Search

Everything You Need To Know About ITIL®

What is ITIL®?Today, the worlds of business and technology have overlapped each other and are linked inextricably. To thrive and to remain competitive, companies need to bring IT services in considerable focus. The transition of a company’s objectives and capabilities to IT can be an overwhelming process. To ease this transition and to select, plan, deliver and maintain a certain standard in IT services within the organisation, a standardised framework called the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is designed.The ITIL® ensures that the implementation of IT services for any business has efficiency and predictable service deliverability at its core. The framework makes sure that the IT services department in any organisation is an active business partner and not just a backend service provider.  The reason why ITIL® is gaining such importance and focus in the business world is that without it, the resources spent on designing and developing an IT service management (ITSM) process would be futile, which would, in turn, make the business less competitive, susceptible to losses in money and customers and less efficient.ITIL® HistoryThe growing discrepancies in processes, deployments and inconsistent IT services on account of the geographical decentralisation of data centers in the 1980s led to the need for ITIL®.Released as a series of books in 1989 by The United Kingdom's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), ITIL® Version one, i.e., ITIL® V1 was their response to a need to recognise IT as an essential service and the need to apply it consistently across the organisation.ITIL® consists of various levels and modules. It aims to cover comprehensively everything from service strategies to continuous improvement which would ultimately help practitioners to adopt the IT services for their organisation and be prepared for changes down the line.ITIL® UpdatesPost-1989, the ITIL® has been upgraded to reflect the changes in the business world and is now a highly renowned and recommended practice with multiple thousands of practitioners getting certified and implementing it.Post launch, the first major change in ITIL® came in 2000-2001 with the release of ITIL® V2. This version focused on making the entire framework more accessible and less formidable for the candidates. It compiled the entire framework into nine sets of related elements. This version was followed by the ITIL® V3 in 2007 which was a compact and well-designed framework of 26 functions that were combined into five volumes.  This version was built to inculcate the concept of service lifecycle structure. Few changes were introduced to V3 which was launched in 2011 as ITIL® V3 2011. In 2019, the latest version, ITIL® V4, is all set for launch with a focus on the ITIL® service value system and upgrading the credit system.ITIL® PublicationsThe framework of ITIL® V3 encompasses five core publications which aim to cover the entire lifecycle of ITSM. They are reviewed and updated regularly to reflect the advancements made in IT technology. The five core publications are:ITIL® Service Strategy: This publication aims to identify and describe the goals of the business and the objectives of the IT services and align them to customer requirements.ITIL® Service Design: Based on the strategy defined in the previous publication, this publication aims at outlining the IT architecture, policies, and procedure as well as documentation.ITIL® Service Transition: This is an important publication which focuses on the change management and practices to be followed for releasing each policy/service change. It mainly aims to guide the transition and anticipated interruptions.ITIL® Service Operation: This is the actual working, functioning and operating manual in the ITIL® framework. The operation help in managing IT services regularly.ITIL® Continual Service Improvement: This publication is futurist in its outlook as it aims to guide the organisation through improvements and updates within the ITIL® framework.  As is evident, the modules cover everything from the beginning, i.e., identifying the customer’s needs to designing and implementation and in the end, monitoring and improving the ITSM process.ITIL® Modules The entire ITIL® process is a module based framework. The certification, for example, under ITIL® v4 has been broken down into ITIL® Foundation and the ITIL® Master exams. Post the ITIL® Foundation, the course is further split into two modules: ITIL® Managing Professional (MP) and ITIL® Strategic Leader (SL), which the candidate need to complete in order to progress further.  ITIL® MP has the following modules:ITIL® Specialist – Create, Deliver and SupportITIL® Specialist – Drive Stakeholder ValueITIL® Specialist – High Velocity ITITIL® Strategist – Direct, Plan & ImproveITIL® SL, on the other hand, has the following modules:ITIL® Strategist – Direct, Plan & ImproveITIL® Leader – Digital & IT StrategyNine ITIL® Principles & ITIL® ModulesReleased in 2019, ITIL® V4 has the same focus as its predecessors. Although, it does have an updated framework which also represents and accommodates modern technologies and software. The program has illustrated nine guiding principles with an aim to provide for change management within an organisation, organisation communication, measurement, and metrics. These nine principles include:Focus on valueHere, ITIL® encourages the professional to define the service output in a manner that captures the needs of the customer.Design for experienceThe paramount thing here, as per ITIL®, is to understand the context within which the service offered will be consumed by the customers.Start where you areThis principle pushes the candidate to collect information and understand the customer’s current pattern of consumption and how the services offered under ITIL® will support it.Work holisticallyBy understanding the entire value chain of the customer, ITIL® ensures that the services offered do not disrupt that value chain but make an active contribution to it.Progress iterativelyITIL®, while being implemented, must start with the minimally viable option and then progress from there based on an understanding of the priorities of the customer’s needs and expectations.Observe directlyITIL® requires that the customers including users and sponsors are heard out and observed regularly. Candidates must observe how the service is delivered, executed and consumed.Be transparentIn the realm of ITIL®, sharing is encouraged: of ideas, thoughts, failures, concerns as well as improvements made.CollaborateITIL® requires the active involvement of all stakeholders from customers, users to suppliers.Keep it simpleIt is imperative that any implementation of ITIL® uses simple words which are easy to understand to ensure clear communication.ITIL® principles and modules when systematically followed can help an organisation manage as well as mitigate risks better, save on IT support costs, create a thriving ecosystem which ensures growth, scale, change and strengthens the organisation’s relationship with their end users i.e the customers.What are ITIL® processes & frameworks?The framework of ITIL® V3 is made up of five parts: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement. These sections comprise of:Strategy GenerationFinancial managementDemand managementService Portfolio managementITIL® Service DesignThe design of an IT service which has architectures, processes, policies and documentation is laid out in this section to address the requirements of the business requirement. Seven processes are included in Service Design:Service Catalog ManagementService Level ManagementAvailability ManagementCapacity ManagementIT Service Continuity ManagementInformation Security ManagementSupplier ManagementITIL® Service TransitionThis stage is to make sure that that the current state of service is not ignored when an organization is going through change. ITIL® Service Transition includes seven processes which are:Transition Planning and SupportChange ManagementService Asset and Configuration ManagementRelease and Deployment ManagementService Validation and TestingEvaluationKnowledge ManagementITIL® Service OperationITIL® Service Operation is essential to make sure the organisation meets the requirements of the customer. It comprises of various functions to ensure a smooth flow of everyday tasks related to planning, operations, monitoring, and related services. Service Operation includes five processes:Event ManagementIncident ManagementRequest FulfillmentProblem ManagementAccess ManagementITIL® Continual Service ImprovementIn this stage of ITIL®, stringent quality checks are required to ensure the service process is improved consistently. There are three processes in this stage of Continual Service Improvement:The 7 improvement processService MeasurementService ReportingBest practicesITIL® guidelines and best practices' primary aim is to align IT department actions as well as expenses to the needs of the business and change them as the company grows and shifts direction.ITIL® ensures support to the organisations and individuals as they endeavour to achieve optimal value from their investment in IT and digital technologies and services. It creates a sense of direction for the service provider to create a clear capability model and adjust its business strategy with customer needs.As a professionally recognised international certification scheme, ITIL® ensures comprehensive and pragmatic guidance which helps in establishing a service management system. Its best practices start from the basics such as defining a glossary of common terms which business can use as they adopt IT-enabled services into their practices.ITIL® ObjectivesITIL®, in its objective, contributes immense value to the organisation which adopts its framework. It not only assures quality, increased availability, reduction in costs and better cost-benefit relationship but also a tremendous improvement in effectiveness in meeting requirements of a class, growth in flexibility and making the principle of adopting and adapting possible.ITIL® helps organisations in achieving the following objectives:Reduction in IT costsImprovement in qualityReduction in riskImprovement in decision makingIncrement in productivityOrganisation-wide transparency and effective communication.Implementing a culture of adopting a practical approach to service managementAdoption of a common framework of practicesITIL® FundamentalsWhether it is the private or public sector, internal or external services providers, small, medium or large organisations, ITIL® continues to remain useful, relevant and evolving in every technical environment. There are some ITIL® fundamentals which are a primary reason why organisations must adopt it to ensure that their needs of IT and their customers are met.These fundamentals include:Best Practices: ITIL® is a representation of the best practices, experiences, learning, and thoughts of the world’s best-in-class service providers.Continuous Evolvement: The success of ITIL® can easily be credited to its fundamental principle of developing continually. This ensures that organisations are enabled to derive and deliver benefits, get assured returns on investment and sustainable success.Adapt and Adopt:  ITIL® is adapted to enable organisations in:Ensuring early adoption of a standard approach towards service management throughout the organisation and its processes.Changing the culture of the organisation to support the sustainable and prosperous achievements of goals, enabled by IT.Optimising and reducing costs.Improving customer interaction as well as the relationship.Coordinating across the value chain of the delivery of goods and services.What is ITIL® Certification?Here is a brief overview of the ITIL® Certification Program.ITIL® serves as the primary ITSM framework for any organisation. As a person in IT, getting these certificates is essential, as they add to their skillset. Many IT professionals in the industry consider the ITIL® certifications as the Holy Bible to IT support. ITIL® V3 utilises a credit system for all its levels from the Foundation through Master levels. Each certification level earns a certain number of credits. After obtaining the requisite number of credits, the individual will take the ITIL® Master certification. In ITIL® V3, a total of 22 credits are required by a professional, if they are to earn the ITIL® Expert certification. The benefits of the ITIL® certification program include:Better preparedness with an in-depth knowledge of ITIL® frameworks which enables you to work betterEnsures professional advancement and better payHelps you speak the language of IT professionalsExpanded horizons and a vision for the bigger pictureITIL® certification is a modular programme, directed towards learning the ITIL® framework and comprises of a series of qualifications which are focused on different aspects of the ITIL® framework and its implementation.The certification enfolds in a tiered structure which ensures that candidates have flexibility and progress through the depths of ITIL® in a sequential manner.Recently, on