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Author  Jose Carmona Orbezo, Head of Product Management, Axelos

February 28, 2019 |

 5 min read

  • Blog
  • Career progression
  • IT Services
  • Value
  • ITIL

Ten years ago, Bitcoin was launched, and James Cameron released his innovative film Avatar. And now think of all the changes we have lived through since then. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has created such a fast-paced and complex environment that organizations and individuals had to change their way of thinking. Be more agile, be ready and equipped to adopt new ways of working – or fail.

This is why we are now launching ITIL® 4: to help organizations connect and align these challenges that affect not only ITSM professionals, but a wider range of professionals working in the digital world.

ITIL 4 still uses elements from previous versions that our research told us are still very much fundamental. But at the same time, it is expanding and ITIL 4 now provides a brand new digital operating model.

What has changed?

The changes we have made mean that ITIL 4 offers a practical and flexible basis to support organizations on their digital journey. We have considered the impact of technology on business and how the framework integrates with Agile, DevOps and supports digital transformation.

The key elements of ITIL 4 are the four dimensions, the guiding principles, the move from processes to practices, and the Service Value System, providing a holistic approach to the co-creation of value through service relationships.

Service value system

The service value system (SVS) is a key component of ITIL 4, which facilitates value co-creation. It describes how all the components and activities of an organization work together to enable value creation. As the SVS has interfaces with other organizations it forms an ecosystem and can also create value for those organizations, their customers and stakeholders.

At the heart of the SVS is the service value chain – a flexible operating model for the creation, delivery and continual improvement of services. The service value chain defines six key activities: plan; improve; engage; design and transition; obtain/build; and deliver and support. They can be combined in many different sequences, which means the service value chain allows an organization to define a number of variants of value streams, e.g. the v3 service lifecycle.

The flexibility of the service value chain allows an organization to effectively and efficiently react to changing demands from stakeholders.

The four dimensions

A holistic approach to service management is key in ITIL 4. It defines four dimensions that are critical to the successful facilitation of value for customers and other stakeholders.

The four dimensions are:

  • Organizations and people: An organization needs a culture that supports its objectives, and the right level of capacity and competency among its workforce.
  • Information and technology: In the SVS context, this includes the information and knowledge as well as the technologies required for the management of services.
  • Partners and suppliers: This refers to an organization’s relationships with those other businesses that are involved in the design, deployment, delivery, support, and continual improvement of services.
  • Value streams and processes: How the various parts of the organization work in an integrated and coordinated way is important to enable value creation through products and services.

It’s essential that an appropriate amount of focus is given to each of these dimensions so that the SVS remains balanced and effective.

Guiding principles

ITIL 4 has seven guiding principles. The guiding principles as such are not new, and they are meant to help IT professionals adopt and adapt ITIL guidance to their own specific needs and circumstances.

  • Focus on value
  • Start where you are
  • Progress iteratively with feedback
  • Collaborate and promote visibility
  • Think and work holistically
  • Keep it simple and practical
  • Optimize and automate

They allow professionals to define approaches and navigate difficult decisions and should be followed at every stage of service delivery.

ITIL 4’s focus on collaboration, automation, and keeping things simple, reflect principles found in Agile, DevOps and Lean methodologies.

From processes to practices

ITIL has so far used “processes” to manage IT services. The update expands the processes so that elements such as culture, technology, information and data management can be considered to get a holistic vision of the ways of working.

This is known as “practices”, a fundamental part of the ITIL 4 framework. The SVS includes 34 management practices, which are sets of organizational resources for performing work or accomplishing an objective.

The ITIL practices share the same value and importance as the current ITIL processes but follow a more holistic approach.

The holistic approach

ITIL 4 puts service management in a strategic context. It looks at ITSM, Development, Operations, business relationships and governance holistically and brings the different functions together. By doing this, ITIL 4 has evolved into an integrated model for digital service management.

Why ITIL 4?

There is a simple answer to that. ITIL 4 will help IT professionals compete in an increasingly complex market and insure that they stay relevant. Start building your career with ITIL or reaccredit from ITIL v3 to demonstrate your digital skills and meet your career goals.

To find an ITIL 4 Foundation course, use our Training Provider search.

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