Don’t Look Twice - ITSM is not ITIL

May 20th 2013 | Posted by Tony Ioele

Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is the framework for delivering technology within a business. While often interchanged with Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the two are very different. 

ITSM is the organizational implementation of a management model used to design, implement and manage quality services for business customers. ITIL is a library of process standards outlined in 5 core publications that guide the delivery and support of IT services:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement 

ITIL standards are published by the UK Office of Government Commerce (OOGC) and provide a holistic view of delivering and managing services. ITIL and ITSM together make up the services ecosystem that create the capability to deliver and manage a portfolio of quality services. 

Think of ITSM as the organizational function, while ITIL is the process function. ITSM has to have alignment to:

  • IT Strategy - you must have an organization that supports and delivers on the IT Strategy
  • Demand Management - a very large part of ITSM is understanding what your customers/business users need and translate those requirements into cost effective and value driven services.
  • Governance - managing a portfolio of services, managing customer expectations and having the mechanisms to make effective and timely decisions.
  • Sourcing - staying abreast of where the industry is going and delivering the portfolio of services in the most cost effective and value driven manner, regardless of the source.
  • Vendor Management - managing the vendors to deliver the products and services in a manner that allows IT to meet their customer satisfaction.

ITSM is a fundamentally different way of delivering IT. Having Service Management capabilities is critical to your organization as it provides a basis for better management controls, improved operational efficiencies, value-based services and integrates well with service providers. 

WGroup believes the Service Management organizational model is an evolution. There are differences in organizational alignment, skills and culture which must be factored into the organizational design and implementation. Remember, ITIL is a process framework; a recipe if you will that needs to be adapted for each organization’s capabilities, skills and business requirements. By no means should someone “pull the ITIL reference manuals” and implement every facet of ITIL.

The benefits of IT Service Management Process Maturity provide the ability to deliver continuously improved, high quality IT services to all levels and types of customers – IT as a business! Furthermore, IT Service Management enhances the relationship between an IT organizations internal and external service providers while increasing the linkages across IT and improving service levels.

For more information on WGroup's ITSM offerings, please visit:

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