difference between itil 3 and 4



ITIL® v3 (IT Infrastructure Library) a best practice framework for ITSM (IT Service Management) owned by Axelos, UK. ITIL v3 was released in 2007, in lifecycle approach with process areas as Service strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operations, and Continual Service Improvement.

Later in 2011, ITIL v3 was again revised with some minor updates which included some new processes like Strategy Management for IT services, Demand management, Business Relationship Management, Design Coordination, and Change Evaluation. Apart from these major changes, there were many more minor changes in other process activities and functions.

ITIL 4 has been released in February 2019, with many new concepts and changes that is very much necessary for the organizations in this digital economy. Listing out all the changes and new concepts in few words is merely impossible, hence I will highlight the most important concepts:

  1. ServiceIn the earlier version of ITIL, service was defined as “Delivery of value to the customers without the ownership of internal costs and risks” but in the latest version its defined as “The means of enabling value co-creation, by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve, without the customer having to manage the specific costs and risks”.
  2. ProductsIn the ITIL®v3, there was no concept of products but in ITIL® 4, product is defined as “A configuration of an organization’s resources designed to offer value for a consumer, which lays the foundation for services. Products may or may not be visible for the customer”.
  3. Service managementIn the earlier version of ITIL, service management was defined as “Set of organizational capabilities for enabling value for customers in the form of services” but in the latest version its defined as “A set of specialized organizational capabilities for enabling value for customers in the form of services”.
  4. Customer, User and SponsorIn the earlier version of ITIL, customer was defined as “The stakeholder who pays for the service”, and User as “The stakeholder who uses the service”.But in the latest version, customer is defined “As the stakeholder who defines the requirements for a service and takes responsibility for the outcomes of service consumption”, and Sponsor as “The stakeholder who authorizes the budget for service consumption and pays for the services” and the user definition remains the same.
  5. Service Providers and Service consumersService providers concept remains the same in ITIL® v3 and ITIL®4 as the company who provides the services.Service consumers is a new terminology used in ITIL®4, as the organization who receives and consumes the services.
  6. Service offerings and Service relationshipsService offerings is a new concept in ITIL 4 which is a collection of one or more services, designed to address the needs of the consumer. Service offerings may include goods (ownership is transferred to consumer), access to resources (access is granted to consumer but ownership is not transferred) and service actions (performed by the service provider to address a consumer needs).Service relationship is a new concept which defines the cooperation and collaboration between service provider and service consumer.
  7. Value, Outcome, Output, Costs and RisksValue is a new terminology in ITIL® 4 which defines as “The perceived benefits, usefulness and importance of something”.Outcome is also another new terminology which defines as “a result of one or more outputs”.Output is also another new terminology which defines as “a tangible or intangible deliverable of an activity”. Cost is also another new terminology which defines as “the amount of money spent on an activity”. Risk definition remains the same as “any possible event that could harm or disrupt the service or service delivery”.

Four P’s (People, Products, Processes, and Partners) of Service Design in ITIL® v3 has got evolved as four dimensions of Service Management which help to deliver value to the services, as mentioned below:

  • Organizations and People: This dimension focuses on roles and responsibilities, formal organizational structures, culture, and required staffing and competencies, all of which are related to the creation, delivery, and improvement of a service.
  • Information technology: This dimension focuses on how information is exchanged between different services and service components. The information architecture of the various services needs to be well understood and continually optimized, taking into account such criteria as the availability, reliability, accessibility, timeliness, accuracy, and relevance of the information provided to users and exchanged between services. Technologies that support service management include, but are not limited to, workflow management systems, knowledge bases, inventory systems, communication systems, and analytical tools.
  • Partners and suppliers: This dimension focuses on organization’s relationships with other organizations that are involved in the design, development, deployment, delivery, support and/or continual improvement of services. It also incorporates contracts and other agreements between the organization and its partners or suppliers. You will understand the actors that influence an organization’s strategy when using suppliers
  • Value streams and processes: This dimension is applicable to both the SVS in general, and to specific products and services. In both contexts, it defines activities, workflows, controls, and procedures needed to achieve agreed objectives

Service Value System is a new concept in ITIL® 4 which defines the components and activities that work together in order to deliver a service. Inputs for SVS are opportunity (options or possibilities that add value) and demand (need or demand for service) and outputs is value.

Components of SVS

  1. Guiding Principles (Principles that guide an organization in all the circumstances. i.e.: Focus on value, Start where you are, Progress iteratively with feedback, Collaborate and promote visibility, Think and work holistically, Keep it simple and practical, Optimize and automate)
  2. Governance (Provides the direction and control for the organization)
  3. Practices (Set of organizational resources designed for performing work or accomplishing an objective)
  4. Service Value Chain (Set of activities required to respond to demand and facilitate value through creation and management of products and services)
  5. Continual Improvement (Improvement initiatives in service value chain, as Continual improvement model, and as a practice)

ITIL®v3 had 26 processes and four functions, and ITIL®4 has 34 practices, which are classified into 14 general management practices, 17 service management practices and 3 technical management practices.

General management practices are the practices from general business domains that have been adopted and adapted for service management domain.

Service management practices that have been developed in service management domain.

Technical management practices are the practices that have been developed in technical domains and adapted for service management purposes.

General management practicesService management practicesTechnical management practices
Architecture managementAvailability managementDeployment management
Continual ImprovementBusiness AnalysisInfrastructure & platform management
Information security managementCapacity & Performance managementSoftware development and management
Knowledge managementChange control 
Measurement and reportingIncident management 
Organizational change managementIT Asset management 
Portfolio managementMonitoring & event management 
Project managementProblem management 
Relationship managementRelease management 
Risk managementService catalogue management 
Service Financial ManagementService configuration management 
Strategy managementService continuity management 
Supplier managementService Design 
Workforce & talent managementService desk 
 Service Level management 
 Service request management 

Now, you might wonder what is the difference between process and practice?

As per ITIL v3, Process is a sequence of activities that will result in a specific outcome. For example, incident management was defined as a process, which had the process activities like registration, categorization, investigation and diagnosis, resolution, and closure.

And now in ITIL 4, Practice is a collection of process, people, tools, information, value streams, etc. For example, incident management practice would be an aggregation of incident management process, incident management tool, roles, SOP’s (standard operating procedures), etc.

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