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Your Complete Guide to ITIL

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By: Olivia

August 23, 2017

According to Forbes, ITIL was ranked as one of the most valuable IT certifications for 2017, with holders earning an average yearly salary of $103,408. For many, there is a certain sense of mystery that surrounds this certification despite it being the most widely used framework for IT management, implemented by thousands of organizations worldwide including NASA, Microsoft, and HSBC.

What is ITIL?

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for aligning IT services with business needs. It covers all aspects of the process from availability and capacity management to change and incident management to application and IT operations management.When we say IT services, that means any IT activities that deliver business value to a company's end users and customers. IT services can include corporate email and corporate websites based on back-end IT processes, such as server and network administration.Axelos, who provides the ITIL certification, defines it as “guidance to organizations and individuals on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change, transformation, and growth.”

What are ITIL best practices?

Each of the best practices are outlined into five different publications, which include:
  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement
These publications detail the ITIL service lifecycle that starts by identifying customer needs and the drivers of IT requirements and delves into the design and implementation until you are able to monitor and improve the service.Why use ITIL? “It offers a number of benefits, including increased competitive advantage through cost reduction, growth, and agility; more business efficiency through streamlining of IT processes; enhanced IT value through business and IT operational and goal alignment; improved internal customer and user satisfaction.”To be clear, ITIL is different from project management and focuses on the delivery of IT services to a company. Its implementation requires a cultural change initiative and may be an adjustment for companies unfamiliar with these types of practices.

Why get ITIL Foundation certified?

Professionals seeking a comprehensive understanding of the key elements, concepts and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle, including the links between lifecycle stages, the processes used and their contribution to service management practices will greatly benefit from the Axelos Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification.Obtaining your certification signifies that you possess the fundamental knowledge of IT service management best practices including how to reduce costs, increase enhancements in processes, improve IT productivity and overall customer satisfaction.A main factor in the appeal of ITIL as a set of best practices and certification is the emphasis on the intersection of IT and business, which as we know are areas whose dependency on one another has only grown.Those who comprehend the full scope of the ITIL model and how it impacts and interacts with both technology and business are proven to be valuable members to their organization. As with most certifications, ITIL offers holders greater job opportunities and the potential for a higher salary, as noted above.

How do I get ITIL certified?

There are three levels of ITIL certification: foundation, practitioner, and manager. At the foundational level, you have a baseline knowledge of the ITIL model and key concepts and terms used in the service lifecycle. Despite being an entry-level certification, you have a full understanding of the connection between lifecycle stages, the processes, and how those pieces relate to service management best practices.For this exam, there are no required prerequisites. Anyone interested is encouraged to take the free course on Cybrary and prepare using the Transcender Practice Test before sitting for the test.

About the ITIL exam

The ITIL Foundation certification exam has 40 multiple choice questions which testers have one hour to complete. You must receive a score of 65% or higher in order to pass.ITIL service management best practices are an excellent skill for emerging IT management professionals. This certification is recommended for:
  • Those who require a basic understanding of the ITIL framework
  • Those who need understanding of how ITIL can be used to enhance IT service management within an organization
  • IT professionals or others working within an organization that has adopted and adapted ITIL and who need to be informed about, or contribute to, ongoing service improvement.

To Summarize

When a company adopts the ITIL framework, they ensure that their services are “delivered according to a set of consistent, well-defined processes that incorporate best practices, resulting in a predictable level of service for users.”As a mission-critical service delivery system, companies rely on ITIL in conjunction with computing resources, including employees knowledgeable on the best practices to keep their business running and generating revenue.Become one of those knowledgeable professionals and take your career further. If you are interested in a management position, the ITIL certification could be your gateway into that role.olivia2Olivia Lynch (@Cybrary_Olivia) is the Marketing Manager at Cybrary. Like many of you, she is just getting her toes wet in the infosec field and is working to make cyber security news more interesting. A firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword, Olivia considers corny puns and an honest voice essential to any worthwhile blog. 
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