IT Service Management (ITSM) vs. ITIL: Explanation and Key Concepts.
Most people know about IT Service Management (ITSM) and Information Technology Infrastructure Libraries (ITIL), but very few are aware of what these acronyms mean. This lack of awareness is despite the fact that the majority of IT organizations routinely use one or more of these strategies and tools.
Not only that, they often use these terms to delineate the same concepts without knowing the differences between them.
To help you understand what ITSM is, and how ITIL and ITSM are different, we’ve written this simple guide that describes them, and how they can deliver IT services.
What is ITIL?
ITIL is the label given to the globe’s most widely used and accepted framework for ITSM.
It is managed and trademarked by AXELOS, which also administers many other best practice services and their related examinations and material.
To help you understand ITIL, we are writing a guide to ITIL that is coming soon and you can find it on my Digital Resources page when it is complete.
What is ITSM?
IT services management or ITSM describes how you run the information systems which deliver services to those who use your business.
Even if you have no knowledge of this concept, anyone who has IT systems is using some type of ITSM.
ITSM or IT service management includes under its umbrella things like working out and implementing changes, resolving errors, and overseeing the IT department and budget.
The official title given to IT Service Management is found inside the Service Design volume, which states:
A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.-ITIL Key Element Guide: ITIL Service Design – Axelos
The phrase IT Service Management is defined in many different ways by various management frameworks.
The majority of these definitions include:
- A listing of the steps required to implement and support IT services for customers.
- The chief aims when delivering and supporting the services needed by the business to achieve its goals.
- Outlining what needs to be done by the people who oversee IT services, including staff, customers, and others involved.
- The overview of suppliers and partners to do with product support and delivery.
Benefits of ITSM (IT Service Management)
The advantages you can gain from implementing IT Service Management will change regarding your goals.
That being said, there are universal benefits which can include:
- Enhancing the standards of service.
- Justifying the costs of quality service.
- Standardizing the services you provide to customers and organizations.
- Centralizing and integrating the processes used in your organization.
- Bringing clarity to the roles and responsibilities of your IT staff.
- Learning from experience to increase efficiency.
- Indicating performance benchmarks
- Lowering the costs associated with delivering your services by reducing waste and mistakes.
How ITSM and ITIL dovetail with each other
Now we arrive at the interesting part.
ITIL is a group of best practices for organizing your IT department. It focuses on responsibility, standardized actions, incorporation of IT into your organization, and efficient workflow. And the reason why this sounds familiar to ITSM is that they are both fundamentally the same.
Other IT Service Management frameworks incorporate a number of the exact same ideas and concepts found in ITIL. And to be blunt, ITSM as a concept is older than the ITIL framework, but ITIL is older than any existing ITSM frameworks.
How Does ITIL Relate to ITSM?
So how do these two frameworks compare to each other?
Basically, ITIL is a framework that helps you to introduce ITSM. It comes with best practices for implementing standards in the IT department.
In addition, there are various other frameworks that have been created for IT service management. These include Six Sigma, COBIT, ISO 20,000, DevOps, and Microsoft’s Operations Framework.
These solutions mean that while ITIL was the first and is the most widely used framework, it is not the only solution business can make use of.
The bottom line: ITSM versus ITIL is not an “and/or” decision. ITSM centers on how you manage the services which are delivered to customers and users and ITIL is a framework that shows you best practices for ITSM.
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