Welcome version 3 of ITIL®!  The Information Technology Infrastructure Library has become the growing standard for managing any infrastructure of information technology.  The standard consists of several books that detail the best practices for management, development, and monitoring the infrastructure.

For the readers not familiar with past iterations of ITIL®, the collection of books fell into two primary sets of disciplines:  Service Delivery and Service Support.  Service Delivery focuses on those processes required to proactively provide IT services to the business.  Most processes, like Service Level Management, are planning processes from which the context to deliver IT services are formed. Service Support concentrates on the services themselves, ensuring that the user has access and ensuring that the services remain in an operational mode.  Processes like problem management and change management are found in Service Support.

Since May 2007, ITIL® has restructured the collection of books to better reflect the life cycle of IT Service Management.  Five key volumes now make up the ITIL® framework.

  1. Service Strategy
  2. Service Design
  3. Service Transition
  4. Service Operation
  5. Continual Service Improvement

Service Strategy consists of processes to build a long term strategy for the IT environment.  It focuses on the creating the direction of IT Services.  To support the strategies developed, the architecture of the IT infrastructure must be design.  The architecture takes into account the physical and software assets, processes, documentation, and staffing.  The majority of processes found in Service Delivery can be found in the new volume of Service Design.

In order to fulfill on the design opportunities of the architecture, it must be built.  Service Transition moves the business from design into operational mode.  In most situations, transition requires supporting the IT environment as before while adopting new design components to the environment.  Once the architecture is implemented, Service Operation provides the structure for maintaining the performance requirements of the architecture.  Many of the Service Support processes can be found in Service Operations.

The final volume of Continual Service Improvement provides the best practices for handling changing business needs and implementing improvements to service delivery.

To find out more about ITIL® v3, go to The Art of Service website, theartofservice.com.

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