Skip to the main content.

ITIL – The best-known ITSM framework

Have you decided to introduce a CMDB? Then the size of your organisation makes it necessary to optimise the existing processes. You are at a point where careful planning becomes immensely important. And to make a success of your project, you need a guideline.

Various frameworks and best practice collections exist for the implementation of an ITSM. In this article, we will look at the most well-known framework: The IT Infrastructure Library, or ITIL for short.

ITIL relies on tried and tested standard procedures to support the economic interests of a company in the best way possible. It also takes into account the processes that are orientated towards the customer and the services.


When and by whom was the ITIL developed?


The ITIL was originally developed towards the end of the 1980s on behalf of the British government. The first version (V1) comprised 34 documents and was completed in the period 1989 – 1998. The focus at that time was on service support processes. This concerns service desk management, handling changes and software distribution, as well as their control. Topics such as capacity management (e.g. for data centres) and cost management prompted more and more companies to introduce an ITIL.


The next big step – ITIL v2


A good three years later, the first major revision, ITILv2, appeared. This version deepened existing topics and supplemented the work with entirely new ones. In 2001, ITILv2 covered areas that are still relevant today.

Best practice guides for change, incident, problem, release and IT Service Management were published. The main reason for this expansion was, above all, the enormous demand.

In 2005, the ISO/IEC 20000 standards were developed. These are still recognised standards for IT Service Management (ITSM) today and are strongly orientated towards the descriptions of the processes of ITIL.




In July 2011, the revised and still widely used ITILv3 was published, which is orientated towards the service lifecycle. The focus here is on the topics of service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continuous service improvement.




Service Strategy

The Service Strategy is the first phase in the service lifecycle. It functions as the motor for realising IT Service Management. Here, guidelines and goals are defined according to the strategy.

Service Design

The Service Design chapter provides guidance for innovative IT services. With its help, current and future requirements are met. In addition to direct functional requirements for the services, the ITIL also describes service level requirements and criteria. Regular business impact analyses and risk management are an integral part of this chapter.

Service Transition

Service Transition is also part of the Service Lifecycle. It deals with the management and control of processes, systems and activities. This is particularly necessary for the compilation and testing of a release. The focus is on:

  • the requirements for services
  • the detection of deviations in terms of performance and errors
  • the best possible support for the customer’s change processes

Service Operation

The chapter, Service Operation, focuses on the operation of IT services. This section describes how services are efficiently provided and supported. In addition, information on how to ensure a high level of stability can be found here. Customer satisfaction and strengthening trust in the IT services provided are clearly the focus here.

Continual Service Improvement

This section deals with goals for the continuous improvement of services. It describes how:

  • to effectively implement activities to improve service quality
  • standardised methods for measuring quality are introduced
  • to define processes with clear objectives and metrics to measure them

This includes the so-called baselines. The ITIL principle applies: If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it.

Ultimately, Continuous Service Improvement ensures that IT services are aligned with business requirements. Only in this way can they contribute to a high level of customer satisfaction.




ITILv4 is not a new version, but the consistent further development of version 3 from February 2019. The focus on customer-oriented products and services is strengthened once again in this version. The existing content has been expanded and the 26 ITIL processes have been restructured into 34 practices. There are also innovations in the wording.

The Service Lifecycle has been restructured into the “Service Value Chain”. It consists of service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation and continuous service improvement. This consists of the phases Plan, Improve, Engage, Design and Transition, Obtain / Build, Deliver and Support. However, ITIL v3 does not lose its validity through ITIL v4.


Why is ITIL important?


The ITIL framework aims to establish efficient IT Service Management in the company. What does that mean in concrete terms? What are the advantages?

During the course of the last decades, the competitive pressure on companies has constantly increased. This has resulted in the need to continuously offer better services. Those who don’t satisfy their customers will lag behind their competitors in the long run.

Customer satisfaction depends strongly on the quality of the services offered. Whether the user of the services is internal (department in the company) or external (customer) is irrelevant. If the quality of the services meets the customer’s requirements, the customer will be satisfied.


ITIL means efficiency through clear goals and guidelines


By clearly defining goals and policies, you establish a strategy. Clever definition and modelling of services makes them transparent for all involved. You quickly adapt your processes to new requirements. This phase includes determining the related components from which the services are built.

You efficiently identify savings (e.g. by replacing components with cheaper alternatives). The same applies to the selection of service providers.

Last but not least, you make all processes in change, problem and release management more efficient by implementing ITIL. For your IT department, this means finally receiving information on all stages of the service and asset lifecycle.

It becomes clear when and why an asset was acquired. The affiliation to a service, responsible persons and the reason for replacement become clear.

This has a positive effect on troubleshooting. If you know the changes, it is easier to return to the original state.

