Well? Is it innovative? After attending a 2 day ITIL4 Foundation training a lot of people around me, that I told about the training, had questions such as: “What are the differences with ITILv3?”, “Is it really something new?” and the biggest one of them all “is it worth it?” As probably more people have the same questions, I thought it would be useful to write a short summary providing you with my personal answers on these 3 short but important questions.

What are the differences with ITILv3?

ITIL4 has a more holistic approach that focusses not only on the 26 ITIL Processes (now 34 ITIL practices which are less prescriptive than processes) but also on the external influences (PESTLE) and the 4 internal dimensions that affect the co-creation of value. In addition, they’ve obtained (for lack of a better word) 7 ITIL guiding principles that will enable an organisation to innovate and progress in their digital transformation. I said obtained, as these 7 guiding principles are clearly coming from other methods such as LEAN, Agile and DevOps. Which is fine, because if you ask me, they are definitely the way forward. These practices, guiding principles and external influences are combined in a new system called the service value system with in its heart the service value chain. This new system has replaced the ITILv3 Service Lifecycle model but if you look closely you’ll still find some familiar aspects. ITIL4 is still a framework but it has been made more flexible and now can be used outside the world of ITSM due to the adoption and adaptation of these new (already current in my opinion) ways of working. By doing so ITIL4 has evolved to provide an end-to-end IT/Digital Operating Model. It covers the full delivery of tech-enabled products and services. It guides how IT interfaces with, and even leads, the wider business strategy of an organisation. This is what I believe is the biggest difference.

Is it really something new?

Yes and No. Yes, the new approach with its new characteristics such as the Service Value System, Service Value Chain and the ITIL4 Practices are new. However you still see a lot of old (or still current) processes within the 34 ITIL Practices such as Incident Management and Problem Management. Other processes have been slightly changed and renamed. Change management is now called Change Control and Asset management is now named IT asset management in order to better capture what the practice entails. There are also some new practices such as Service Desk, Organisational Change Management and Business analyses which emphasises more on the value a service needs to deliver and the people and organisational side of IT Service management and Digital transformation. Which I believe is a good development as this part needs way more attention than it has gotten over the last decade. The integration with other methodologies is new, however, if you’ve been working in IT service management in the last 10 years you are well aware of the uprising of DevOps, Agile and LEAN It, are probably already working according to these methods and have found a way to combine this with your currently operational ITIL Processes.

Is it worth it?

To be brief, yes. I definitely believe it’s worth its value. (to stay in ITIL4 terms) Instead of being process and technology focussed the new ITIL framework allows a more holistic approach and comes back to the essence of a service which is creating value for all stakeholders. It has a better vision on people, partners and organisational aspects and is more flexible in its use which makes it better adaptable to a fast changing digital world. This, in combination with the integration with other methodologies, provides a strong service management frame work that will enable organisations to provide the most value to their consumers.