ITIL 4: The 10 Major Updates Of The Current Version

This article describes the changes associated with upgrading from ITIL V3 to ITIL 4. You will learn about the ten key changes and upgrades in the ITIL framework.

Let’s take a look.

1. The transition from processes to practices

ITIL 4 introduces practices rather than processes; ITIL V3 service delivery has been upgraded to provide more value in ITIL 4. You can find these practices under General Service and Technical Management. These upgrades make the new framework flexible and ready for the future.

In addition, these improvements are beneficial to adapt to the digital age. Therefore, the changes in the ITIL V3 lifecycle processes into practices, principles and concepts in ITIL 4.

2. A holistic approach

ITIL 4 defines four dimensions considered as a holistic approach to service management:

  1. Organizations and people,
  2. Information and technology,
  3. Partners and suppliers,
  4. Value stream and process.

ITIL V3 defines the systematic approach rather than the holistic approach which involves these four dimensions. While the ITIL 4 service value chain uses these dimensions to tie the whole flow into the new framework. Specifically, ITIL V3 focuses on individual processes.

3. Service value chain from the service life cycle

The Service Value System (SVS) promotes business strategies that lead to mutually beneficial results. In this system, all the components and activities of an organization work together to enable the creation of value. SVS co-creates with organizations, their customers and stakeholders to support a delivery ecosystem of value for all parties involved.

Let’s see how SVS supports this value chain under six activities.

Commitment: This activity involves the engagement of suppliers or partners for the provision of services.

Plan: Plan covers planning and estimating the availability of resources for service delivery and requirements for the future.

Improve: Improve if necessary as there is always room to improve the user experience.

Design and transition: The activities here revolve around the choice of products and services to build. It is also a matter of ensuring that the products and services created correspond to their purpose of use.

You will also need to decide how to deliver them to the market. So, during the design phase, keep these points in mind.


Get or Create: This activity ensures that service components are available when you need them. This step would take contributions from

> The organization’s architectures or policies,

> Commitment of suppliers and partners, and

> The result of the design phase

All of these activities are interrelated.

ITIL V3 also describes the 26 service lifecycle processes, but SVS has a more holistic approach. Organizations can implement SVS according to their demands.

4. Notable changes in the CSI approach

The lowest block of the service value system is continuous service improvement (CSI). CSI is the effort to respond to the changing needs of product or service management.

The CSI model has improved in ITIL 4. This advance is based on the principle that there is always room for improvement. As the title “CSI” suggests, improvement is continuous and never stops.

The key leaders of any organization participate in shaping the vision of the organization. These executives must work with CSI. Thus, the continuous improvement model integrates the seven guiding principles, which are based on Agile, DevOps and Lean methodologies. Therefore, it covers a wider area outside of IT services.

5. Enable the co-creation of value

ITIL 4 supports and enables the co-creation of value by facilitating the results that customers want to achieve. This functionality is an added benefit for customers as they do not have to deal with specific costs and risks. So change is not just about delivering value, but also about co-creating with customers.

Visit Also: ITIL Certification

6. Change in the guiding principles of ITIL

The nine guiding principles for ITIL practitioners have been reduced to seven in ITIL 4. Now you can use these principles holistically, and they are more practical to apply.

The seven ITIL guiding principles are:

  1. Focus on the value
  2. Start where you are
  3. Progress iteratively with the feedback
  4. Collaborate and promote visibility
  5. Think and work holistically
  6. Keep it simple and practical
  7. Optimize and automate

Although you cannot find these principles in the ITIL V3 publications, they have been covered in the nine guiding principles of ITIL V3.

7. Practices in ITIL 4

ITIL 4 has more practices than the ITIL V3 processes. It has 34 practices with a basis similar to the V3 concept. These practices are categorized into three, as you will see below.

General management practices

– Architecture management

– Continuous improvement

– Information security management

– Knowledge management

– Measurement and reporting

– Organizational change management

– Portfolio Management

– Project management

– Relationship management

– Risk management

– Financial management service

– Strategy management

– Management of suppliers

– Workforce and talent management

Service management practices

– Availability management

– Service validation and testing

– Business analysis

– Service design

– IT asset management

– Service configuration management

– Event monitoring and management

– Service level management

– Version management

– Management of the service catalog

– Incident management

– Service continuity management

– Capacity and performance management

– Service desk

– Problem management

– Management of service requests

Visit Also: ITIL Foundation

Technical management practices

– Deployment management

– Infrastructure and platform management

– Software development and management

8. ITIL 4 gives governance autonomy

The governance component of ITIL 4 in the service value system concerns the control and direction of an organization.

In ITIL V3, the service strategy covered governance. However, the new framework helps to give a clear picture of the governance model. The next modules would publish these changes.

Introduces a new approach to software development and management


ITIL 4 provides a high level overview of software development and management activities. While ITIL V3 describes a similar concept in the application management function of the ITIL Service Operation publication.

10. Built with automation in mind

The ITIL 4 approach covers technologies in the industrial revolution 4. Robotics, AI, nanotechnology, IoT, automation, quantum computing, biotechnology, etc.

Due to digitalization, complexity has increased and ITIL 4 will help organizations adapt. It takes a future-proof business approach, as it tackles the digital approach to optimization and automation.

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