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Glossary of IT Infrastructure Library Terms (ITIL®)

Glossary of Terms for the IT Infrastructure Library
Mar 4, 2004

ITSM Watch Staff




The convergence of Information Technology, Telecommunications and Data Networking Technologies into a single technology.


immediate recovery
Previously called "hot stand-by", provides for the immediate restoration of services following any irrecoverable incident. It is important to distinguish between the previous definition of "hot-stand-by" and "immediate recovery". Hot stand-by typically referred to availability of services within a short time-scale such as 2 or 4 hours whereas immediate recovery implies the instant availability of services.


Measure of the business criticality of an incident. Often equal to the extent to which an incident leads to distortion of agreed or expected Service Levels.


impact analysis
The identification of critical business processes, and the potential damage or loss that may be caused to the organization resulting from a disruption to those processes.


Business impact analysis identifies:

  • the form the loss or damage will take
  • how that degree of damage or loss is likely to escalate with time following an incident
  • the minimum staffing, facilities and services needed to enable business processes to continue to operate at a minimum acceptable level
  • the time within which they should be recovered

The time within which full recovery of the business processes is to be achieved is also identified.


impact code
Simple code assigned to incidents and problems, reflecting the degree of impact upon the customer's business processes. It is the major means of assigning priority for dealing with incidents.


impact scenario
Description of the type of impact on the business that could follow a business disruption. Usually related to a business process and will always refer to a period of time, e.g., customer services will be unable to operate for two days.


Any event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which causes, or may cause, an interruption to, or a reduction in, the quality of that service.


incident control
The process of identifying, recording, classifying and progressing incidents until affected services return to normal operation.


indirect cost
A cost incurred in the course of making a product providing a service or running a cost center or department, but which cannot be traced directly and in full to the product, service or department, because it has been incurred for a number of cost centers or cost units. These costs are apportioned to cost centers/cost units. Indirect costs are also referred to as overheads.


See also "direct cost".


Information Systems (IS)
The means of delivering information from one person to another; ICT is the technical apparatus for doing so.


informed customer
An individual, team or group with functional responsibility within an organization for ensuring that spend on IS/IT is directed to best effect, i.e., that the business is receiving value for money and continues to achieve the most beneficial outcome. In order to fulfill its role the "Informed" customer function must gain clarity of vision in relation to the business plans and ensure that suitable strategies are devised and maintained for achieving business goals.


The "informed" customer function ensures that the needs of the business are effectively translated into a business requirements specification, that IT investment is both efficiently and economically directed, and that progress towards effective business solutions is monitored.


The "informed" customer should play an active role in the procurement process, e.g., in relation to business case development, and also in ensuring that the services and solutions obtained are used effectively within the organization to achieve maximum business benefits. The term is often used in relation to the outsourcing of IT/IS. Sometimes also called "intelligent customer".


Physical or functional interaction at the boundary between Configuration Items.


intermediate recovery
Previously called "warm stand-by", typically involves the reestablishment of the critical systems and services within a 24 to 72 hour period, and is used by organizations that need to recover IT facilities within a predetermined time to prevent impacts to the business process.


internal target
One of the measures against which supporting processes for the IT service are compared. Usually expressed in technical terms relating directly to the underpinning service being measured.


invocation (of business recovery plans)
Putting business recovery plans into operation after a business disruption.


invocation (of stand-by arrangements)
Putting stand-by arrangements into operation as part of business recovery activities.


invocation and recovery phase
The second phase of a business recovery plan.


ISO 9001
The internationally accepted set of standards concerning Quality Management Systems.


IT accounting
The set of processes that enable the IT organization to account fully for the way money is spent (particularly the ability to identify costs by customer, by service and by activity).


IT directorate
The part of an organization charged with developing and delivering the IT services.


IT Infrastructure
The sum of an organization's IT related hardware, software, data telecommunication facilities, procedures and documentation.


IT service
A described set of facilities, IT and non-IT, supported by the IT Service Provider that fulfills one or more needs of the customer and that is perceived by the customer as a coherent whole.


IT Service Provider
The role of IT Service Provider is performed by any organizational units, whether internal or external, that deliver and support IT services to a customer.


The OGC IT Infrastructure Library - a set of guides on the management and provision of operational IT services.