The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides a systematic approach to the provision and management of IT services, from inception through design, implementation, operation, and continual improvement.

 ITIL was developed by the United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in the late 1980s, and its original goal was to help improve IT Service Management in the UK central government.  ITIL was not widely adopted until the mid-1990s.   

 Where possible, the OGC defined processes that are found in an IT service organization.  Because of the broad scope covered by ITIL, it is a useful guide for setting up new service improvement objectives for all functions within the IT organization.

 In June of 2007, ITIL was expanded and reorganized as an IT service management Lifecycle, known as ITIL Version 3 (ITIL V3).  This new version covers the initial conception, development, transition, operations, and improvement of a service.  ITIL V3 views the activity of managing service as a Lifecycle, which is a shift in focus from the individualized process/function view of the previous version. 

ITIL serves as a source of good practice standards in IT Service Management (ITSM).  It is used as a reference by organizations worldwide for managing and improving IT services. 

ITIL defines service management as “a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.  The capabilities take the form of functions and processes that are used to manage services over their Lifecycle.” [i]

ITIL V3 Lifecycle and related material Copywrite by Office of Government Commerce, Norwich, UK, 2007

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