I was recently asked about the main differences between ITIL v3 and ITIL 4, and whether organizations need to invest in retraining staff who already have ITIL v3 certifications. In this blog, I’ll explore some of the key differences and help you to decide about what investments you should be making.
People aren’t machines, and best practice isn’t software. When something like ITIL changes, you don’t need to upgrade your entire environment, and changes to culture and skills won’t happen overnight.
What you do need to ask yourself (particularly after the rapid changes most organizations have seen in 2020) is:
If your IT teams are feeling the pressure to deliver and your organization has a strong focus on digital transformation, introducing some ITIL 4 knowledge will really help. ITIL 4 will allow your teams to adapt to new ways of working (DevOps, Agile, Lean, SIAM), and give them the digital skills and perspective to support IT transformation initiatives.
ITIL v3 is structured around the service lifecycle – strategy, design, transition, operation and continual service improvement. Many organizations have adopted a structure that is linked the service lifecycle and have invested heavily in training their teams.
The good news is that the ITIL v3 concepts are still absolutely valid. Many of them appear in some form in ITIL 4, and ITIL v3 certifications don’t ‘expire’. ITIL v3 gives organizations a strong service management foundation. With key processes in place and good understanding of end to end services, many organizations are delivering robust, predictable, quality IT services.
In today's fast moving IT environment, we’ve seen many changes in the last 5 years. In addition to ITIL, new ways of working like DevOps, Agile, SIAM and Lean have also been applied to IT product and service delivery. This has created some confusion about roles and responsibilities, and how to create the optimal IT operating model. IT is recognized as a strategic enabler, and many organizations are adopting a digital strategy and discussing digital transformation at the C-level.
ITIL 4 supports these changes and takes service management to the next level. AXELOS, the owners of ITIL, say:
“ITIL 4 takes you through a service value system which provides a holistic picture of what it really means to contribute to business value.
The focus is now on the co-creation of value through service relationship. The updated framework will focus on facilitating value co-creation via a service value system (SVS). The SVS represents how different components and activities can work together, in any type of organization, to facilitate value creation through IT enabled services.”
“The context of ITIL, with the release of ITIL 4 in 2019 is now much bigger, with an emphasis on the business and technology world, how it works today, and how it will work in the future with Agile, DevOps and digital transformation.”
Some of the key differences between ITIL v3 and ITIL 4 are:
ITIL 4 gives the ITIL framework a refresh that will prepare it for the digital age. There is much more focus on the enterprise as a whole, and the customer journey that is enabled by IT service management. ITIL 4 doesn’t replace the concepts of ITIL v3, but it builds on them and takes service management to the next level. If your organization has adopted ITIL v3, introducing some of the ITIL 4 concepts will help to support a journey of continual improvement.