ITIL’s Service Management Life-Cycle is focused on the development, implementation,management and improvement,, of IT services that are used to deliver value to the business. This approach differs from the product development approach that is traditionally associated with IT organizations. Service management is concerned with delivering service outcomes that are valuable to the business whereas product development focuses on the delivery of a product.
The ITIL V3 Life-cycle is made up of five phases:
- Service Strategy – establishes an overall strategy for the organization’s planned IT services and IT service management practices.
- Service Design – designs and develops new or changed services for introduction into the live environment.
- Service Transition – transitions new or changed services into the Production Environment while controlling the risks of failure and disruption.
- Service Operation – performs the day-to-day operation of the processes that manage the services. It is also where performance metrics for the services are gathered and reported and value is realized.
- Continual Service Improvement – identifies and implements improvements to the IT services.
The current version of ITIL, version 3, introduces a service management life-cycle that highlights outcomes that must be achieved in order to successfully implement and manage IT services. This life-cycle orientation serves as a standard for managing Application Support services.