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ITIL, now part of ITSM, was initially introduced back in the 1980s. Although there have been various meaningful iterations since the fundamental concept that governs ITIL is still the same. With its numerous benefits, some business professionals complain that the security and integrity ITIL provides is at the cost of unnecessary check and authorizations, causing difficulties in workflows of people. Some go even as far as to say that ITIL is outdated and will soon be replaced with DevOps and Agile. The complaints arise due to the failure of ITSM to keep up with the rapid evolution of software development and IT Operation, and the frustration ITIL’s silo approach causes for ITSM professionals. Arguably, the last iteration of ITIL, the ITIL v3 released back in 2011, does indeed seem a bit antiquated by today’s standards where tech giants like Netflix and Amazon are working towards lean and fast operations.
There are different schools of thoughts regarding the philosophy of DevOps and the process intensive approach of ITIL, and while people claim DevOps and ITIL are completely different frameworks, it is not entirely true. Although at a fundamental level DevOps and ITIL take different approaches, there are many ways in which they are similar. These aspects that enable them to work together allow the possibility of formation of a hybrid model, this has an incredible synergy effect.
ITIL v4 planned to be launched in 2019, addresses all of its shortcomings that ITSM community have raised and tries to streamline ITIL with the likes of DevOps and attempts to create the possibility of integrating lean and agile software development with ITIL. The changes being introduced in ITIL v4 should not worry ITIL advocates and professionals though, as ITIL, in its essences will remain the same, and will only have added features that enable easy integration with other ITSM approaches. In a time where business and service management approaches are getting updated, integrated, and combined to achieve the most functional model, it becomes even more important to gain professional IT Ops Training as well as ITIL Certification. If someone is has got IT Ops Training and ITIL Certification in ITIL v3, they do not have much to worry about. AXELOS has announced that all current ITIL Certification will remain valid even for ITIL v4. Although there will be ways for ITIL v3 experts to upgrade to ITIL v4, if someone is planning to get ITIL Certification, it might be wise to hold off until v4 is released.
This new approach that ITIL, and eventually, ITIL Certification and IT Ops training seems to be taking is not just an abstract attempt at keeping ITIL relevant in today’s rapidly changing and innovative era. In fact, AXELOS is looking for insightful feedback from hundreds of professionals from all over the world to pinpoint the key areas of ITIL that need innovation. Axelos CEO Peter Hepworth said "ITIL is a community-driven initiative, and I would now like to encourage IT, professionals, to join our Global Research Programme. This is their opportunity to contribute to and drive forward this latest evolution of the framework. They will take ITIL best practice into the future by ensuring that it continues to provide service management professionals with guidance that reflects the realities and demands of today’s rapidly evolving business environment.”
As it is, ITIL v3 is the closest to an industry standard in business management. More than a million business professionals, in the US alone, include IT Ops training and ITIL Certification as an integral part of their IT management structure. It is a tried and tested method that has stood the test of time through decades of research and is still evolving according to industry needs. Every year enterprises invest heavily in IT Ops training and ITIL Certification. Few of the key innovations Axelos aims to introduce in the ITIL v4 are things that have become a competitive edge in many businesses. These new technologies include cloud, increased automation, and digital transformation. The key dynamic behind the ITIL update is that ITSM professionals are able to inculcate these new technologies with their existing ITIL practices, increasing the potential applicability of ITIL in the future.
It seems as if the next major evolution of ITSM is just around the corner and it will allow IT Ops Teams, with the resources and the much-needed changes in the framework, to connect ITSM with the innovative technologies prevalent in today's world. 2019 will see the introduction of ITIL v4, and the following years will see a more combined approach that brings together ITIL and other frameworks and models such as DevOps, Lean and Agile. What is clear about the new ITIL is that it will no longer be an inward approach. It will no longer focus on theory and assumptions in creating process focused frameworks. The new ITIL is foregoing the previous approach and is remapping itself according to the needs of the professionals. ITIL is taking a step back from using assumptions as a key factor in designing frameworks, as they might not work as well in the real world as they do in theory. It is now developing a database of users who can provide insights on how to make ITIL better and evolve it in such a way that makes it can lead the next phase of IT Service management and IT Ops teams working in businesses ranging from SMEs to fortune 500 companies.
In an interview with Tech Target, David Radcliffe said “ITIL 4 is going to help us make use of other frameworks and techniques. IT governance and leadership, and strategy. It helps us to say, 'Hey, let's get together and make sure we exploit all these techniques and keep in mind the prerequisites of delivering IT service quality.'”
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