ITIL is a standard of global best practice in IT service management (ITSM). ITIL has traditionally been used by IT organizations and, until the 2019 ITIL 4 update, it was predominantly focused on IT service management. As such, some people think of ITIL and ITSM as interchangeable terms.

That’s not quite right, though. ITIL 4 is now focused on enterprise service management. So then, ITIL is service management, but not all service management is ITIL. In addition, not all service management is ITSM.

ITIL was born in 1989 and through the 1990s, it grew in popularity with IT organizations seeking a better way to deliver and support IT (services). In many ways, ITIL was the documentation of what was already being done in the “best” IT organizations. It was sometimes claimed to be “documented common sense.” It was also the only available guidance for IT service delivery and support teams that wanted – or needed – to be better.

But times and terms have changed. ITIL 4 has a particular service value chain that ITSM professionals can use to provide the best experience to their users.

For a deeper look into this value chain, as well as recommended management practices, guiding principles and more, click here.