the 18th of February, 2019, ITIL® 4 certifications starting with a foundation course have been released. The remaining certifications are due for release in the second half of 2019.Under the ITIL® V3, the certifications had five levels which included:FoundationPractitionerIntermediateExpertITIL® training MasterThis system has evolved to the following under V4:FoundationManaging ProfessionalStrategic LeaderMasterIt is important to note that the ITIL® system uses a credit system right from the Foundation level through the Expert levels with each certification amounting to a certain number of credits. The following chart illustrates the current ITIL® V3® credit system:Sr. NoLevel of ITIL® certificationNo. of credits awarded1ITIL® Foundation22ITIL® Practitioner33ITIL® IntermediateLifecycle ModuleService Strategy3Service Design3Service Transition3Service Operation3Continual Service Improvement3Capability ModuleOperational Support and Analysis4Planning, Protection, and Optimization4Release, Control, and Validation4Service Offerings and Agreements44Managing across the lifecycle55ITIL® ExpertITIL® Certification LevelsUnder the ITIL® V3 certification, levels are under:1. FoundationThis is the first level in the ITIL® certifications. It focuses on ensuring that the candidate is well versed with standard terminology and methodology. They will get the knowledge required to not only support but also deliver ITIL® related services.2. PractitionerThe Practitioner level is the second level of the ITIL® certification. In this level, the candidates are encouraged to improve their ability to adopt and adapt ITIL® for an organization.3. Intermediate This is the third level of the ITIL® certification. It consists of two categories or modules of certification: Service Lifecycle and Service Capability.The Service Lifecycle modules are:Service Strategy (SS)Service Design (SD)Service Transition (ST)Service Operation (SO)Continual Service Improvement (CSI)The Service Capability modules are:Operational Support and Analysis (OSA)Planning, Protection, and Optimization (PPO)Release, Control, and Validation (RCV)Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)In the Service Lifecycle module, a lot of focus is given to management across several ITIL® processes. On the other hand, the module of Service Capability focuses on specialized as well as process-level knowledge within ITIL® processes.4. ExpertITIL® Expert certification is the fourth level of the ITIL® certification, and it is also delivered in modular form. This certification can be taken only by those candidates who have cleared the previous levels to ensure that they the requisite detailed knowledge and skills to clearly understand the entire system of ITIL®.5. MasterThe fifth level of the ITIL® certification is the ITIL® Master Level certification. This level focuses on strengthening and widening the mastery of the practical application of ITIL® in a variety of settings. The professionals working on ITIL® directly are usually involved in planning, operations, and management of ITSM. Through this certification, they obtain the skills to demonstrate their knowledge.Here are some details on the levels of certifications under ITIL® V4 :1. ITIL® Foundation Certification -  IT Service ManagementThe ITIL® 4 Foundation certification is designed as an introduction to ITIL® 4, and it enables candidates to look at ITSM as an end-to-end operating model for creating, delivering and continuously improving tech-enabled products and services. It helps those individuals who require a basic knowledge of the ITIL® framework. It also helps those who wish to understand how ITIL® as a framework can be used to enhance ITSM and those IT professionals working within an organisation that has adopted ITIL®.2. ITIL® Managing Professional - ITIL® MPITIL® MP has four modules within itself, adding value of ITIL® Foundation, which are:ITIL® Specialist Create, Deliver and SupportITIL® Specialist Drive Stakeholder ValueITIL® Specialist High Velocity ITITIL® Strategist Direct Plan and ImproveITIL® MP targets those IT practitioners who work within technology and digital teams across organisations.  3. ITIL® Strategic Leader - ITIL® SLWithin ITIL® SL, two modules embody the next stage of ITIL® evolution. The two modules are:ITIL® Strategist Direct Plan and ImproveITIL® Leader Digital and IT StrategyThis set is perfect for those who understand how IT services influence business strategy.4. ITIL® Master Certificate - ITSMITIL® Master Certificate helps the person justify and explain a range of knowledge, principles, methods, and techniques of ITIL® Framework. It requires one to have extensive practical experience with ITIL® and demonstrative knowledge of the prospect.To be eligible for the ITIL® Master certification, you must:Be  ITIL® Expert certifiedHave experience in IT services management for five years at least in leadership, management or higher management position.How much does ITIL® certification cost?Currently, ITIL® certifications are under Axelos. An individual can start the course by either using a hardcopy, PDF, ePublication or via an online subscription which can be availed directly from Axelos. While this is the primary cost, the second is the training cost. For each level of the course, there is a different cost associated. The curriculum leading to the initial certificate usually runs for two days and the courses commencing to higher certifications can run for a week or more.There is an additional cost of re-engineering a few of the processes to enable ITIL® frameworks and enable them to comply with ITIL® guidelines. An additional cost would be the investment in the ITIL® study guide and ITIL® practice exam which is set to be between $30 to $50 respectively. Therefore, there is no fixed cost for gaining the ITIL® certification. Axelos has tied up with an institution called  Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) where one can take ITIL® training.What are ITIL® complementary certifications?Axelos, apart from the five levels of ITIL® certifications, also offers complementary courses under the ITIL® credit system which are known as ITIL® complementary certifications. A total of 6 credits can be earned through these additional courses. It is critical to ensure that there is no overlap between the modules at different levels, as the percentage of overlap that Axelos segregates can be divided into three categories: low, moderate and high. The candidate should focus on staying in the ‘low overlap’ zone to ensure that they earn the right credits. Axelos details the course on its website and gives a hawk-eye view of its benefit.Who should do ITIL® certification?ITIL® certification is acquired via classroom study and virtual IT coaching which can be supplemented with self-study. An ITIL® certification represents that the person who has it has the requisite knowledge and skills related to ITIL® structure and terminology. It also describes that he has a working knowledge of the core principles and subject areas relating to IT, which is the primary use of ITIL® technology in the management of business services. The certification is helpful for:People who have the basic knowledge of ITIL® and wish to utilise it towards ensuring better control of service operation in a business situation.IT professionals who want positive changes in the efficiency of a business organisation such as cost reduction.Following professionals are recommended to take the ITIL® course:IT ManagersIT DirectorsQuality AnalystsIT Service ManagersSupport Professionals and EngineersService Support EngineersDatabase AdministratorsOperations ManagersOwners of Business ProcessesWhat is ITIL® Foundation?The foundation course will act as an introduction to ITIL® 4, and it will introduce candidates to ITSM as an end-to-end operating model with a focus on creating, delivering, and improving IT-enabled products and services.The certification aims to help:People who require a fundamental understanding of the ITIL® framework.Those who wish to learn how ITIL® can be useful in enhancing the IT service management.IT professionals or others who are working within an organisation that has adopted ITIL®.However, the ITIL® V4 foundation certification is helpful to anyone who has an interest in IT service management. ITIL® V4 Foundation candidates, at the end of the certificate course, will have an understanding of the following:A thorough grasp of how to facilitate the co-creation of value for customers as well as other stakeholders via products and services.Exposure to the guiding principles of ITIL® V4.A holistic approach towards the four dimensions of Service Management.Basic terminologies such as Agile, Lean, DevOps and their importance.The significance of ITIL® practices and their value to your business.Are there any Versions in ITIL® Foundation?ITIL® has seen 4 versions till date. Each of the versions has had the same motive of helping the candidate achieve alignment between the IT systems with the business strategies.Version 1 was launched with more than 30 volumes each covering a specific practice within ITSM. It aimed at establishing a model of controlling and managing business operations using IT.In the year 2000-2001, in order to make ITIL® more accessible as well as affordable, a new version, ITIL® V2 endeavoured to consolidate the publications into nine sets which focus on logic and were grouped in a manner that matched different aspects of IT management and services.Under ITIL® V3, the foundation level was introduced to candidates with the aim of exposing them to the basic concepts, key elements and common terminologies under ITIL®.The primary purpose has not changed under the ITIL® V4, and their essential features remain the same. The updated version of ITIL® V4 merely includes advanced material on the additional best practices.  ITIL® V4 aims to address the two major complains of the ITIL® :Its relationship with the ITSM community.Its failure to update itself with the latest trends in IT operations and software development.How ITIL® certification helps business?ITIL® certification has now become essential for any business which uses digital services daily and aspires to have a flawless ITSM. An ITIL® certification helps with installing good ITSM practices within the organisation. This certification covers the whole development lifecycle of IT, all the way from recognising requirements of IT and business to maintaining and delivering the levels of service in a state of focused review and improvement. This holistic approach enhances the overall customer experience and integration of work.To help understand the nuances better, let us explore ITIL® V3 Foundation Vs. ITIL® V4 Foundation.ITIL® V3, which is also popularly referred to as ITIL® 2011, was the latest version before the upgrade to ITIL® V4. The new version introduced the process of the Business Relationship Management (BRM) process but other than that, most of the other elements remain the same.  An important change was that it was easier to read and many of the inconsistencies were edited out. ITIL® V4 uses newer techniques to align IT with a more evolved level of efficiency and effectiveness. It is now possible to align ITIL® with other existing methods such as IT4IT, Agile, DevOps, and Lean.Even with ITIL® V4, the essential elements of ITIL® V3 remain the same. ITIL® V4 just ensures the inclusion of additional best practices and easier integration.ITIL® V4 encourages lesser siloes, more collaboration and encourages communication across the whole organization with the integration of Agile, Lean and DevOps into ITSM strategies. It is made to be more flexible and customizable than ITIL® V3 i.e. more holistic.By investing in a training course and implementing ITIL®, you can expect the following things:Enhanced understanding of the customers which aid in delivering better services, long term relationships, and a sound reputation.A developer guide on predicting and reacting to customer service engagement, complaints, and experience.Increased productivity and better management of resources by focusing on the cost-benefit analysis.Risk mitigation and management.Stabilized environment for better alignment of IT and other divisions of your business.Reduced incidences of service failures.A growth in opportunities to network and collaborate with similar business models.Enhanced value of the organisation’s service portfolio.Agile adaptation to new technologies and comply faster to changing needs of the digital worldDirect rise in chances of an improved bottom line in your revenue statements.Thus, through this, it is clear that ITIL® is almost inevitable for business and must be implemented within organisations who wish to keep evolving with the times and achieve their ever-changing goals with the help of IT.To wrap it up, ITIL® is not just a straightforward skills course in IT. It equips the candidate with the requisite resources to apply the knowledge gained to the larger scope of their organization and align with business practices. This means that the candidate would have a practical hold over the best practices, especially when addressing all facets of IT management.

