Let’s be honest, there are so many terms and acronyms in this industry that are easy to confuse. ITIL vs. ITSM? Incident vs. change vs. problem? CMBD? SLA? Okay. Take a deep breath and let’s get back to the fundamentals. There are two very important terms in our world: ITIL and ITSM. But, are they the same? Are they intertwined? How do they cross paths? Our minds are already spinning, let’s give them some clarification.
IT Service Management (ITSM)
ITSM is the strategic approach to managing information technology within your organization and delivering services to customers. You might be completely unaware of the term, yet if you have IT systems in your organizations, then you are nevertheless performing ITSM. Examples of ITSM: resolving incidents or disruptions to get your business back to fully functional, budgeting and carrying through organizational change, monitoring software compliance, or any other technical necessity your business needs. Sound familiar? We all do ITSM…even some of us not in IT.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
ITIL is the most recognized framework for ITSM within the realm of IT. These frameworks, or groups of documents, guide organizations on the best practices for performing ITSM, encompassing everything from lowering service costs, to better aligning IT departments with their organization’s needs to ensure business goals are met.
ITIL has five sections: strategy, design, transition, operations, and continual service improvement. These five sections each provide comprehensive instructions for IT process management, and are from ITIL’s newest version — ITIL v3. As we discussed recently, the origins of ITIL date back to the late 80s, when ITSM was gaining traction and a best practices guide became necessary. Now, many technicians and IT leaders around the world have an ITIL certification, and utilize the framework throughout various industries and corporate sizes.
One Sentence Summary: The Difference Between ITIL and ITSM
ITSM is how you manage the services you deliver to end users, and ITIL teaches you the best practices for ITSM.
It’s pretty simple when you put it that way.