Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a concept in IT service management, which is aimed at harnessing the value of IT to maximize productivity and elevate quality standards in businesses. ITIL by default is also synonymous with the best practices in IT service management processes.

While ITIL is the driving force behind IT services, the principles behind it are prone to misconceptions, which can have an adverse impact on how businesses view the value of ITIL.

Here are common misconceptions about ITIL and what the truth is.


ITIL Myths and Facts

  1. ITIL needs to be implemented.

ITIL is an established set of best-practice approaches that’s readily available for organizations to follow or apply in their system. Still, many use the term “ITIL implementation” as though it’s a goal rather than the means to achieve this aim.

  1. ITIL is a standard.

Perhaps the misconception behind ITIL being a standard is attributable to its definition as a set of best IT practices. Organizations need to remember though that they are not tied down to ITIL. They are free to use or not to use ITIL, depending on its suitability to their business processes.

  1. ITIL is a project.

ITIL is not a project per se but a practice that is applied in projects. Following ITIL practices is a way to make businesses and IT service management efficient.

  1. Something is ITIL compliant product.

The term ITIL compliant product is another misnomer. There isn’t any organizing body that can certify a product to be compliant with ITIL. The least that IT professionals can do is to follow ITIL practices to make their product conform to standards.

  1. ITIL is a formal organization.

There’s no single company, organization, or person exclusively owning the rights to ITIL. ITIL is the brainchild of an extensive network of IT experts to help organizations apply ITIL processes within their structure.

Further, ITIL reference to organizations being ITIL certified is not quite right. Individuals attain ITIL certifications, not organizations.

  1. ITIL is not relevant to small organizations.

The application of ITIL is not dependent on the size of the company. Although the number of people involved in ITIL processes may vary, the principles of ITIL apply to any organization.

  1. ITIL courses or books are sufficient.

ITIL classes such as those wanting to be ITIL V3 certified provide a basic understanding of IT service management, although organizations can gain a much deeper ITIL experience by fine-tuning ITIL best practices to their organization’s actual needs.

Collaboration with other ITIL professionals and consultants can also pave the way for sharing of success factors, areas for improvement, and up-to-date sources to further improve the value of ITIL.

Organizations also need to invest more in team-driven workshop programs to help IT professionals recognize the value that ITIL provides to their organization.

  1. ITIL processes need to be applied one at a time.

IT organizations might think that ITIL practices are best applied in gradual phases, but they should recognize that ITIL nature leans toward a continuum. The processes are usually interrelated and interdependent with one another such as those involving Incidents and Change Management.

By adopting a one-at-a-time approach, businesses have higher risks of incurring more time and costs than necessary.

  1. ITIL is the only solution to IT service management.

While ITIL is the most adopted framework for IT service management, it can be complemented with other frameworks such as those that relate to financial asset management, IT governance, or IT security, which falls outside the IT-operational framework of the ITIL.

  1. ITIL is only for IT organizations.

ITIL is not an IT-only initiative. The principles behind ITIL are applicable to just about any industry, business, or organization that uses a service model for their operations.

Although IT is highly predisposed to gain traction in ITIL application, any service- or business-oriented organization such as those involved in finance management, retail and manufacturing, business management, and the like will find real value in incorporating ITIL programs into its core service model.


The bottom line is for ITIL to help align IT and businesses achieve greater efficiency in allocating resources and improving services for their end users.


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