IT Service Management

ITIL 4 vs. ITIL v3: What’s the Difference?

As you know, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is the most successful and widely used ITSM Framework in the world. It is no secret that organizations across the globe have grown and reached the zenith of opulence by simply practising the ITIL 4 ITIL v3 guidelines.

One great thing about ITIL is that it keeps itself updated.

What a better quality than to keep yourself braced and equipped with the latest technology and modern theories, right?

ITIL began its journey in the early 1980s. After altering the methodologies 3 times, ITIL published its version 3, the most recent one before the upgrade, which was finalized by AXELOS and established in the year 2011. Now, we have reached ITIL 4 – the state-of-the-art and futuristic newborn of ITIL!

So, what is new in ITIL 4?

Here are the top 3 renovations:

  1. Modern, digitalized Structure
  2. Focus on Customer Satisfaction and Customer Feedback
  3. Addition of SVS and SVC

ITIL adds to the value in delivery and services for the benefit of the customer and now, in ITIL 4 the values become doubly beneficial. Do you know why?

Because ITIL 4 processes are in alignment of the new-age technology. It is a digitally transformed version that brings into your business the next level efficiency and effectiveness.

Why do we need digitalization, you ask?

We need the fast-paced technology like oxygen today so that human interactions with technologically advanced mechanisms can be facilitated. Today’s consumers are tech-savvy, and to match up to their level of adroitness, IT industries demand something that is no less than “trendsetting”.

With the tech support ITIL 4 provides, organizations can easily collaborate IT service management with other methods and frameworks such as DevOps, Agile, Lean, and other frameworks related to IT Governance and Leadership etc. All of these frameworks are correlated in their functions, so if we can work with ITIL in alignment with all these methods, it would do wonders to our business operations, don’t you think?!

ITIL 4 focuses on customer satisfaction and customer feedback. It channelizes smoother ways to maintain various customer support systems. With improved, faster service delivery and reduced costs, services or products become even more appealing to the consumers. Along with it, ITIL 4 emphasizes on reducing risk to avoid service or delivery-related failures.

Apart from this, it introduces the new SVS (Service Value System) that focuses on working on different activities at the same time to boost value creation. Since ITIL 4 is mostly about curating excellent services to achieve utmost customer satisfaction, it strives to reach the next level efficiency in processes and operations.

Addition of SVC (Service Value Chain) is another change worth observing. This system helps streamline and sequence various processes together. It is an extremely flexible modus operandi and can be adapted in any kind of product or service delivery process. This provides an accommodating approach to the stakeholders; for them, incorporating changes into the system can be so much easier through SVC.

ITIL 4 vs ITIL v3

ITIL 4 vs ITIL v3

Now, that we know what has changed drastically, let’s observe what the principal differences between these two versions are.


Value-centric Approach Lifecycle Approach

ITIL 4 chooses a value-centric approach over the traditional lifecycle one. However, to study ITIL in general, one has to research all the versions and observe the lifecycle closely to fully understand the significance of all the ITIL branches in ITSM.

From the station of Demand to the destination of Value, ITIL 4 journeys on the road of SVS (Service Value System) where all the tracks of Guiding Principles, Governance, Practices and Continuous Improvement meet one another.

Vinsys ITIL V4

The reason behind the whole re-structuring is to initiate a system that is more focused on service value creation. ? In the process of Continuous Improvement in SVC, these 6 stages have been incorporated: Plan, Improve, Engage, Design – Transition, Build, and Deliver – Support. These stages resemble with the last service cycle of the ITIL v3 Lifecycle stages.

Operations and Deployment:

Practice-based Process-based

The fact to take into consideration here is that ITIL v3 is referred to as a set of processes, whereas the ITIL 4 is being addressed as a set of practices. Wonder what that means? It simply implies that ITIL 4 takes a more practical approach to IT Service Management and Service Delivery. The emphasis on “acting” rather than “planning” is notable. That does not mean that we should bid goodbyes to the good old process-based ways of operating. It is all about making things easier and smoother for you and your organization. It is like picking out what you need out of a vintage car, splashing new age colours, fitting new pairs of wheels, and designing a new, self-customized piece of the automobile that totally fits your requirement! ?

In short, the process-based study ITIL v3 provides is still valid for guidance, but in a world so advanced, what we truly need is focus on practical execution that ITIL 4 delivers.

Guiding Principles:

7 Guiding Principles focusing on value, feedback, optimizing, automation, simplicity and practicality of actions. 9 Guiding Principles focusing on value, transparency and simplicity of processes.

Here is what ITIL v3 taught us ( Before):

ITIL V3 guiding principles
ITIL guiding principles

And now, here is what ITIL 4 teaches us (After):

ITIL 4 guiding principles
ITIL 4 vs. ITIL v3 Vinsys

In the charts above, we can observe that some things are just the way they were before, except for a few details changed. ITIL 4 concentrates on customer feedback along with optimized, automated processes that are not just simple, but also practical. ITIL 4 guiding principles are really useful and realistic; they help you make better delivery-related decisions and create better value services for your customers.

Stages and Dimensions:

Considers the previous 5 stages, introduces 34 practices + 4 dimensions that provide a holistic outlook Has 5 stages that have 26 processes

ITIL 4 goes for a wider view. It provides you with a theory in which along with the new 34 management practices, come 4 dimensions that create value not just for customers, but also for the stakeholders.

  • Organizations and People – To support the workforce of the organization and to maintain a culture that nourishes that workforce.
  • Information and Technology – To gain proper knowledge that helps an organization reach the next-level Information and Technology.
  • Partners and Suppliers – To cultivate a good relationship with the suppliers, vendors and partners and to ensure their satisfaction.
  • Value Streams and Processes – To bring the different parts of an organization together to establish coherent, smooth workflow, processes and coordination.

These 4 dimensions work like four robust pillars of the towering, solid architecture that is ITIL 4.

What is the objective of coining the theory of 4 dimensions?

Well, firstly, to set the organizational objectives straight, secondly to foster and increase staff competency, effectiveness and strengthen the quality of services and most importantly, to make way for continual improvement of services for better value creation for external and internal customers.

According to AXELOS, “It is essential that an appropriate amount of focus is given to each of these dimensions so that the SVS remains balanced and effective.

Truly, taking support from these 4 dimensions can magnify the way businesses work. 

Coming back to the distinctions between ITIL 4 and ITIL v3, there is another minor change in the topic of Governance in ITIL 4. ITIL 4 SVS sees Governance as Direction and Control aspect of the organization.

Another very important point worthy of your notice is that unlike ITIL v3, ITIL 4 believes in flexibility and freedom. It has not set definite processes for your to work around them; the processes are, in fact, for you to design so that businesses can come up with tailor-made processes to serve their own individual objectives. It is a different, path-breaking work approach and so far the businesses around the globe are opening up to it in a large capacity.

To sum up, ITIL 4 perfectly combines traditional and latest/ digital technologies to curate an ITSM framework that actually presents the best practices. ITIL v3 processes are still very much in existence and one can rely on them for an in-depth study of ITIL, but for a fresher, starting off with ITIL 4 Foundation is an available suitable option right now.

Education providers do provide ITIL v3 courses because of the reference and relevance it still holds to the upcoming ITIL 4 courses. ITIL 4 Bridge program is also available in case you have completed v3 courses and now wish to upgrade to an ITIL 4 Certification.

Speaking of certifications, we, at Vinsys IT Services, offer the most accommodating, well designed and interactive ITIL Certification Training programs.

Visit us and get in touch with us now to know more about ITIL 4 vs. ITIL v3! We’d be happy to help. ?

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