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Let Us Know What is ITIL®4...

What is ITIL®4?

                                                                            By Ganesh Shrishrimal

Everyone is aware that ITIL® is most popular framework in ITSM since late 1980’s. It has evolved over time from ITIL®V1 to ITIL®4 from 1989 to 2019 respectively. ITIL®4 has significant changes over predecessors ITIL®V2 and ITIL®V3 or ITIL®2011 aligning with changing landscape. The purpose of ITIL 4 is to provide organizations with comprehensive guidance for the management of IT-enabled services in the digital economy.

In this blog we will discuss overall structure of ITIL®4 and next blog we will focus on most important update in ITIL®4 i.e. Practices.

To start with ITIL®4 has updated definition of service.

“A service is a means of enabling value co-creation by facilitating desired outcomes for customers, without the customer having to manage specific costs and risks”

Emphasis is much on co-creating value than delivering value. Its holistic approach to value. Value co-creation requires collaboration between the provider and the consumer; they have a mutually beneficial, interactive relationship.


This is one of the best diagrams describing what service actually means. Most importantly when we talk about service its not that everything is only positive; there are certain negative aspects as depicted on left hand side of diagram but important thing is positives should outweigh negatives to call it a good service.

Overall Structure of ITIL®4 framework

Two most important concepts in ITIL®4 are:

  1. The four dimensions of service management
  2. The ITIL Service Value System

Almost Everything in ITIL®4 would be covered as part of these two.

  1. The four dimensions of service management:

To support a holistic approach to service management, ITIL defines four dimensions that collectively are critical to the effective and efficient facilitation of value for customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services. These are:

  • organizations and people
  • information and technology
  • partners and suppliers
  • value streams and processes

Failing to address all four dimensions properly may result in services becoming undeliverable, or not meeting expectations of quality or efficiency.


Service providers do not operate in isolation. They are affected by many external factors, and work in dynamic and complex environments that can exhibit high degrees of volatility and uncertainty and impose constraints on how the service provider can work. To analyse these external factors, frameworks such as the PESTLE (or PESTEL) model are used. PESTLE is an acronym for the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors that constrain or influence how a service provider operates.

Collectively, these factors influence how organizations configure their resources and address the four dimensions of service management.


  1. The ITIL Service Value System:


The ITIL SVS describes how all the components and activities of the organization unite as a system to enable value creation. Each organization’s SVS interfaces with other organizations. It forms an ecosystem that can in turn facilitate value for those organizations, their customers, and other stakeholders.

The key inputs to the SVS are opportunity and demand.

The outcome of the SVS is value. It is the perceived benefits, usefulness, and importance of something.

The architecture of the ITIL SVS specifically enables flexibility and discourages siloed working. The service value chain activities and the practices in the SVS do not form a fixed, rigid structure. Rather, they can be combined in multiple value streams to address the needs of the organization in a variety of scenarios.

Opportunity and demand trigger activities within the ITIL SVS, and these activities lead to the creation of value. Opportunity and demand are always entering into the system, but the organization does not automatically accept all opportunities or satisfy all demand.

Below are components of SVS:

  1. The ITIL guiding principles: A guiding principle is a recommendation that guides an organization in all circumstances, regardless of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or management structure. A guiding principle is universal and enduring.

     There are 7 guiding principles in this section

  • 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
  1. Governance: Governance is inevitable everywhere without which its difficult to have success.  Every organization is directed by a governing body, i.e. a person or group of people who are accountable at the highest level for the performance and compliance of the organization. All sizes and types of organization perform governance activities; the governing body may be a board of directors or executive managers who take on a separate governance role when they are performing governance activities. The governing body is accountable for the organization’s compliance with policies and any external regulations. 

      The role and position of governance in the ITIL SVS depends on how the SVS is applied in an organization. The SVS is a universal model that can be applied to an organization as a whole, or to one or more of its units or products. In the latter case, some organizations delegate authority to perform governance activities at different levels. The governing body of the organization should retain oversight of this to ensure alignment with the objectives and priorities of the organization.

  1. Service value chain: The central element of the SVS is the service value chain, an operating model which outlines the key activities required to respond to demand and facilitate value realization through the creation and management of products  and services.


​      D. Practices: In ITIL, a management practice is a set of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective. One of the most significant improvements in ITIL 4 is concept of practices. Detailed blog to be followed on practices alone


      E. Continual improvement: The continual improvement model applies to the SVS in its entirety, as well as to all of the organization’s products, services, service components, and relationships. The ITIL continual improvement model can be used as a high-level guide to support improvement initiatives. Use of the model increases the likelihood that ITSM initiatives will be successful, puts a strong focus on customer value, and ensures that improvement efforts can be linked back to the organization’s vision. The model supports an iterative approach to improvement, dividing work into manageable pieces with separate goals that can be achieved incrementally.  


Figure 4.3 The continual improvement model

This blog gives summary of ITIL®4 components.

About Author: Mr. Ganesh with over 22+ years of experience; is one of the most experienced ITIL trainer across the globe. He is arguably the First accredited trainer in the world for ITIL® 4 Master/ ITIL®V2 Managers/ ITIL® Expert [67+Credits]/ ITIL®4 SL/ MP/ CDS/ DPI/ DSV/ HVIT/ MSF/ PIC/ CAI/ Prince2/ Agile /TOGAF9.2/ COBIT/ SIAM trainer and consultant.        

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