ITIL is an acronym for the term ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’. It is an established set of best practices to govern the operations of an information technology department. ITIL is deliberately generalized, so that the practices are easily adaptable to any organization in any industry that happens to need these best practices. There are five primary terms to know when it comes to ITIL. Even if your IT service desk workers do not need the ITIL certifications, they can benefit greatly from learning the concepts behind ITIL, as well as the primary terms associated with IT best practices, as defined by ITIL.
1. Service Management
This term refers to the set of specialized capabilities of an IT department (or, an IT firm) in terms of its ability to provide its customers with value in the form of IT services. Service Management takes a strategic approach to the design, delivery, management, and improvements of the IT department within an organization. The end goal of Service Management is to make sure that the correct processes, personnel, and technologies are put into place so that the organization can meets its business goals.
2. Change Management
Every organization must undergo change, and Change Management is the process that gives organizations leverage for controlling the life cycles of the changes they undergo. Change Management makes it possible to benefit from these changes and to get through the changes with minimal upset and disruption to IT services. Change Management empowers the IT department with standardized methods and set procedures to handle change efficiently, effectively, and in an orderly fashion. Change Management gives IT the wherewithal to respond positively to issues that come up during the process of change and to keep the business’ missions, purposes, and goals in sight as change is undergone. It also limits the negative impact of organizational changes.
3. Asset Management
An organization’s IT assets include a wide variety of technologies, properties (both real and intellectual), machines, equipment, software, websites, images, etc. IT Asset Management is the set of practices by which the organization logs, manages, tracks, and values those assets. Typically, the organization invests in an Asset Management system, which is a software application that allows IT to log each asset, track its lifecycle, and retire assets as they become defunct. Asset Management includes hardware asset management, software asset management, and management of intangibles like IT intellectual properties, legacy systems designed in-house, websites and/or the organizational web presence, and related IT assets — either real, intellectual, or conceptual.
4. Configuration Management
Configuration Management is the process by which IT ensures that the assets necessary in order to provide services to their organization and/or customers are properly controlled; and that up-to-date, accurate, and reliable information on those assets is on hand when and where it is required. In other words, Configuration Management is the practice of making sure that critical assets and information about those assets are properly configured and made available to those in need of it. This could involve the configuration of individual servers or of entire networks comprised of many systems and users. Configuration Management is sometimes called Service Asset and Configuration Management.
5. Incident Management
Incident Management is the process by which IT manages the lifecycle of all the incidents it handles. Incident Management is in place to assure that normal services are restored as promptly as possible and that the impact to the business is minimized. The ‘normal’ level of services is to be set forth in the SLA, or Service Level Agreement.
If these ITIL terms are useful to your organization, you should consider adopting an ITIL-based ITSM solution. Some help desks also find it useful to provide ITIL certifications to their workers to leverage the full potential of these practices.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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