Everything You Need To Know About ITIL®

10119
Everything You Need To Know About  ITIL®

What is ITIL®?

Today, the worlds of business and technology have overlapped each other and are linked inextricably. To thrive and to remain competitive, companies need to bring IT services in considerable focus. The transition of a company’s objectives and capabilities to IT can be an overwhelming process. To ease this transition and to select, plan, deliver and maintain a certain standard in IT services within the organisation, a standardised framework called the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) is designed.

The ITIL® ensures that the implementation of IT services for any business has efficiency and predictable service deliverability at its core. The framework makes sure that the IT services department in any organisation is an active business partner and not just a backend service provider.  

The reason why ITIL® is gaining such importance and focus in the business world is that without it, the resources spent on designing and developing an IT service management (ITSM) process would be futile, which would, in turn, make the business less competitive, susceptible to losses in money and customers and less efficient.

ITIL® History

The growing discrepancies in processes, deployments and inconsistent IT services on account of the geographical decentralisation of data centers in the 1980s led to the need for ITIL®.

Released as a series of books in 1989 by The United Kingdom's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), ITIL® Version one, i.e., ITIL® V1 was their response to a need to recognise IT as an essential service and the need to apply it consistently across the organisation.

ITIL® consists of various levels and modules. It aims to cover comprehensively everything from service strategies to continuous improvement which would ultimately help practitioners to adopt the IT services for their organisation and be prepared for changes down the line.

ITIL® Updates

Post-1989, the ITIL® has been upgraded to reflect the changes in the business world and is now a highly renowned and recommended practice with multiple thousands of practitioners getting certified and implementing it.

Post launch, the first major change in ITIL® came in 2000-2001 with the release of ITIL® V2. This version focused on making the entire framework more accessible and less formidable for the candidates. It compiled the entire framework into nine sets of related elements. This version was followed by the ITIL® V3 in 2007 which was a compact and well-designed framework of 26 functions that were combined into five volumes.  This version was built to inculcate the concept of service lifecycle structure. Few changes were introduced to V3 which was launched in 2011 as ITIL® V3 2011. In 2019, the latest version, ITIL® V4, is all set for launch with a focus on the ITIL® service value system and upgrading the credit system.

ITIL® Publications

The framework of ITIL® V3 encompasses five core publications which aim to cover the entire lifecycle of ITSM. They are reviewed and updated regularly to reflect the advancements made in IT technology. The five core publications are:

  1. ITIL® Service Strategy: This publication aims to identify and describe the goals of the business and the objectives of the IT services and align them to customer requirements.
  2. ITIL® Service Design: Based on the strategy defined in the previous publication, this publication aims at outlining the IT architecture, policies, and procedure as well as documentation.
  3. ITIL® Service Transition: This is an important publication which focuses on the change management and practices to be followed for releasing each policy/service change. It mainly aims to guide the transition and anticipated interruptions.
  4. ITIL® Service Operation: This is the actual working, functioning and operating manual in the ITIL® framework. The operation help in managing IT services regularly.
  5. ITIL® Continual Service Improvement: This publication is futurist in its outlook as it aims to guide the organisation through improvements and updates within the ITIL® framework.  

