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ITIL 4: The New Approach to IT Service Management Every Manager Should Know

Updated: May 19, 2023

IT service management has gone a long way since the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was initially released in the 1980s. Although ITIL 3 laid a solid groundwork for IT service management, it received criticism for being too complicated and time-consuming to execute. With the advent of ITIL 4, there is renewed hope for IT service management.


What Are The Main Changes Between ITIL 3 And ITIL 4?

1. Approach

Compared to ITIL 3, ITIL 4 represents a significant shift in the approach toward IT service management. While ITIL 3 was primarily focused on technology and the IT department, ITIL 4 recognizes that IT service management is not just about technology but also involves people, processes, and partnerships. This new approach emphasizes the importance of delivering value to customers and stakeholders. Hence, it is more collaborative, adaptable, and forward-thinking.

2. Service Value System

One of the key differences between ITIL 3 and ITIL 4 is introducing a service value system in ITIL 4. This system includes guiding principles, governance, service value chain, and practices. The guiding principles in ITIL 4 are based on a customer-centric approach and include focusing on value, starting where you are, progressing iteratively with feedback, collaborating and promoting visibility, and thinking and working holistically. These principles are intended to guide organizations in delivering value to their customers while continuously improving their IT service management processes.

ITIL 4 Framework
ITIL 3 TO ITIL 4 Framework

3. Agility and Flexibility

Another critical change in ITIL 4 is the focus on agility and flexibility. ITIL 4 recognizes that organizations must respond quickly and effectively to changing business needs and customer requirements. To support this, ITIL 4 introduces the concept of the service value chain, which is a set of interconnected activities that work together to deliver value to customers. This approach allows organizations to be more agile and responsive to changing business needs while focusing on delivering high-quality IT services.

What ITIL 4 Credentials Are There, And What Do They Entail?

The ITIL 4 certification pathway is simple and more flexible. It now offers two primary pathways, one is Managing Professional (MP), and another one is Strategic Leader (SL). If both paths are completed, the ITIL Master designation will be given. There are a total of 7 modules across both paths, starting from the Foundation level, which covers the basics of ITIL 4.

ITIL Foundation

ITIL 4 Foundation

Managing Professional (MP)

IT professionals collaborating with the organization's digital and technology teams should earn the ITIL MP certification. It includes the technical and practical expertise required to manage IT projects, teams, and workflows. Professionals must pass several exam modules to earn the ITIL MP certification.

  1. ITIL Specialist Create Deliver & Support: This certification course covers the fundamentals of service management, service performance, and service quality and improvement methodologies. It is intended for ITSM professionals in charge of the end-to-end supply of IT products and services.

  2. ITIL Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value: This module explains how consumers, users, suppliers, and partners interact with the service provider. Professionals will explore customer journey mapping, CX and UX design, multi-supplier management, communication, and SLA design.

  3. ITIL Specialist High Velocity IT: Professionals will learn to combine technological capabilities like cloud, automation, and automatic testing with techniques like agile and Lean in this session to produce products and services quickly.

  4. ITIL Strategist Direct Plan & Improve: The fourth module in the series focuses on the practical abilities required to "build a learning and improving IT organization with a strong and successful strategic direction." Professionals utilize agile and Lean to design and deliver ongoing improvements swiftly.

Strategic Leader (SL)

The ITIL SL certification is for all digitally enabled services in the organization, not just IT operations. The emphasis of this certification is on how technology affects and guides business strategy. Two exam modules must be passed for professionals to receive ITIL SL certification:

  1. ITIL Strategist Direct Plan & Improve: The abilities required to establish a "learning and improving" IT organization is covered in this module, which is also available as part of the MP certification. Because it is intended for "managers of all levels involved in creating direction and strategy or establishing a constantly improving team," it is seen as a universal module for both pathways.

  2. ITIL Leader Digital & IT Strategy: The second module will teach professionals how to manage disruptive technologies and align business and IT strategies. It addresses subjects including how to preserve flexibility and adaptability in settings, design and manage successful IT and digital strategies, and stay competitive in a market that is changing quickly.

ITIL 4 Certification: Why choose GemRain?

Earning your ITIL 4 certification can improve your company's bottom line and boost your income. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) 4 Foundation exam is the first step towards advancing one's career, and with our in-depth training program, you can prepare for and ace the exam.

The four pillars, service value system, and service value chain of the IT Infrastructure Library version 4 (ITIL 4) are all covered in our training. Learn from experienced trainers as they walk you through real-world examples and case studies designed to help you ace the certification test.

Take advantage of this chance to advance in your profession and boost your company's IT service management. Get your ITIL certification by enrolling in GemRain's ITIL 4 Foundation Training course immediately.

How Can My Company Benefit From IT Service Management Enhancements Made Possible By ITIL 4?

Implementing ITIL 4 in your company can benefit your IT service management practices. By standardizing IT terminology and procedures, your company can:

1. Avoid confusion and misunderstandings, making IT more efficient and effective. Moreover, ITIL 4 can help align your IT processes with your business's overall goals and objectives, ensuring that IT supports the business in the best way possible.

2. ITIL 4 can also improve customer satisfaction by providing a more customer-focused approach to IT service management. ITIL 4 can help your company understand and meet customer expectations more effectively by putting the customer's needs at the center of IT service delivery.

3. ITIL 4 can foster greater agility and adaptability within your IT operations. ITIL 4 can help your company respond quickly to changing business needs and market conditions by emphasizing flexibility and collaboration.

The ITIL 4 Processes and Procedures: How Often Should We Examine and Update Them?

Frequently evaluate and modify your ITIL 4 protocols to confirm that they remain relevant, modernized, and congruent with the dynamic requirements of your organization. Subsequent to factors such as technological advancements in different industries or business operations peculiarities warranting adjustments, you may need more frequent reviews or less regular updates. Consistently auditing and revisiting your ITIL 4 processes are vital for ensuring their continued contribution towards achieving desired corporate objectives while simultaneously providing satisfactory benefits to consumers.


As a result of understanding the significance of people, processes, and partnerships in providing value to clients and stakeholders, ITIL 4 marks a substantial shift in the approach to IT service management. ITIL 4 offers a more cooperative, flexible, and futuristic approach to IT service management, emphasizing agility, flexibility, and the service value system.

Moreover, IT professionals can pick between two main tracks for ITIL 4 certification: Managing Professional (MP) and Strategic Leader (SL). Businesses will gain from ITIL 4's improvements to IT service management by increasing their revenue, improving their bottom line, and providing their clients with high-quality IT services.

ITIL Courses


What ITIL 4 certifications are available?

There are four ITIL 4 certifications available, including:

  • ITIL 4 Foundation

  • ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP)

  • ITIL 4 Strategic Leader (SL)

  • ITIL 4 Master

Can I take ITIL 4 before learning ITIL 3?

Who uses ITIL


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