In addition to working towards the Microsoft Technology Assistant Database certification test, there are some other certificates that I would like to eventually study for and obtain.  One that is near the top of the list is a certification for ITIL® (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).  ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world.  It is a set of practices, terminologies, and recommendations that help businesses align IT services with the needs of the business.  It is owned by a company called AXELOS.

What is ITIL?

ITIL has been in use for over 25 years.  It describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists that businesses can use to help integrate the business’s goals with their IT services.  There are currently five core publications that address the ITIL Service Lifecycle: ITIL Service Strategy, Design, Transition, Operation and ITIL Continual Service Improvement.

A Brief History

ITIL was first created in the 1980s by a branch of the British government called the CCTA (Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency).  It was, and continues to be, an attempt to help better IT services quality and the utilization of their resources.  The first version of ITIL was a framework for how the British government should efficiently use IT resources.  Thinking about it now, more than 25 years later, it is kind of amazing that a government entity had the foresight to create such a robust system!

After about a decade, the first version of ITIL started to become very popular with big companies and other governments in Europe.  2001 brought the second version of ITIL, which further developed the Service Support and Delivery books.  These are now the basis for IT service management best practices.

The next version came in 2007 and included a lifecycle approach to service management, which is still in use today.  The most recent version came out in 2011 and places emphasis on business integration.  In addition, the most recent version added the Continual Service Improvement (CSI) publication.


As previously mentioned, I am interested in beginning to study for an ITIL certification.  There are actually six levels of this certification: Foundation, Practitioner, Intermediate, Managing Across the Lifecycle, Expert, and Master.

You have to get the certificates in that specific order.  The Foundation Certification tests your understanding of the general framework, elements, concepts, and terminology that makes up the ITIL Service Lifecycle.  It consists of 40 multiple choice questions, of which you must get 26 correct.

Why Get Certified?

The answer to this will depend on the person.  For me, I come from an engineering background.  The closest thing to ‘official training’ I have had in the IT world was a class in college that I could use Matlab for, if I wanted.  I like the idea of certifications as a way to test myself against others in a standardized way.  Also, going for certifications helps me have a goal to aim for and something concrete to study — which ultimately keeps me up to date with the market.

You might want to get on this certification track specifically if you are working for a company (or want to work for a company ) that uses ITIL or if you simply want to have an understanding of ITIL.  I fall mostly into the second category here.



I have a lot to learn about ITIL.  The wikipedia page is ginormous and the starting point seems almost overwelming.  However, I’m excited to learn more about it and the terminologies and to become more well-spoken in the field.


Have questions or suggestions?  Please feel free to comment below or contact me.


One thought on “ITIL

  1. Many people in the IT Sector are interested in the field of ITSM and getting ITIL certificate but it can be hard to understand exactly why you would want one. This article helps clear that confusion by showing exactly what the benefits one can have by getting the ITIL Certification.

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