As is evident, the modules cover everything from the beginning, i.e., identifying the customer’s needs to designing and implementation and in the end, monitoring and improving the ITSM process.

ITIL® Modules 

The entire ITIL® process is a module based framework. The certification, for example, under ITIL® v4 has been broken down into ITIL® Foundation and the ITIL® Master exams. Post the ITIL® Foundation, the course is further split into two modules: ITIL® Managing Professional (MP) and ITIL® Strategic Leader (SL), which the candidate need to complete in order to progress further.  

ITIL® MP has the following modules:

  • ITIL® Specialist – Create, Deliver and Support
  • ITIL® Specialist – Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL® Specialist – High Velocity IT
  • ITIL® Strategist – Direct, Plan & Improve

ITIL® SL, on the other hand, has the following modules:

  • ITIL® Strategist – Direct, Plan & Improve
  • ITIL® Leader – Digital & IT Strategy

Nine ITIL® Principles & ITIL® Modules

Nine ITIL® Principles & ITIL® Modules

Released in 2019, ITIL® V4 has the same focus as its predecessors. Although, it does have an updated framework which also represents and accommodates modern technologies and software. The program has illustrated nine guiding principles with an aim to provide for change management within an organisation, organisation communication, measurement, and metrics. These nine principles include:

  • Focus on value

Here, ITIL® encourages the professional to define the service output in a manner that captures the needs of the customer.

  • Design for experience

The paramount thing here, as per ITIL®, is to understand the context within which the service offered will be consumed by the customers.

  • Start where you are

This principle pushes the candidate to collect information and understand the customer’s current pattern of consumption and how the services offered under ITIL® will support it.

  • Work holistically

By understanding the entire value chain of the customer, ITIL® ensures that the services offered do not disrupt that value chain but make an active contribution to it.

  • Progress iteratively

ITIL®, while being implemented, must start with the minimally viable option and then progress from there based on an understanding of the priorities of the customer’s needs and expectations.

  • Observe directly

ITIL® requires that the customers including users and sponsors are heard out and observed regularly. Candidates must observe how the service is delivered, executed and consumed.

  • Be transparent

In the realm of ITIL®, sharing is encouraged: of ideas, thoughts, failures, concerns as well as improvements made.

  • Collaborate

ITIL® requires the active involvement of all stakeholders from customers, users to suppliers.

  • Keep it simple

It is imperative that any implementation of ITIL® uses simple words which are easy to understand to ensure clear communication.

ITIL® principles and modules when systematically followed can help an organisation manage as well as mitigate risks better, save on IT support costs, create a thriving ecosystem which ensures growth, scale, change and strengthens the organisation’s relationship with their end users i.e the customers.

What are ITIL® processes & frameworks?

The framework of ITIL® V3 is made up of five parts: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement. These sections comprise of:

  • Strategy Generation
  • Financial management
  • Demand management
  • Service Portfolio management

ITIL® processes & frameworks

ITIL® Service Design

The design of an IT service which has architectures, processes, policies and documentation is laid out in this section to address the requirements of the business requirement. Seven processes are included in Service Design:

  1. Service Catalog Management
  2. Service Level Management
  3. Availability Management
  4. Capacity Management
  5. IT Service Continuity Management
  6. Information Security Management
  7. Supplier Management

ITIL® Service Transition

This stage is to make sure that that the current state of service is not ignored when an organization is going through change. ITIL® Service Transition includes seven processes which are:

  1. Transition Planning and Support
  2. Change Management
  3. Service Asset and Configuration Management
  4. Release and Deployment Management
  5. Service Validation and Testing
  6. Evaluation
  7. Knowledge Management

ITIL® Service Operation

ITIL® Service Operation is essential to make sure the organisation meets the requirements of the customer. It comprises of various functions to ensure a smooth flow of everyday tasks related to planning, operations, monitoring, and related services. Service Operation includes five processes:

  1. Event Management
  2. Incident Management
  3. Request Fulfillment
  4. Problem Management
  5. Access Management

ITIL® Continual Service Improvement

In this stage of ITIL®, stringent quality checks are required to ensure the service process is improved consistently. There are three processes in this stage of Continual Service Improvement:

  1. The 7 improvement process
  2. Service Measurement
  3. Service Reporting

Best practices

ITIL® guidelines and best practices' primary aim is to align IT department actions as well as expenses to the needs of the business and change them as the company grows and shifts direction.

ITIL® ensures support to the organisations and individuals as they endeavour to achieve optimal value from their investment in IT and digital technologies and services. It creates a sense of direction for the service provider to create a clear capability model and adjust its business strategy with customer needs.

As a professionally recognised international certification scheme, ITIL® ensures comprehensive and pragmatic guidance which helps in establishing a service management system. Its best practices start from the basics such as defining a glossary of common terms which business can use as they adopt IT-enabled services into their practices.

ITIL® Objectives

ITIL®, in its objective, contributes immense value to the organisation which adopts its framework. It not only assures quality, increased availability, reduction in costs and better cost-benefit relationship but also a tremendous improvement in effectiveness in meeting requirements of a class, growth in flexibility and making the principle of adopting and adapting possible.

ITIL® helps organisations in achieving the following objectives:

  • Reduction in IT costs
  • Improvement in quality
  • Reduction in risk
  • Improvement in decision making
  • Increment in productivity
  • Organisation-wide transparency and effective communication.
  • Implementing a culture of adopting a practical approach to service management
  • Adoption of a common framework of practices

ITIL® Fundamentals

Whether it is the private or public sector, internal or external services providers, small, medium or large organisations, ITIL® continues to remain useful, relevant and evolving in every technical environment. There are some ITIL® fundamentals which are a primary reason why organisations must adopt it to ensure that their needs of IT and their customers are met.

These fundamentals include:

  1. Best Practices: ITIL® is a representation of the best practices, experiences, learning, and thoughts of the world’s best-in-class service providers.
  2. Continuous Evolvement: The success of ITIL® can easily be credited to its fundamental principle of developing continually. This ensures that organisations are enabled to derive and deliver benefits, get assured returns on investment and sustainable success.
  3. Adapt and Adopt:  ITIL® is adapted to enable organisations in:
  • Ensuring early adoption of a standard approach towards service management throughout the organisation and its processes.
  • Changing the culture of the organisation to support the sustainable and prosperous achievements of goals, enabled by IT.
  • Optimising and reducing costs.
  • Improving customer interaction as well as the relationship.
  • Coordinating across the value chain of the delivery of goods and services.

What is ITIL® Certification?

Here is a brief overview of the ITIL® Certification Program.

ITIL® serves as the primary ITSM framework for any organisation. As a person in IT, getting these certificates is essential, as they add to their skillset. Many IT professionals in the industry consider the ITIL® certifications as the Holy Bible to IT support. ITIL® V3 utilises a credit system for all its levels from the Foundation through Master levels. Each certification level earns a certain number of credits. After obtaining the requisite number of credits, the individual will take the ITIL® Master certification. In ITIL® V3, a total of 22 credits are required by a professional, if they are to earn the ITIL® Expert certification. The benefits of the ITIL® certification program include:

  • Better preparedness with an in-depth knowledge of ITIL® frameworks which enables you to work better
  • Ensures professional advancement and better pay
  • Helps you speak the language of IT professionals
  • Expanded horizons and a vision for the bigger picture

ITIL® certification is a modular programme, directed towards learning the ITIL® framework and comprises of a series of qualifications which are focused on different aspects of the ITIL® framework and its implementation.

The certification enfolds in a tiered structure which ensures that candidates have flexibility and progress through the depths of ITIL® in a sequential manner.

