ITIL® management is the practice of managing information technology (IT) service delivery according to the documented IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) standards, processes, and recommendations. ITIL® is a registered trademark of the United Kingdom Office of Government Commerce (OGC), but it is an internationally accepted standard and is used by many organizations in all parts of the world. ITIL® service delivery under this management model conforms to the ITIL® process best practice recommendations laid out in the official ITIL® library.
ITIL® management is broken down into five areas. Each has its own fully documented processes, policies, and practices. The five areas are Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement.
Service Strategy emphasizes the importance of tailoring an IT service to the needs of the end user or customer. Service Design provides advice and information for use in designing and implementing IT policies and processes. Service Transition is important in successful implementation of changes to the IT environment. Implementing changes and improvements in a controlled manner usually significantly reduces the risk of disruption to IT services. Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement focus on the day to day operations of the service, and provide recommendations on how operational excellence and ongoing improvements may assist.
The ITIL® service desk, also called the ITIL® helpdesk, is a key concept in the ITIL® foundations for success. This concept describes a helpdesk service which provides a single point of contact that all users or customers should use when an IT problem is encountered. The concept of an ITIL® helpdesk is often a very important starting point for ITIL® management because it is designed to ensure that all problems and queries are tracked accurately, enabling the management staff to control, monitor, and analyze all problems and related information such as how long it takes for a problem to be resolved, and whether the end user is communicated with in an efficient manner.
ITIL® software does not form part of the ITIL® management guidelines, but many independent software firms do provide IT service management software. These kinds of software packages can be used to assist in implementing ITIL® management successfully in a variety of organizations. In addition, an aspect of ITIL® management that may be important in the success of implementing ITIL® in an organization is investment in training of staff, and courses and certifications may form a key part of this training.