ITIL has been the mainstay of IT service management and delivery world for 30 years now, It has transformed from being a set of guidelines to manage your IT to become a de-facto standard for service delivery in international service relationships.
It has been refreshed four times in last thirty years to remain relevant and address the challenges of the day. It was first published sometime in late 1980s as general good practice guidelines for IT service vendors. it functionality and usefulness quickly became evident to those who used it. In 2001, ITIL v2 was formally launched with two core concepts of Service Delivery and Service Support. Later some more books were added as a topup to these two core streams to make the complete set of 11 books.
Service support had 5 processes focussing on basically keeping the lights on in your IT environment. It also had 1 function which was essentially a window to the user from service provider. Service delivery was focussed on creating, modifying and delivering new or modified IT Services.
This is the version quickly became popular and had a much wider reach, many organizations internationally started using it as process framework of choice for managing their IT services. At this point, some of the alternatives also came up, primarily promoted by large IT companies, as their own flavour of ITIL processes. However, they always had a very limited appeal and could not sustain through time.
Meanwhile, IT industry progressed through the age of outsourcing, focussing on service more than processes. Customers and businesses became more interested in the services they receive than the processes which are used to manage these services.
Industry is moving to new normal, even the service lifecycle approach seems to be inadequate. We need more responsive, agile IT to suite the pace of the technological advancements. The service lifecycle is reduced to months or even weeks. We have seen concepts like agile and devops being used more often.
ITIL 4 will be launched to acknowledge and address the new normal of industry 4.0. it will build on all the knowledge developed by IT service management professionals over last 30 years and take it to the next level by focussing on the value delivery to business/ customer by all these activities in IT.