Recently, on the 18th of February, 2019, ITIL® 4 certifications starting with a foundation course have been released. The remaining certifications are due for release in the second half of 2019.

Under the ITIL® V3, the certifications had five levels which included:

  • Foundation
  • Practitioner
  • Intermediate
  • ExpertITIL® training 
  • Master

This system has evolved to the following under V4:

  • Foundation
  • Managing Professional
  • Strategic Leader
  • Master

It is important to note that the ITIL® system uses a credit system right from the Foundation level through the Expert levels with each certification amounting to a certain number of credits. The following chart illustrates the current ITIL® V3® credit system:

Sr. NoLevel of ITIL® certification
No. of credits awarded
1ITIL® Foundation
2
2ITIL® Practitioner
3
3

ITIL® Intermediate

Lifecycle ModuleService Strategy3
Service Design3
Service Transition3
Service Operation3
Continual Service Improvement3
Capability ModuleOperational Support and Analysis4
Planning, Protection, and Optimization4
Release, Control, and Validation4
Service Offerings and Agreements4
4Managing across the lifecycle
5
5ITIL® Expert

ITIL® Certification Levels

ITIL® Certification LevelsUnder the ITIL® V3 certification, levels are under:

1. Foundation

This is the first level in the ITIL® certifications. It focuses on ensuring that the candidate is well versed with standard terminology and methodology. They will get the knowledge required to not only support but also deliver ITIL® related services.

2. Practitioner

The Practitioner level is the second level of the ITIL® certification. In this level, the candidates are encouraged to improve their ability to adopt and adapt ITIL® for an organization.

3. Intermediate 

This is the third level of the ITIL® certification. It consists of two categories or modules of certification: Service Lifecycle and Service Capability.

The Service Lifecycle modules are:

  1. Service Strategy (SS)
  2. Service Design (SD)
  3. Service Transition (ST)
  4. Service Operation (SO)
  5. Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

The Service Capability modules are:

  1. Operational Support and Analysis (OSA)
  2. Planning, Protection, and Optimization (PPO)
  3. Release, Control, and Validation (RCV)
  4. Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA)

In the Service Lifecycle module, a lot of focus is given to management across several ITIL® processes. On the other hand, the module of Service Capability focuses on specialized as well as process-level knowledge within ITIL® processes.

4. Expert

ITIL® Expert certification is the fourth level of the ITIL® certification, and it is also delivered in modular form. This certification can be taken only by those candidates who have cleared the previous levels to ensure that they the requisite detailed knowledge and skills to clearly understand the entire system of ITIL®.

5. Master

The fifth level of the ITIL® certification is the ITIL® Master Level certification. This level focuses on strengthening and widening the mastery of the practical application of ITIL® in a variety of settings. The professionals working on ITIL® directly are usually involved in planning, operations, and management of ITSM. Through this certification, they obtain the skills to demonstrate their knowledge.

Here are some details on the levels of certifications under ITIL® V4 :

1. ITIL® Foundation Certification -  IT Service Management

The ITIL® 4 Foundation certification is designed as an introduction to ITIL® 4, and it enables candidates to look at ITSM as an end-to-end operating model for creating, delivering and continuously improving tech-enabled products and services. It helps those individuals who require a basic knowledge of the ITIL® framework. It also helps those who wish to understand how ITIL® as a framework can be used to enhance ITSM and those IT professionals working within an organisation that has adopted ITIL®.

2. ITIL® Managing Professional - ITIL® MP

ITIL® MP has four modules within itself, adding value of ITIL® Foundation, which are:

  • ITIL® Specialist Create, Deliver and Support
  • ITIL® Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL® Specialist High Velocity IT
  • ITIL® Strategist Direct Plan and Improve

ITIL® MP targets those IT practitioners who work within technology and digital teams across organisations.  

3. ITIL® Strategic Leader - ITIL® SL

Within ITIL® SL, two modules embody the next stage of ITIL® evolution. The two modules are:

  • ITIL® Strategist Direct Plan and Improve
  • ITIL® Leader Digital and IT Strategy

This set is perfect for those who understand how IT services influence business strategy.

4. ITIL® Master Certificate - ITSM

ITIL® Master Certificate helps the person justify and explain a range of knowledge, principles, methods, and techniques of ITIL® Framework. It requires one to have extensive practical experience with ITIL® and demonstrative knowledge of the prospect.

To be eligible for the ITIL® Master certification, you must:

  • Be  ITIL® Expert certified
  • Have experience in IT services management for five years at least in leadership, management or higher management position.

How much does ITIL® certification cost?

Currently, ITIL® certifications are under Axelos. An individual can start the course by either using a hardcopy, PDF, ePublication or via an online subscription which can be availed directly from Axelos. While this is the primary cost, the second is the training cost. For each level of the course, there is a different cost associated. The curriculum leading to the initial certificate usually runs for two days and the courses commencing to higher certifications can run for a week or more.

There is an additional cost of re-engineering a few of the processes to enable ITIL® frameworks and enable them to comply with ITIL® guidelines. An additional cost would be the investment in the ITIL® study guide and ITIL® practice exam which is set to be between $30 to $50 respectively. Therefore, there is no fixed cost for gaining the ITIL® certification. Axelos has tied up with an institution called  Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) where one can take ITIL® training.

What are ITIL® complementary certifications?

Axelos, apart from the five levels of ITIL® certifications, also offers complementary courses under the ITIL® credit system which are known as ITIL® complementary certifications. A total of 6 credits can be earned through these additional courses. It is critical to ensure that there is no overlap between the modules at different levels, as the percentage of overlap that Axelos segregates can be divided into three categories: low, moderate and high. The candidate should focus on staying in the ‘low overlap’ zone to ensure that they earn the right credits. Axelos details the course on its website and gives a hawk-eye view of its benefit.

Who should do ITIL® certification?

ITIL® certification is acquired via classroom study and virtual IT coaching which can be supplemented with self-study. An ITIL® certification represents that the person who has it has the requisite knowledge and skills related to ITIL® structure and terminology. It also describes that he has a working knowledge of the core principles and subject areas relating to IT, which is the primary use of ITIL® technology in the management of business services. The certification is helpful for:

  • People who have the basic knowledge of ITIL® and wish to utilise it towards ensuring better control of service operation in a business situation.
  • IT professionals who want positive changes in the efficiency of a business organisation such as cost reduction.

Following professionals are recommended to take the ITIL® course:

  • IT Managers
  • IT Directors
  • Quality Analysts
  • IT Service Managers
  • Support Professionals and Engineers
  • Service Support Engineers
  • Database Administrators
  • Operations Managers
  • Owners of Business Processes

What is ITIL® Foundation?

The foundation course will act as an introduction to ITIL® 4, and it will introduce candidates to ITSM as an end-to-end operating model with a focus on creating, delivering, and improving IT-enabled products and services.

The certification aims to help:

  • People who require a fundamental understanding of the ITIL® framework.
  • Those who wish to learn how ITIL® can be useful in enhancing the IT service management.
  • IT professionals or others who are working within an organisation that has adopted ITIL®.

However, the ITIL® V4 foundation certification is helpful to anyone who has an interest in IT service management. ITIL® V4 Foundation candidates, at the end of the certificate course, will have an understanding of the following:

  • A thorough grasp of how to facilitate the co-creation of value for customers as well as other stakeholders via products and services.
  • Exposure to the guiding principles of ITIL® V4.
  • A holistic approach towards the four dimensions of Service Management.
  • Basic terminologies such as Agile, Lean, DevOps and their importance.
  • The significance of ITIL® practices and their value to your business.

Are there any Versions in ITIL® Foundation?

ITIL® has seen 4 versions till date. Each of the versions has had the same motive of helping the candidate achieve alignment between the IT systems with the business strategies.

