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New ITIL best practice books released

Justin Richards

A new set of IT Infrastructure ­Library (ITIL) core books, version 3, has been released, and the accompanying qualifications are due soon.

ITIL is a set of best practices that has expanded to become a widely adopted global framework for service management.

"The most important reason for the change to ITIL version 3 was based on research that found that the service lifecycle is how services are managed today," said Sharon Taylor, ITIL Refresh chief architect and chief examiner.

"The current version of ITIL is 10 years old there has been a huge progression towards different types of services in the market, such as outsourcing," Taylor said. "What were best practices 10 years ago are current practice now, so the entire library of best practice needed to be brought up to date."

The ITIL philosophy grew up around the guidance contained within the ITIL core books and the associated professional qualifications scheme. These qualifications were developed by examination bodies Iseb and Exin in agreement with the official accreditor, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and the IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF).

About 35% of organisations in northern Europe have adopted at least part of the ITIL philosophy, according to estimates by the ITSMF. Almost 450,000 people have taken ITIL examinations with Iseb and Exin since they started running the exams in the early 1990s.

In line with the quickly developing nature of the industry, the OGC began the ITIL Refresh project in November 2004 with the intention of improving the usefulness and applicability of ITIL, and to clarify the link between employment of best practices and business benefits.

The consultation phase of the project took place in 2005 and authors were then chosen to write five new core ITIL books based around a lifecycle approach to service management best practices.

The titles are:

● Service Strategy

● Service Design

● Continual Service Improvement

● Service Transition

● Service Operation

Each of the five books was reviewed by almost 50 representatives from the IT industry, drawn from different sized companies and various sectors, in public and private enterprise. A sixth book has also been published as an introduction to the core lifecycle. This volume is aimed at anyone who wishes to understand the changes that have been made to the approach or who wants an overview of ITIL.

Other complementary publications will follow these core books. There will be an official study aid for each element of the syllabus, and "key element" guides will replace current pocket guides. There will also be an ITIL book for executives, complete with arguments intended to convince them to invest in ITIL.

BCS information on ITIL version 3 >>

General information on ITIL >>

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