ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. Fundamentally, ITIL is a set of methods or practices typically used in IT service management or ITSM. ITIL focuses on aligning the IT service with the requirements of the business.
ITIL describes non-organization specific tasks, processes, and procedures which can be used by every organization irrespective of operation method or domain to maintain a certain level of competency.
ITIL was constructed around the need to optimize ITSM. It was initially released as a series of 5 books or volumes, each covering various aspects of IT service management and was structured around a model based way of controlling operations.
The earliest books came out in the late nineties. The books later grew in volume and IT operations began branching out and expanding to different domains. Soon enough, there were close to 30 books to cover all the aspects of practice.
Finally, the UK government’s cabinet in connection with Axelos started documenting all the processes to form what is today known as an ITIL foundation course.
ITIL Today & The Certification Process
In the current system, ITIL certification has five modules or rather levels of certification, during the span of which the key focus areas or practice areas of ITIL are touched upon. The key practice areas are –
Service Strategy: The area focuses on defining services as strategic assets and then how to go about implementing and maintaining said services.
Service Design: This area focuses on designing and developing new services to improve existing ones after assessing current business management processes.
Service Transition: This phase involves testing and quality control and the transition to the newly developed services.
Service Operation: This area focuses on how the services should be managed once they are developed. This is a post-production phase which addresses factors like event and access management, application lifecycle and help-desk.
Continuous Service Improvement: This phase is applied post receiving feedback on the service that was implemented freshly. It deals with ensuring that protocols and policies are followed and that the service level agreements are satisfied.
The five levels of certification in an ITIL course are as follows :
1. ITIL Foundation
This is the entry level or rather foundation certification that covers just the basics. And this is where people new to ITIL begin. This module doesn’t require any pre-requisite qualification. Anyone who holds an interest in this topic can attend it.
This certification covers all 5 aspects of ITIL, but only touches upon them without delving into finer details. Students will have to level up and attend following courses to become eligible for a job in ITSM. This level is merely a prerequisite for the levels that follow.
2. ITIL Practioner
This is the latest addition to the previously 4 level certification structure of ITIL. The first ever exam at this level was conducted in Feb 2016. Anyone who clears this level will be considered as someone with an understanding of ITIL practices and this level aims at topics which teach you to adopt and apply ITIL concepts in a real life situation in organizations.
3. ITIL Intermediate
The third and arguably the hardest level would be ITIL Intermediate, which is a module based level covering multiple aspects and their fine details. The two different categories of modules at this level are Service lifecycle or Service capability. The modules involved in each of the two categories are –
- Service Strategy (SS)
- Service Design (SD)
- Service Transition (ST)
- Service Operation (SO)
- Continual Service Improvement (CSI)
- Operational Support and Analysis (OSA)
- Planning, Protection, and Optimization (PPO)
- Release, Control, and Validation (RCV)
- Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)
4. ITIL Expert
This is one of the advanced levels of ITIL certification and covers the breadth and depth of the topic and the practices used across all disciplines of ITIL. To qualify for this level, candidates must acquire at least 17 credits from the previous three modules and pass a Management Across The Lifecycle or MALC exam making the total credits earned 22.
This level is the prerequisite to the ITIL Master level certification.
5. ITIL Master
This is the last and ultimate level course in ITPL certification. And ITIL Master is someone with a deep understanding of the subject and the skill to apply it in real life scenarios. To become an ITIL master, one must demonstrate proficiency by completing the following :
- Obtaining ITIL Expert certification
- Possess a minimum of 5 yrs experience in a management position or leadership role
- Submit proposal for improvement of service
- Create and submit a work package that displays your abilities as an ITIL master who can apply principles of ITIL in real-world business cases
- Face and successfully complete an interview with the ITIL assessment panel
Why Should You Obtain ITIL Certification?
This is a question commonly raised by management personnel. In obtaining an ITIL certification, you gain the following benefits –
- Better pay
- Improved skill in the field of management
- Familiarity and an understanding of ITSM terminology and jargons
- Improved job opportunities as ITIL certified candidates have high demand
- Better prospects in foreign job markets
From the organization’s perspective, here’s why hiring ITIL certified candidates brings numerous benefits –
- Enhanced Return on investment or ROI and overall, improved productivity.
- Increased retention of staff
- Greater visibility into costs and other expenses
- Efficient use of skills & resources
- Better customer satisfaction
Get Started Today
If you have made up your mind to go ahead with an ITIL certification, the good news is that you can begin with very little work. Many websites allow candidates to get the study material and instructions on how to get an ITIL certification from trusted organizations.
In fact, organizations can send selected candidates for this certification course to help build a better team. To get started, simply look up on the internet or on the Axelos website for links and details.