Version 1 was launched with more than 30 volumes each covering a specific practice within ITSM. It aimed at establishing a model of controlling and managing business operations using IT.

In the year 2000-2001, in order to make ITIL® more accessible as well as affordable, a new version, ITIL® V2 endeavoured to consolidate the publications into nine sets which focus on logic and were grouped in a manner that matched different aspects of IT management and services.

Under ITIL® V3, the foundation level was introduced to candidates with the aim of exposing them to the basic concepts, key elements and common terminologies under ITIL®.

The primary purpose has not changed under the ITIL® V4, and their essential features remain the same. The updated version of ITIL® V4 merely includes advanced material on the additional best practices.  ITIL® V4 aims to address the two major complains of the ITIL® :

  • Its relationship with the ITSM community.
  • Its failure to update itself with the latest trends in IT operations and software development.

How ITIL® certification helps business?

ITIL® certification has now become essential for any business which uses digital services daily and aspires to have a flawless ITSM. An ITIL® certification helps with installing good ITSM practices within the organisation. This certification covers the whole development lifecycle of IT, all the way from recognising requirements of IT and business to maintaining and delivering the levels of service in a state of focused review and improvement. This holistic approach enhances the overall customer experience and integration of work.

To help understand the nuances better, let us explore ITIL® V3 Foundation Vs. ITIL® V4 Foundation.

ITIL® V3, which is also popularly referred to as ITIL® 2011, was the latest version before the upgrade to ITIL® V4. The new version introduced the process of the Business Relationship Management (BRM) process but other than that, most of the other elements remain the same.  An important change was that it was easier to read and many of the inconsistencies were edited out. ITIL® V4 uses newer techniques to align IT with a more evolved level of efficiency and effectiveness. It is now possible to align ITIL® with other existing methods such as IT4IT, Agile, DevOps, and Lean.

Even with ITIL® V4, the essential elements of ITIL® V3 remain the same. ITIL® V4 just ensures the inclusion of additional best practices and easier integration.

ITIL® V4 encourages lesser siloes, more collaboration and encourages communication across the whole organization with the integration of Agile, Lean and DevOps into ITSM strategies. It is made to be more flexible and customizable than ITIL® V3 i.e. more holistic.

By investing in a training course and implementing ITIL®, you can expect the following things:

  • Enhanced understanding of the customers which aid in delivering better services, long term relationships, and a sound reputation.
  • A developer guide on predicting and reacting to customer service engagement, complaints, and experience.
  • Increased productivity and better management of resources by focusing on the cost-benefit analysis.
  • Risk mitigation and management.
  • Stabilized environment for better alignment of IT and other divisions of your business.
  • Reduced incidences of service failures.
  • A growth in opportunities to network and collaborate with similar business models.
  • Enhanced value of the organisation’s service portfolio.
  • Agile adaptation to new technologies and comply faster to changing needs of the digital world
  • Direct rise in chances of an improved bottom line in your revenue statements.

Thus, through this, it is clear that ITIL® is almost inevitable for business and must be implemented within organisations who wish to keep evolving with the times and achieve their ever-changing goals with the help of IT.

To wrap it up, ITIL® is not just a straightforward skills course in IT. It equips the candidate with the requisite resources to apply the knowledge gained to the larger scope of their organization and align with business practices. This means that the candidate would have a practical hold over the best practices, especially when addressing all facets of IT management.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

Author

KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Blogs

The 7 Highest-Paying IT Certifications Must Do In 2020-21

Launching a career in IT takes much more than just college education. You need to be tech-trained and have one of the top IT certifications. Wondering why you need such certifications? Jobs in the IT domain require specific skill sets and having such certifications validate your ability to perform the job. Being certified also works in your favor when you are looking for a job for the first time or need a job change since the hiring managers would know you possess the skills to succeed. From security and networking to cloud computing and virtualization, there exists a wide range of IT certifications that would help you to earn a fat paycheck and launch your dream IT career, or take your career a few notches above in case you are already employed. However, not every certification would help. You need to find the ones that will give you the optimal return on your money. But with a proliferation of a wide range of certifications, each claiming to be better than its competitors, how do you decide which is the best for you? We bring you some help in your endeavor by listing the top seven IT certifications that you must do in 2017-18 to enjoy a rewarding IT career. 1. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) This certification from ISACA is designed for IT project managers and professionals as well as others whose job needs them to recognize and manage IT and business threats through suitable IS (Information Systems) controls. The CRISC exam covers the whole life cycle, from design and implementation to continuing maintenance, and will fetch you an average yearly salary of $131,298. On our list, this is the highest-paying certification. To get it, you must have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in at least two of the four areas (Identification, Assessment, Control Monitoring and Reporting, and Response and Mitigation) covered by this certification and pass the exam that consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. You can register for this computer-based test on the ISACA website, which will cost you at least $420 (a bit more actually when you add the cost of test materials and preparation to it). In 2017, this exam is offered in three test windows (May 1 - June 30; August 1- September 30; and November 1 to December 30). Every year, you will need CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credits for maintaining your certification.  2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) The primary focus of this certification from ISACA is information security management. Though this certification will let you deal with engineering and designing of security protocols, you will have greater involvement in the company’s security management. This certification will let you earn an average yearly salary of $128,156. To get it, you must have 5 years’ experience in Information Security, a minimum of 3 of which should be as a security manager. This experience of yours must be achieved within the 10-year period prior to your date of application for certification or within the 5-year period from the date of passing the exam. Unlike the CRISC where no exceptions are applicable to the experience requirement, the CISM has some alternatives to the experience requirement. This exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. You can register for this computer-based test on the ISACA website, which will cost you about $415 (but a lot more actually when you add the cost of test materials and preparation courses to it). In 2017, this exam is offered in three test windows (May 1 - June 30; August 1- September 30; and November 1 to December 30). Every year, you will need continuing education credits for maintaining your certification.  3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate This certification is aimed at people involved in designing and managing applications on the AWS (Amazon Web Services) platform. The exam covers everything from AWS best practices, AWS cost estimation and identification of cost control measures, to AWS system design and deployment. For getting this certification, you need to have hands-on AWS experience (1 year or more) along with proficiency in one high-level programming language. The candidates also need to have the ability to recognize an AWS-based application and define requirements for it together with the experience of deploying hybrid systems with AWS and components on-premises and be capable of providing the best practices for setting up reliable and secure applications on the AWS platform. Kryterion testing centers offer this computer-based exam that consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. The exam registration fee is $150. However, armed with this certification, you will get to earn a yearly average of $125,091. 4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) This CISSP certification is your ideal choice if you are an auditor, analyst, systems engineer, security consultant, or manager since it gives you the chance to prove your capability of engineering, designing and maintaining the IT security policy of a company. Pearson Vue Testing centers offer this exam against a few of $599. This exam consisting of 250 multiple-choice questions and needs an eligible candidate to have a minimum of 5 years’ of full-time work experience in two or more of the eight domains CISSP CBK (Common Body of Knowledge) domains. Those not having adequate work experience can meet 1 year of required experience with a 4-year college degree (or its regional equivalent), or a credential permitted by the CISSP Prerequisite pathway. As a second alternative, you can earn your (ISC)2 Associate designation by taking and passing the CISSP exam, after which you will have up to 6 years’ time to earn the necessary work experience. You must earn CPE credits every year to stay certified. This certification will give you access to a career that pays an average yearly salary of $121,729. 5. Project Management Professional (PMP) This is the most renowned project management certification that lets you work in almost any industry, at any location and with any methodology. Project Management Institute (PMI) has created this test and manages it as well. You have to apply at the PMI website to take this exam. After the approval of your application, you would be able to sign up for the actual exam via Prometric. The prerequisites of this exam are having a secondary degree (associate’s degree, high school diploma, or the global equivalent) along with 7,500 hours of project management experience and 35 hours of project management education; or having a 4-year degree together with 4,500 hours of project management experience and 35 hours of project management education. You will need to shell out $405 for taking this test. Every three years, you need to compulsorily earn 60 PDUs (professional development units) for maintaining your PMP. $119,349 is the average yearly salary that this certification will bring your way.  6. Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N)   This certification is ideal for systems or network administrators, architects and engineers adept in desktop and app virtualization, who plan to expand their skills to include NetScaler 10.5 for desktop and solutions app. To get certified, you have to prepare with the recommended training that includes two options: taking Citrix NetScaler Essentials and Unified Gateway or CNS-222; or getting prepared with Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway or CNS-221 in case you’ve already taken the Citrix NetScaler Essentials and Traffic Management or CNS-220. In addition, you have to analyze the preparation guide for Exam 1Y0-250: Implementing Citrix NetScaler 10 for App and Desktop Solutions; and pass Exam 1Y0-250. The exam costs $200 and the certification would stay valid for 3 years. With CCA-N certification, you can aim to earn an average yearly salary of $102,598.  7. ITIL v3 Foundation It’s the entry-level ITIL certification that offers an extensive knowledge of the IT lifecycle together with the ITIL terminology and concepts. It covers everything from capacity and availability management to incident and change management, along with IT operations and application management. Selection and authorizations of partners are done by ITIL, who in turn provide education, training, and certifications. The ITIL foundation exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and costs $150 plus taxes (VUE/Prometric). To pass this exam, you should have knowledge (at the comprehension level) of ITIL service life-cycle, service management as a practice, and the key models as well principles along with awareness level knowledge of generic definitions and concepts, selected processes, roles and functions, as well as technology and architecture, among others. Simply passing this exam is all you need to do to get certified, and once you have this certification, you can expect to earn an average yearly salary of $103,408.  Summary A quick analysis of this list shows that all these top certifications pay more than $100,000 on an average, and are related to the domains that are experiencing a growing demand in the market, namely security, virtualization and cloud computing, together with networking and business. All these IT certifications can help in your career advancement – no matter whether you are a junior-level employee aiming to improve your skills to bag better opportunities in the IT industry, or a tenured employee looking to constantly grow and adapt your skills to meet the fast-changing IT landscape. But since you will come across a huge number of IT certifications that are offered today, it becomes important to research well before taking your pick since a handful are far more valuable than the others.  
The 7 Highest-Paying IT Certifications Must Do In ...

