ITIL and ITSM are not the same

One of the more common misnomers that people often confront is the disparity between ITIL and ITSM; this is to say that the two items are often confused for one another in a sense.   Let’s clarify, shall we?  ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library; it is a collection of the best practices, processes, and methodologies for instituting, maintaining, or improving IT infrastructure(s).  ITSM on the other hand, stands for Information Technology Service management.  ITSM is the actual practice of establishing and delivering critical services to organizations, which is centrally focused on specific benefit to customers, for example.  Likewise, ITSM is something that actually takes advantage of, and / or uses ITIL.  So in other words, ITIL is essentially the reference and ITSM is the action(s).

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s examine how ITIL Intermediate training works to further reinforce ITSM (overall).  First off, one of the distinguishing characteristics of ITIL Intermediate training is its focus on the IT service lifecycle.  Incidentally, ITSM just so happens to be an amalgamation of the various processes involved in carrying out the IT service lifecycle.  In other words, through the study of ITIL Intermediate with its predisposition toward the IT service lifecycle, one can institute ITSM practices which are not only more in line with what’s proven to work well, but also meet or exceed the desires of the consumer base (in which they serve).

If we take a closer look at any ITIL Intermediate program we’ll see that it is actually broken up into various sections, with each one corresponding to certain element (or elements) of managing and/or maintaining the IT service lifecycle model:

  • SO – Service Operation
  • ST – Service Transition
  • CSI – Continual Service Improvement
  • SD – Service Design
  • SS – Service Strategy
  • PPO – Planning, Protection & Optimization
  • OSA – Operational Support & Analysis
  • RCV – Release, Control & Validation
  • SOA – Service Offerings & Agreements
  • MALC – Managing Across the Lifecycle (Comprehensive)


Areas like Service Operation, Service Transition, CSI, and Service Design are essentially focused on individual elements of ITSM and perfectly correspond with the concepts of establishing, maintaining, improving and integrating new ideas.  Components like Service Strategy, PPO, OSA, and RCV however are more practical in nature.  This is to say that these areas deal more with uncertainty than some other areas, the way in which these elements are used will depend largely upon the setup, nature, and demands of the organization which is being serviced.  SOA touches upon more specialized issues as well as the finer points of service agreements, which are becoming increasingly important.  Lastly, we have MALC, or managing across the lifecycle.  MALC is essentially a compendium of all the various points inherent to ITIL Intermediate and service management with regards to the IT lifecycle.  More often than not, those seeking training and/or certification in MALC are higher level employees with experience or initiative.

ITIL Expert

It’s also important to note that those who might be seeking expert training / certification will actually be studying a great number of areas laid out in the aforementioned bulleted list.  These components serve as a bulk cross-section of various Expert or Manager Programs in ITIL, with extra areas of study being added to round out the training level.  Given that a lot of the same materials can be found and are used in both Intermediate as well as Managing Across the Lifecycle programs; students should be aware that any Intermediate training / certification that they endure can be utilized to build up eligibility to enrol in a higher level program (should they choose to seek it at a later date, for example).


Are there any other reasons why an IT professional should take up study of ITIL Intermediate?  Rest assured, there are plenty of reasons as to why IT careerists across the board should strongly consider ITIL Intermediate training. One of the most compelling is the immediate benefits that one can expect to reap in their current career.  Remember, ITIL is merely a collection of the best proven processes; if you want to impress corporate leadership; ITIL Intermediate is a good place to start.  What you learn throughout the course of an ITIL Intermediate e-learning program will allow you to positively impact your fellow employees as well as make more informed decisions and offer up better solutions.

So, what’s so great about ITIL Intermediate with regards to ITSM?  ITIL Intermediate allows IT professionals to choose specific areas to specialize in, which gives them the freedom to not only learn how to do their job better, but also makes room for future expansion and better on-the-job problem solving.  Employers also generally love the prospect of having their IT workers educated in ITIL, this alone can lead to better employment opportunities and future promotions within existing organizations.

Choose or create your own custom ITIL Intermediate e-learning package here.


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