ITIL®® stands for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL®® is the international de facto management framework describing “good practices” for IT Service Management. The ITIL®® framework evolved from the UK government’s efforts during the 1980s to document how successful organizations approached service management. By the early 1990s they had produced a large collection of books documenting the “best practices” for IT Service Management. This library was eventually entitled the IT Infrastructure Library. The Office of Government Commerce in the UK continues to operate as the trademark owner of ITIL®®.

ITIL®® has gone through several evolutions and was most recently refreshed with the release of version 3 in 2007. Through these evolutions the scope of practices documented has increased in order to stay current with the continued maturity of the IT industry and meet the needs and requirements of the ITSM professional community.

ITIL®® is only one of many sources for ITSM good practices, and should be used to complement any other set of practices being used by an organization.

Five volumes make up the IT Infrastructure Library (Version 3).

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement.

Each volume provides the guidance necessary for an integrated approach, and addresses capabilities’ direct impact on a service provider’s performance. The structure of the ITIL® framework is that of the service lifecycle.  It ensures organizations are able to leverage capabilities in one area for learning and improvements in others. The framework is used to provide structure, stability and strength to service management capabilities with durable principles, methods and tools.  This enables service providers to protect investments and provide the necessary basis for measurement, learning and improvement.

In addition to the core publications there is also ITIL® Complimentary Guidance.  This consists of a complimentary set of publications with guidance specific to industry sectors, organization types, operating models and technology architectures. At present, this complimentary guidance is available by subscription from

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