Launching a career in IT takes much more than just... Read More

5 Trends Influencing Cloud Computing In 2021

Cloud security was the biggest concern of 53% of the webmasters that participated in the giving birth to an important 2017 cloud computing trend, i.e., improved cloud security. The cloud providers like Google, Microsoft, AWS etc., have started coming up with advanced threat monitoring tools and other robust identity management functionalities to increase the security within every layer of cloud infrastructure. This improved cloud security trend would not just reinforce the trust of organization on cloud computing but also transform the way cloud security was being operated over the years.   Like improved cloud security with many cloud benefits, there are many other trends that are influencing cloud computing in 2017. These trends are changing the way cloud computing was being used as well as provided by the organizations and cloud providers respectively in the yesteryears. A clear understanding of these trends is imperative to gain a competitive edge in terms of speed, agility as well cost savings. So, let’s not waste any more time and jump straight to the five trends that are influencing cloud computing in 2017.  Hyperconvergence The hype around hyperconvergence in the realm of cloud computing has increased drastically in 2017. A gradual shift can be seen to hyperconverged cloud infrastructure aka HCI that has provided ease in the process of managing integrated technologies with the help of a common toolset. It will allow organizations to leverage the already integrated storage resources that will ease power computation for faster cloud implementation. Organizations that seek to build their own private cloud resources would be turning their attention towards hyperconverged cloud infrastructure that offers the support of virtualization at present.  Hybrid Cloud Management Due to the increased need for flexibility and swift information sharing, an orchestration between the private cloud and public cloud services has surfaced in the cloud computing domain. This amalgamation of public and private clouds is called a hybrid cloud. The need for effective management of hybrid cloud has given birth to cloud service brokers in 2017. They are responsible for not just defining all the hybrid services but also securing and managing them. The rise of these hybrid cloud manager aka cloud service brokers would be a big influence in the way cloud computing management worked earlier.  Enterprise Cloud Computing A dramatic rise in enterprise cloud computing has been witnessed in the first semester of this year. Instead of depending on a single cloud for their different information technology and business needs, companies are now diversifying their approach to multiple cloud models. Enterprise cloud computing is allowing businesses to make contracts with different cloud providers irrespective of them being private, public or hybrid. They are now getting their services hosted on different platforms that offer the most appropriate solution to their needs.  Cloud-Run Business Apps At present, the share of cloud-run business apps is 70%, which is gradually increasing with the expansion of enterprise cloud computing. By the end of 2020, more than 90% of the organizations in the world would have cloud-run apps for their business. Increased productivity, enterprise mobility, and user-driven customization are some of the core drivers for business apps towards cloud computing. Cloud adoption has accelerated in 2017 and would continue to do so in the coming years.   Cloud Containers On The Rise Cloud containers like Linux are used by top companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc., and are becoming a rage among other organizations too. They offer a more secure, streamlined and simplistic implementation methods for each and every infrastructure requirement. Cloud container is one of the most relevant developments for the developers as it enables the packaging of applications in a more standardized way. It also facilitates the development of various micro services that’ll provide ease in security, monitoring, storing and networking etc. While cloud computing is not a new technology for businesses, the trends discussed above have given it a makeover and transformed the way it is being used by businesses in 2017. All the five trends, i.e., hyperconvergence, hybrid cloud, enterprise cloud, cloud-run business apps and cloud containers have led to a continuous expansion of cloud computing throughout the first two quarters of this year and would continue to influence cloud computing in days to come.  We have been able to cover only a small part of what Cloud Computing has to offer. There is so much more to learn. You can move on to the AWS certification course of KnowledgeHut that will help you prepare for the AWS certification exams.
5 Trends Influencing Cloud Computing In 2021

