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ITIL Versions: History and Latest ITIL Versions

04th Jun, 2024
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    ITIL Versions: History and Latest ITIL Versions

    The ITIL framework is a collection of the best ways to manage IT. It was introduced in 2006 by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (or ITIL for short). ITIL is based on the outcomes-based management philosophy, which emphasizes that a company’s strategy and plans should be measurable to determine if they have succeeded.  

    In addition, it considers whether the company’s goals are realistic. The primary goal of any organization is to meet its customers’ needs effectively and efficiently. It has identified seven key principles: customers, people, processes, technology, governance and leadership. Each of these principles is further defined by specific scenarios or processes. For example, implementing security controls can be broken into eight steps. 

    ITIL- An Overview

    ITIL is a set of standards for IT infrastructure management that stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL is based on the results-based management doctrine, which states that corporate plans and strategies should be measurable to determine if they have been successful. Furthermore, ITIL considers whether the company's objectives are realistic. It focuses on the seven critical concepts of customers, workers, procedures, technology, governance, and leadership. To ensure that its customers are satisfied, efficiently and effectively, the company has identified the following seven points: customers, people, procedures, technology, governance, and leadership. To know about it, check out check ITIL certification online.

    Eight distinct procedures can be used to describe each of these principles. For example, risk mitigation procedures may be divided into eight distinct steps. In this circumstance, the first step is identifying the risks that need to be handled with security controls (and their danger). The next seven steps describe how the identified risks should be handled with security controls to prevent malicious users from accessing unauthorized information or resources without being detected (and other security measures). In the following paragraphs, we will analyze how each of these principal functions in more detail and when to apply them. 

    Different ITIL Versions

    Let's look at the various phases of ITIL versions passed through and how they developed over time to what it is today. 

    1.  ITIL v1

    The GITIM or Government Information Technology Infrastructure Management ITIL was developed at the end of the 1980s. ITIL version 1, which offers better service and support, has become a well-known standard across government and private organizations worldwide. ITIL, a catalogue of 30 volumes that include best IT practices, has become a worldwide success in the early 1990s. ITIL, which transformed the way IT was done in the UK, Europe, and elsewhere around the world, was already on its way to becoming in the late 1980s. 

    The ITIL version 1 framework is a set of best practices for IT service delivery. The ITIL version 1 framework was developed to provide a standardized approach for IT service management, which can be applied across the entire lifecycle of an IT project, from planning to delivery and beyond. The ITIL framework consists of five core processes: Plan, Manage, Operate, Optimize, and Review. These core processes are supported by a suite of tools and techniques.

    The goals of the ITIL framework are to promote consistency and quality across the entire lifecycle of an IT project, including planning, taking into account stakeholder needs; monitoring progress over time; and evaluating results. 

    IBM has adopted the ITIL framework as one example of how an organization can take responsibility for its own success. As a result, IBM has numerous resources available on its website dedicated to helping employees learn more about the benefits of adopting the ITIL framework in their own organizations. 

    1.  ITIL v2

    In 2000, the ITIL framework was altered to become the Microsoft Operations Framework Foundation (MOF) to accommodate Microsoft's adoption of ITIL as the foundation for the new framework (ITIL v2). The 30-volume catalogue was split into nine categories, and ITIL became the most accessible ITSM tool in the world as a result of this change. In addition, ITIL version 2 was developed to make ITIL more accessible to the general public. 

    This version supersedes the original ITIL v1 but does not change the basic principles and practices described in the ITIL framework

    The main changes are: 

    • A new approach to governance and management board membership, with a more centralized role for senior managers. 
    • A new integrated service management tool for defining monitoring and reporting on service levels. 
    • A greater focus on internal service delivery improvements as a way to increase customer satisfaction and retention rates. 
    • An emphasis on flexible working arrangements to help adapt to emerging market trends. 

    A greater number of benchmarks to measure progress against key measures such as customer satisfaction rating, defect rate, cycle time and staff turnover. 

    The ITIL version 2 framework is now considered the "de facto standard" in the field of service management, although it is not necessarily recommended that organizations adopt it in its entirety. In other words, NOT all of ITIL v2 should be applied at once or with the same level of rigor as some parts may work best independently of other parts. 

    1.  ITIL v3

    The ITIL Glossary was introduced in 2006 to make ITIL easier to use. ITIL version 3 was published in 2007. In this version, IT business integration around the idea of service life cycle structure was emphasized. In Axelos's ITIL 2011 Revision, the ITIL 2007 revisions were released once again. AXELOS sought to resolve the inconsistencies and errors with v3 in 2011 by releasing a revised version. 26 processes and functions were condensed into five volumes in ITIL version 3. 

    The ITIL version 3 framework is an evolution of the ITIL version 2 approach. Common to both versions is the concept of service management, but ITIL version 3 also introduces new processes for process improvement, change management and service delivery

    There are also minor differences between the two versions in terms of terminology, structure and delivery model. 

    • ITIL version 3 main goal was to create a more comprehensive framework that covers all the major areas of IT service management. 
    • The updated framework took into account the experience gained from previous versions and extended the scope of IT service management to include process improvement, service delivery and change management

    ITIL version 3 introduces new processes and upgraded versions of existing processes for these three areas. It also provides guidance on how to implement various aspects of service management, such as dealing with change requests and managing incidents. 

    In addition, it defines key principles for managing IT services effectively and provides best practices that can be adopted by organizations looking to improve their services. 

    1.  ITIL v4

    ITIL version 4, released in 2019, is the most popular and current ITIL version. ITIL, which stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a body of knowledge and conventions covering many aspects of IT management, from infrastructure to applications to network administration. ITIL version 4, besides providing practical guidance on ITIL usage, focuses on collaborative IT environments. As of 2021, this is the latest version of ITIL in use. It is easier for companies to align ITIL version 4 with Agile, DevOps and Lean work methods because it is more inclusive for modern digital environments. 