The decisive advantage of the ITIL: the industry does not matter. The size of a company is also irrelevant. The ITIL is suitable for medium-sized and larger IT organisations to increase customer satisfaction and the quality of their services in the long term.


Can i-doit map ITIL processes?


As a fully-fledged CMDB, i-doit is firmly anchored in the ITIL cosmos. The term “CMDB” itself originates from ITIL.

i-doit has numerous options for implementing ITIL management processes. With this solution, you cover the entire lifecycle of assets and services. You save each newly created asset as a separate configuration. For each change, you check in the logbook which changes have been made. In the event of a failure, you return to the original state.

The assets take on different states in the CMDB, such as “in operation”, “defective” or “under repair”. A configuration doesn’t only refer to the purely physical properties of the asset. Dependencies on persons, contracts or other assets are also mapped there.

You compile releases of new hardware or software, check them in advance and roll them out. This significantly reduces the risk of disrupting vital business processes through incorrect configurations. By connecting a monitoring or discovery solution, you automatically detect changes in the IT infrastructure. At the same time, they record them in the CMDB. The IT asset management corresponds to the ACTUAL state. Furthermore: you register and record all changes automatically. In addition to a highly up-to-date database, the time saved by the employees is a decisive advantage.

ITIL stands for service management like no other framework. You already cover configuration and change management with i-doit. It is advisable to implement service management here as well. For this purpose, i-doit offers you the possibility to compile services from different components. You save these in your own configurations. Changes are also recorded automatically.

The entire incident management takes place via a connected service desk (help desk) such as OTRS or Zammad. Here you record every incident and complete it with information from the CMDB. Through the bi-directional connection, the affected assets are directly linked and called up. This saves time and the troubleshooting can start immediately. Each service ticket is documented in the CMDB. You quickly identify vulnerable systems because you can trace the respective process at any time.


ITIL v3 certification


The certification for ITILv3 is modular and offers a gradual progression from Foundation to Master level. The basis is the ITIL Foundation certificate. This provides basic knowledge and offers 2 points for the further certification process. Afterwards, you can choose between different ITIL modules depending on your area of responsibility.




In the lifecycle area, the following certifications are available to choose from:

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

Each of these certifications has a value of 3 points.

In the Capability Modules, the following certifications are offered and awarded:

  • Operational Support & Analysis
  • Release Control & Validation
  • Planning Protection & Optimazation
  • Service Offerings and Agreements

Each of these exams adds another 4 points to the certification account. An additional 3 points are awarded to those who pass the ITIL Practitioner exam.

The next certification level is the so-called “Managing Across the Lifecycle”. Here, the contents of the previous certifications are intensified. The competences are further consolidated in a practical application (5 points). If you have achieved at least 22 points, you can gain the ITIL Expert certification. This is considered proof that you are among the top experts in the field of service management. The last and highest level is the ITIL Master certification. The prerequisite for this is the ITIL Expert certification and proof of at least five years of ITSM experience. The examination takes place in front of a panel of experts.

As of 2018, PeopleCert is the only Examination Institute that issues ITIL certificates. Exams are also administered by Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs).


ITIL v4 certification


For the ITIL v4 certification, the Foundation certification again forms the basis for the certification process. The certification is then divided into the areas of ITIL Managing Professional (MP) and ITIL Strategic Leader (SL). The Managing Professionals focus on practical and technical knowledge of IT services and workflows. The Strategic Leader focuses on the planning, design and control of IT operations in the company.

  • ITIL Managing Professionals (MP)
  • ITIL Specialist: Create, Deliver & Support
  • ITIL Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL Specialist: High Velocity IT
  • ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve
  • ITIL Stratetic Leader (SL)
  • ITIL Strategist: Direct, Plan & Improve
  • ITIL Leader: Digital & IT Strategy

The ITIL Master is also the highest certification level in ITILv4. The principles, methods and techniques taught from the ITIL framework are effectively applied to practical tasks.


Implement ITIL with i-doit


You can map management processes based on ITIL with i-doit. Connect further tools to the system, automate processes and the constant maintenance of the database. On the basis of the existing information, you can model services and check them for quality, performance and availability. i-doit can be adapted and scaled according to your individual requirements. With its numerous add-ons, the system offers helpful functions and extensions. Test it for 30 days without obligation and you will be convinced.

Humans4help and synetics form a partnership

Paris/Düsseldorf, Dezember 2023

Humans4help, a leading French digital transformation incubator with focus on business process improvement and...

Read more

i-doit pro for Windows - The new Windows-Installer

For more than 15 years, many users have been using the IT documentation software in a classic Linux environment. Repeatedly, we have received...

Read more

Joachim Winkler moves to the company's advisory board

The founder of the specialist for IT documentation and CMDB moves from the management board to the advisory board of the company. 

After almost 27...

Read more