The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) process, also called the service lifecycle, is a best practices system for improving IT management and service. It is geared toward helping IT managers and practitioners produce quality IT services. ITIL® is a registered trade mark of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the United Kingdom and other countries.
The ITIL® process, as outlined in ITIL® Version 3, involves five facets of IT management. It begins with a core Service Strategy. Branching out of the core are Service Design, Service Transition, and Service Operation. Finally, the whole cycle is maintained by Continual Service Improvement.
The first facet of the ITIL® process is Service Strategy. This section concentrates on clarification and prioritization of IT services, resources, and market needs. It teaches IT managers how to research the current needs of the market, their businesses, and their IT service departments to create a long term strategic plan.
The Service Design section of the ITIL® process focuses on both the people and the technology involved in providing IT services. This section teaches IT managers how best to identify and make use of staff skills and job functions, computers and software, and business resources. The managers should then be able to create a Service Design Package that details all aspects of the IT services they will provide and how these services will affect businesses and customers.
Service Transition refers to the need to implement the new long term plans outlined in the design package in the existing business framework. This section of the ITIL® process discusses how to modify the old ways of doing business to start working within the new design. This section also covers how IT managers can stay flexible when facing new and ever changing IT technologies and services.
Service Operation is where the IT plans and designs are carried out with businesses and customers. It emphasizes operations management and the service desk. This section of the ITIL® process shows IT managers how to run the day-to-day production and delivery of IT services.
Like Service Strategy, Continual Service Improvement (CSI) influences all the others. CSI gives IT managers the tools to monitor, evaluate, and improve their services over time. The section emphasizes that the new plans, designs, and operations of today become outdated very quickly in the IT service industry. CSI teaches IT managers to stay vigilant in their provision of effective, efficient, and quality IT services.