    ITIL version 4 is a foundational best practice framework that sets out to improve how IT organizations deliver services. It consists of five core processes: service design, delivery, change, maintenance, and analytics. ITIL aims to provide IT organizations with a consistent way to manage the business value they deliver to customers. 

    In addition to its core principles, ITIL encompasses several additional best practices that can be used by organizations looking to improve overall service quality and efficiency.

    These include: 

    ITIL has been adopted across many industries on a large scale. In particular, it has become a mainstream best practice in large enterprises such as Google and Microsoft. It is a valuable resource for any organization looking to improve its service quality and business outcomes. 

    1.  ITIL v5

    ITIL version 5 includes a new Service Transition phase that integrates legacy support with new service delivery infrastructure. It also introduces a new approach to Problem management called "Problem Evolution", which guides you through multiple stages of problem resolution. ITIL version 5 is designed to be a practical guide that can be adapted to your organization’s needs. It can help you identify gaps in your current process, automate repetitive tasks, and streamline your management team's workload.  

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    History of ITIL

    The ITIL framework was created in the 1980s by Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in Great Britain to help IT organizations deliver better quality at a lower cost after the British government procured poor-quality IT services. In order to help IT organizations, deliver better quality at a lesser cost, CCTA developed a set of recommendations. 

    ITIL certification, the most prominent of CCTA's recommendations, was subsequently employed by IT organizations. Prior to IT organizations’ preoccupation with hardware, software, and other technologies, they cared more about their customers' requirements. 

    To guarantee effective service delivery, it is critical for clear responsibilities and effective processes to exist within any organization. The CCTA discovered that, regardless of the industry or size of a business, most of them desired the same thing. As a result, the ITIL's recommendations can be applied to all organizations in all industries and sizes, as well as phases I, II, and III. 

    History of ITIL

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    Use of ITIL

    ITIL is the acronym for IT Infrastructure Library. It is a framework that outlines best practices that are included in IT service management courses. Uses of ITIL are as follows:  

    • ITIL provides a common language that can be used to describe how IT systems should be managed and provides guidance on how these systems should be designed, implemented, monitored, and maintained to optimize their performance. 
    • It aims to help organizations understand their current state of technology, its risks, opportunities and challenges.  
    • It also aims to help them improve their technology performance by providing best practices, tools, processes and models that are used across multiple industries.  
    • ITIL has proven to be successful in helping organizations improve their technology performance. This can be attributed to its holistic nature covering all aspects of technology management, including planning, implementing and operating IT systems. 
    • One of the other uses of ITIL is that it is applicable across different types of businesses due to its modular nature. This means there is no need to change your practices when changing job roles or locations. Another benefit is that it provides a common language that can be used across different industries, thereby reducing the risk of misinterpretation. 

    The biggest benefit of implementing ITIL is improved efficiency and adherence to the four key principles of Continual Improvement, which are: 

    • Continual Process Improvement: Continuously improving processes to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness. 
    • Continuous System Improvement: Improving or replacing existing systems that are not performing well to improve efficiency and effectiveness. 
    • Continuous People Development: Improving the skills of all employees so they can be more effective in their roles. 
    • Continuous Innovation: Implementing new ideas across the organization to foster continuous innovation. 

    The goal of ITIL is to provide a systematic approach to IT service management (ITSM). ITSM is defined as “the process of identifying, delivering, and maintaining high-quality IT products and services that meet customer needs in an efficient, effective, timely manner.” ITIL attempts to address key challenges faced by organizations today, such as complexity and lack of consistency across organizational units and disparate legacy systems. 


    ITIL is a framework for managing IT that originated from the British government. The goal of ITIL is to help organizations deliver a quality IT service to their customers. The key principles of ITIL are customers, people, processes, technology, governance, and leadership. ITIL provides best practices for managing IT and includes seven key principles. These principles include customers, people, processes, technology, governance, and leadership. ITIL is a framework for managing IT and includes seven key principles. These principles include customers, people, processes, technology, governance, and leadership. Knowledgehut ITIL certification can help individuals gain skills that will help them manage and improve user satisfaction by providing better customer support. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is the ITIL latest version?

    ITIL  v4 is the latest version of ITIL. ITIL 4 provides a digital operating model that enables organizations to co-create effective value from their IT-supported products and services.

    2What do you mean by ITIL? 

    The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for IT services management that originated in the 1980s as a result of the British government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) documenting dozens of best practices and printing them for distribution. 

    3What is the role of ITIL? 

    The ITIL framework consists of five core concepts: service design, delivery, monitoring and metrics, incident management, and resolution. 

    • ITIL helps organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness by providing a framework for managing IT services. 
    • ITIL can be used to help organizations achieve several goals. It can also help organizations improve user satisfaction by providing better customer support.  
    • And finally, ITIL can help organizations improve their reputation by providing better customer service. 
    4Is ITIL v3 better than ITIL v4?

    ITIL v3 is better than ITIL v4 because it includes more detailed process descriptions and deeper explanations of how each process works. 


    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan


    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan is a highly skilled corporate trainer, consultant, and content developer with expertise in a wide range of areas including ITIL 4, PRINCE2, Agile/Scrum, PMP, DevOps, and soft skills. With a passion for delivering exceptional training experiences, Manikandan offers a comprehensive suite of training services covering service management, project management, business simulations, and more. With over 20+ years of experience, he has successfully facilitated numerous programs, including business communications, emotional intelligence, team building, and organizational change management. Manikandan's dedication to empowering individuals and organizations shines through his motivational talks and impactful training sessions.

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