Cloud security was the biggest concern of 53% of t... Read More

Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch

Despite the appealing title, ethical hacking or in more technical terms, “Penetration Testing” is not something you can master by reading an article or doing a crash course. There is much more to ethical hacking! In this article, we would have a look at what hacking is, the different types of hackers, steps involved in a hacking or penetration testing activity including common tools and techniques, how the industry looks at ethical hacking and the common certifications related to hacking. Before we jump into the details, let us understand what a vulnerability is, because we would be using this term again and again. Vulnerability is any loophole or a weakness in the system that could be exploited by a hacker. What is hacking and ethical hacking? To understand hacking, let us first understand what a hacker does. Whenever we think of a hacker, we imagine a guy with a hood, sitting in a dark room, having multiple computer screens in front of him and typing something at a blazing speed! We hate to burst your bubble, but most hackers do not fit that preconceived stereotype! A computer hacker is a person with deep domain expertise in computer systems, who is well versed in various methods of overcoming defense mechanisms by exploiting vulnerabilities in a computer system or network. A hacker could be financially or politically motivated or could be working with an organization to help them strengthen their infrastructure. Hacking refers to the activities that can overpower/derail the security mechanisms of digital devices like computers, smartphones, tablets, and even entire networks. It exploits the vulnerabilities present in the system or network to gain unauthorized access to confidential information. Hacking could be for personal benefit or with malicious intent. However, in ethical hacking, the hacker exploits the vulnerability, gains access to the data, but never alters, deletes or uses it for personal or professional gain. The hacker, in this case, will disclose the vulnerability to the owner of the system with a “Proof of Concept” (PoC) and request the owner to get the vulnerability remediated. Generally, ethical hackers have explicit permission to exploit the target from the owner. Who are the different types of hackers? Hackers can be generally categorized into three types based on the kind of work they do and the intent behind their hacking. Black Hat Hackers – These are hackers who attempt to bypass security mechanisms to gain unauthorized access with a malicious intent. Generally, these hackers work with the intent of financial gain and/or causing damage to the target. They may be individuals, self-motivated groups (also known as hacktivists who aim to bring political or social change) or politically motivated groups (state sponsored hackers). White Hat Hackers – These are professionals generally working with or for a company to help strengthen its digital security systems. The white hat hacker has explicit permission from the system or the information owner to attack the system. The intent here is to fix potential vulnerabilities before the black hat hackers could exploit them. Grey Hat Hackers – These individuals operate either as   white hat hackers or black hat hackers, hence the nomenclature. What are the steps involved in hacking? Let us take a deeper dive into ethical hacking and understand the steps involved. Throughout this section, we will look at the steps involved in ethical hacking, and some commonly used tools and techniques which hackers generally use. To illustrate our explanation, let us assume an attacker, Mr. X is targeting an organization TaxiCompany Inc. 1. Reconnaissance or Foot-printing – As per the Oxford dictionary, reconnaissance means, “the activity of getting information about an area for military purposes, using soldiers, planes, etc.”. Similarly, in hacking, reconnaissance means gathering information about your target. This information includes IP address ranges, Network, DNS Records, Websites, or people working with the organization. So, in this step, Mr. X would try to find the details of the key people working for TaxiCompany Inc., its website, etc. Reconnaissance could be active or passive in nature. In active foot printing, Mr. X would directly be scanning the network of TaxiCompany, or its websites using various tools. In passive foot printing, the Mr. X would not directly interact with any infrastructure or person. He would rather look at publicly available information from social media, public websites, etc. Commonly used tools/techniques for reconnaissance:  Who Is: Who is lookup tells you details about the website, the owner, contact number of the owner, and the address where the website is registered? You can simply visit who.is and enter the domain you wish to search for. NMAP: NMAP or the Network Map is a tool widely used for recon and scanning. Hackers can use this tool to find details like IP range, active hosts, open ports, etc. A simple command is nmap to find active hosts is “nmap -sn 192.168.1.1-100”. This command will find all active hosts in the provided IP range. Social Engineering: This is a technique, whereby the attacker engages directly or indirectly with the staff of the target organization and manipulates them psychologically to reveal confidential information. Some other tools which are used for footprinting include social media sites, Nessus, Acunetix, lullar.com 2. Scanning – Once Mr. X has some basic information about the TaxiCompany, he would start to collect in-depth information which could help him penetrate the network and access confidential information. Mr. X is most likely to use port scanners, sweepers and vulnerability scanners of different types. Mr. X could now be targeting the website or the network of the organization. For websites, using scanners like Nessus and Acunetix could give loads of information about the server where the website is hosted, open ports, server version, hosting platform, etc. In case of a network, network mapping and scanning tools will help Mr. X understand the active hosts, services (ports) running on them and with some intense scans, the OS running on the active hosts and even the vulnerabilities present! Kali Linux is a distribution of Linux operating system which is widely used by hackers around the globe for hacking and penetration testing. It contains almost every tool one would need for various steps of hacking. NMAP, wireshark, ncap, metasploit, etc. are pre-loaded in Kali Linux. Now based on the information gathered in the scanning phase, Mr. X can now easily look for vulnerabilities in the OS or the hardware using databases like NVD or CVE. Commonly used tools/techniques for scanning: Apart from NMAP, the below tools are used to perform vulnerability scanning: Nessus: The most famous vulnerability scanner from Tenable, it has 100s of plugins which allows you to make sure all vulnerabilities and misconfigurations are identified. Acunetix: Acunetix is known for its features and capabilities for web application scanning. 3. Gaining Access – Now Mr. X knows the network, active hosts, services running, details of the operating system and the vulnerabilities present. Next, Mr. X would gain access to the assets of TaxiCompany. Mr. X now has several options to penetrate the network. He can send a “Phishing Mail” to some key people (contacted using social engineering) and trick them into clicking a malicious link (and seek username and password). Alternately, he could try tricking them into downloading a malicious attachment and installing a keylogger to get all the keystrokes. This is a fairly easy task. There are certain fake-mailers like zmail or emkei.cz which allow you to send email to anyone using any email ID as the source email. Emkei is a very popular and useful tool for sending fake email and running phishing campaigns. One can design a mail looking exactly like the original one from the same email ID and trick someone into clicking or downloading something. Designing a phishing page or creating a malicious file is also possible using “Metasploit”. Metasploit allows you to create an exploit and using msfvenom (or any similar tool) you can attach this exploit to an innocent looking pdf or excel file! Once the target user inside TaxiCompany opens this attachment, Mr. X gets the meterpreter shell and can now access almost everything on the target machine. Mr. X has now successfully gained the access of a system within TaxiCompany. Now he is free to navigate the system and the network to get the information he is looking for or infect more devices! Commonly used tools/techniques for gaining access: Kali Linux: A fully loaded operating system with all the tools starting from wireshark to Metasploit to burp suite, it contains everything! Phishing: A technique where the users are lured into clicking or downloading something on their computers. It is also possible by phone calls; a common example is fraudsters pretending to be from Bank and asking card details and OTP. 4. Maintaining Access – Once Mr. X has gained access; he would probably like to secure that access or create another one to ensure that he has a persistent access to that machine. This could be done by using Trojans, Rootkits and backdoors. This is generally done to ensure that more information could be gained or to launch attacks using this machine. In a case where attacker controls a machine and uses it to launch further attacks, the machine is said to be a bot. An attacker uses several of these bots, called ‘botnet’, to launch attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) wherein thousands of requests are sent to a server at a time, potentially consuming all the bandwidth and forcing the legitimate traffic to drop. 5. Covering Tracks – Now Mr. X has the access to the TaxiCompany’s confidential information and one of the computer systems. He now wants to make sure that he is not caught! This is generally done by corrupting or deleting the logs. While this is done at the end, some precautions need to be taken from the onset, such as using a Virtual Private Network or a VPN. VPN is a tool which encrypts any data between the source and the destination, hence making it very difficult to intercept the data. Also, VPN ensures that your actual public IP address is not visible to the target. There is always a dummy IP address which is visible to the target. So even if someone gets to know the IP of the attacker, that would actually be only the IP address of the VPN service provider! Some common free VPN tools are Hide my Ass, Nord VPN and Express VPN. How does the industry view ethical hacking? Ethical hacking is not only about CTF, HTB and bug bounties. It is much more than that. These days every company hires ethical hackers to make sure that their network, applications and data are secure from cyberattacks. Penetration testers are highly paid within an organization and they play a key role in identifying the security vulnerabilities and helping to fix them. There are various sub domains for ethical hacking which include mobile security, web application security, network penetration testing, API security and system security. Certifications related to ethical hacking If you want to pursue a career in Cyber Security, or to be more precise, in ethical hacking, having a credential is helpful. It affirms your prowess in cyber security and gives you an edge over your counterparts during the hiring process. Below are a few certifications in the field of ethical hacking that are globally acknowledged: EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – The CEH, or Certified Ethical Hacker credential is the number one certification that any aspiring ethical hacker should aspire towards. The most common certification in the field of cyber security, it provides in-depth working knowledge about ethical hacking and the concepts related to it. CompTIA Security+  –  A little less technical than the CEH, CompTIA Security+ aims at imparting fundamental knowledge of security concepts and offers less focus on practical, hands-on skills. Offensive Security’s OSCP – One of the toughest and most reputed certifications in this sector that necessitates passing a 24-hour exam, it aims to test your skill set and understanding of cyber security. KnowledgeHut offers in-depth training that can help you to prep for these sought-after certification exams. Get guidance from the experts—click here to explore ways to crack these exams at your very first attempt!  
7389
Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch

Despite the appealing title, ethical hacking or... Read More