What is ITIL®?

ITIL is used by millions of professionals globally. Businesses are built on ITIL.

ITIL supports organizations and individuals to gain optimal value from IT and digital services. It helps define the direction of the service provider with a clear capability model and aligns them to the business strategy and customer needs.

ITIL, a professionally recognized certification scheme, provides comprehensive, practical and proven guidance for establishing a service management system, providing a common glossary of terms for businesses using IT enabled services.

What is ITIL?

ITIL is a widely accepted approach to IT service management (ITSM), which has been adopted by individuals and organizations across the world. It provides a cohesive set of best practice, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.

Every year, organizations invest heavily in adopting and adapting ITIL into their business practices and upskilling their workforce with ITIL qualifications.

Extensive research by AXELOS, involving a diverse group of stakeholders (+2,000), has consistently shown that ITIL is fundamental to businesses, enables transformation and helps organizations realize value.

ITIL advocates that IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes.

The ITIL approach provides guidance to organizations and individuals on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change, transformation and growth. ITIL is mapped in ISO 20000 Part 11. This recognizes the way that ITIL can be used to meet the requirements set out for ISO 20000 certification and the interdependent nature with ITIL. This is the first such mapping that ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) has allowed to be part of their standards. The ITIL ITSM Best Practice is supported by a certification scheme that enables practitioners to demonstrate their abilities in adopting and adapting the framework to address their specific needs.


The ITIL v3 best practices are currently detailed within five core publications:

These five volumes map the entire ITIL Service Lifecycle, beginning with the identification of customer needs and drivers of IT requirements, through to the design and implementation of the service and finally, the monitoring and improvement phase of the service.

ITIL 4 takes you through a service value system which provides a holistic picture of what it really means to contribute to business value. The focus is now on the co-creation of value through service relationship.

The updated framework will focus on facilitating value co-creation via a service value system (SVS). The SVS represents how different components and activities can work together, in any type of organization, to facilitate value creation through IT enabled services.

Learn more in the core publication, ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4 Edition.

ITIL Users

ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organizations worldwide, including NASA, Microsoft and HSBC.

Read our case studies with The Walt Disney Company and Müller Dairy to find out how they used the ITIL framework to make improvements to their businesses and see our case studies and white papers section for more examples of companies who have used ITIL to achieve business benefits.

ITIL is currently evolving from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4. ITIL 4 expands on previous versions by providing a practical and flexible basis to support organizations on their journey to the new world of digital transformation.

Equinor: Adapting ITIL Beyond IT ITIL Case Study Industry
Many organizations have found that the tenets of the ITIL framework lend themselves to business functions beyond ITSM. Equinor is one such company. Read
Spotify: An ITIL® Case Study Industry
Discover how Olingo, a Swedish management consulting company, helped Spotify to embrace the principles of ITIL. Read