and technology in the modern world of business, having this capability is essential for remaining competitive.

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Why Gain an ITIL Certification with Good e-Learning?

Good e-Learning is an award-winning e-course provider covering many of the world’s most popular corporate standards and frameworks, including TOGAF, Lean, Six Sigma, COBIT 5, and ITIL. We were one of the first companies to market a course for ITIL 4 Foundation, and just recently we were named an ‘ITIL Leader’ in an independent report by Course Conductor.

Our courses are a far cry from the endless slides and PDFs that so many of our competitors use. Instead, we endeavour to provide engaging online learning assets such as interactive videos, motion graphics, and gamified quizzes. Students can also enjoy 24/7 tutor support, as well as FREE exam vouchers and resits when they are ready to sit their exams. We even offer a variety of free online training resources to help students along.

Being so familiar with the ITIL framework, we began preparing for ITIL 4 as soon as it was announced. Our new courses provide excellent guidance on the latest iteration of the world’s most popular ITSM framework. We also continue to offer ITIL v3 training, with our portfolio covering ITIL v3 Foundation, all intermediate qualifications and Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC). We even offer an ITIL Expert Suite which combines all modules into one convenient package.

Key features of our ITIL certification courses:

  • Accredited by PeopleCert

  • FREE exam vouchers included

  • Exam simulators

  • Quizzes and revision modules

  • 95+% average first time pass rate

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Most importantly, we understand how difficult it can be for students with full-time working schedules to find time for training. Because of this, we provide students with months of course-access, giving them plenty of time to stagger their training. Our courses are also fully-accessible on all electronic devices, including phones and tablets, so that students can access training materials at home, at work, or even on the go.

Want to find out more about our award-winning e-learning portfolio? Contact Good e-Learning today!

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