Elements of ITIL

The Elements of ITIL

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), is a best-practices framework that is starting to be adopted across government. ITIL consists of several distinct elements. Two of the core subdivisions are Service Support and Service Delivery, each with their own subsections:


Incident Management deals with the identification of problems and restoration of normal operation as quickly as possible. In addition, it encompasses assignment of ownership to incidents and monitoring of progress toward their resolution.

Problem Management is about ensuring that problems are identified and resolved. It also includes the prevention of problems and their recurrence, and the reduction of the number of incidents.

Configuration Management provides a logical model of the information technology infrastructure. It is built around information about every piece of hardware (routers, servers), software (operating systems and applications), telco (PBX, circuits), people within the organizational structure, and finance data (budget code hierarchy and contracts). Each element is known as a configuration item. All CIs are recorded in a Configuration Management Database. The CMDB also contains all the relationships between CIs. This CMDB is used, in turn, by all ITIL processes. It plays an integral role in change management, for example.


Availability Management enables the delivery of a cost-effective and sustained level of availability throughout the enterprise. This part of ITIL is of value in designing IT services for high availability. It also helps in monitoring key areas and balancing availability with cost.

Continuity Management concerns ensuring business survival by reducing the impact of a disaster or major failure. Essentially, it is about disaster recovery. It is designed to prevent the loss of customer and user confidence, as well as the production of IT recovery plans.

Financial Management is an important process within ITIL. It provides cost-effective stewardship of the IT assets and financial resources used in providing IT services. This includes budgeting, accounting and charging. In IT chargeback, for instance, it is necessary to obtain a fair apportioning of costs among the departments utilizing IT services.

Service Level Management deals with maintaining and gradually improving business-aligned IT service quality. It sets agreed-upon levels of service between provider and receiver, and verifies that these are being attained. Thus Service Level Management is a constant cycle of agreeing, monitoring, reporting and reviewing IT service achievements.

Capacity Management is about understanding how the infrastructure is being used and how it will be used. It enables organizations to see how to optimize the performance of the current infrastructure. It also permits IT to predict accurately how much added capacity must be built for new services and how it might be possible to avoid building out if the budget is tight. ' Drew Robb


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