Last Updated on April 24, 2024

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework for activities regarding information technology (IT), such as service management and IT asset management that aligns these services with your organization’s business goals.

ITIL 4 is the latest iteration of ITIL and is the current leading framework for IT service management (ITSM). This framework includes updated knowledge and concepts that reflect a more flexible, values-oriented focus for IT service delivery. To ensure your organization is keeping up-to-date with the latest ITIL best practices, maximizing efficiency, and streamlining communication, you need an ITIL 4 certification.

Why is ITIL 4 important? ITIL 4 improves upon the frameworks in ITIL 3, its predecessor. This latest iteration drops confusing visuals and terminology and focuses on the ITIL Service Value System (SVS) and the Four Dimensions Model. 

How long does it take to study ITIL 4? If you are starting at the Foundation level, ONLC estimates it will take between twenty and thirty hours of study just to grasp the basic understanding of ITIL 4. From there, depending on your chosen pathways, it can take months or even years to graduate from level to level within the framework. 


Are There Prerequisites for ITIL 4 Courses?

Luckily, ITIL 4 certification is relatively entry-level in that all you need is some familiarity with IT terminology or IT-related work experience. This can help learners contextualize the material, but these are recommended skills rather than requirements for the course.


Key Concepts of ITIL 4

ITIL removes the ITIL 3 service lifecycle terminology and imagery and instead places greater emphasis on core components, such as the ITIL SVS. ITIL reworked the IT service lifecycle into a new operational model dubbed the ITIL Service Value Chain. These core concepts define important changes to the contemporary ITIL framework.


Service Value Chain

The Service Value Chain is different from the SVS. The SVS refers to the highest level concept that acts as an umbrella over the Service Value Chain, while the Service Value Chain refers to the activities that are the core of the SVS.

The SVS includes everything necessary to create value in IT services, encouraging service providers to consider necessary components in a new way. This system pushes providers to consider how services can work together to create value with the service customers.

With the Service Value Chain, there is an increased emphasis on how IT services can create business value, utilizing six basic activities aimed to encompass the life cycle of the services:

  • Plan
  • Improve
  • Engage
  • Design and transition
  • Obtain or build
  • Deliver and support

In your ITIL 4 certification course, you will explore value-driven service strategies, including planning services, collecting feedback, and using this information to understand and anticipate user needs.


The Four Dimensions

Because ITIL 4 focuses on a holistic approach to service management, its framework must also reflect this. The four dimensions are critical in creating value for customers and stakeholders. The four dimensions are:

  • Organizations and people
  • Information and technology
  • Partners and suppliers
  • Value streams and processes

Your ITIL 4 certification course explores these dimensions to guide the mindset, thought processes, and established systems that can streamline your ITIL 4 framework implementation.


The Guiding Principles

Previously, the ITIL framework had nine guiding principles. Under ITIL 4, these principles have been condensed to seven and aim to guide IT professionals in adopting the ITIL framework to cater to their unique needs or situations. These principles apply at every stage of the service delivery, and they are:

  • Focus on value
  • Start where you are
  • Progress iteratively with feedback
  • Think and work holistically
  • Keep it simple and practical
  • Optimize and automate

These principles can help your organization and infrastructure transition from processes to practices.


Management Practices

Because ITIL 4 places greater emphasis on holistic integration, critical thinking, and consistent feedback. Because innovation inspired by feedback is at the crux of ITIL 4, the ITIL 4 SVS includes thirty-four management practices, broken up into these subcategories:

  • General management practices: Includes relationship management, risk management, and strategy management, among others
  • Service management practices: Includes business analyses, IT asset management, and service desk, among others
  • Technical management practices: Includes deployment management, infrastructure and platform management, and software development and management

ITIL 4 certification can elevate your practices and professional standing to new heights. This framework encourages innovation, communication, and more. To get started with your ITIL 4 certification, sign up today with ONLC!

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