Key Differences Between ITIL v2 and v3Although much has changed, theres no reason to abandon the v2 ship just yet, writes ITSM Watch columnists Martin Likier and Mike Tainter of Forsythe Solutions Group.
The same articles may have also stated that a primary rationale behind the refresh was that ITIL v2 was heavily process-focused. In contrast, ITIL v3 is centered on a service lifecycle approach to help IT departments focus on providing business value. However if you are like us, you may have finished reading those articles and still asked yourself, What are the key differences between ITIL v2 and V3? And, even more important, How does the new version affect my ITIL implementation? Do I need to switch over to V3? How quickly?
That being said, for those interested in better understanding the differences between ITIL v2 and ITIL v3, weve provided a detailed comparison.
The most obvious change is the format of the library itself. The ITIL v2 library was presented in seven core books: Service Support, Service Delivery, ICT Infrastructure Management, Planning to Implement Service Management, Application Management, The Business Perspective and Security Management. Most IT professionals focused on the first two bookswhich are sometimes referred to by their cover colors, as the blue book (Service Support) and the red book (Service Delivery).
The blue book deals with best-practice processes for day-to-day activities while the red book deals with best-practice processes for forward-looking activities. They offer guidance as to how organizations can improve their processes to work smarter, but do not particularly align the processes discussed with larger business requirements. The other five books touch rather lightly on a variety of ITIL process issues, and are considered somewhat esoteric even by ITIL experts.
In contrast, the ITIL v3 has been organized into five new books: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. These books follow a more practical order: 1.
In addition, the regrouping and expanding of the topics in each book better aligns IT processes and operations with the business outcomes they are meant to enable.
Expansion of Process Descriptions
In ITIL v3, the key concepts of Service Support and Service Delivery processes outlined in ITIL v2 have been preserved. They have, however, been augmented with 12 new processes. This can best be seen by looking at all 22 processes visually combined in the new structure. (Note: Processes covered in the ITIL v2 blue book (Service Support) are labeled (B) and processes discussed in ITIL v2 red book (Service Delivery) are labeled (R).
Service Strategy (Book 1)
Financial management No material changes from V2.
Demand Management ITIL v2 discussed concepts of Demand Management within the context of Capacity Management. However ITIL v3 introduces the process of Demand Management as a distinct process and as a strategic component of service management.
Service Portfolio Management ITIL v2 only discussed Service Level Management. ITIL v3 represents a fundamental rethinking of services, recognizing the need to conceptualize and identify a portfolio of services before dealing with the specifics of levels of service.
Service Design (Book 2)
Service Level Management No material changes from ITIL v2 in Service Design book. Also covered in Continuous Service Improvement (Book 5).
Availability Management, Capacity Management and IT Service Continuity Management No material changes from V2.
Service Catalog Management - A new process that consolidates and formalizes the processes around ensuring that a service catalog is produced and maintained, and that it contains accurate information on all operational services and on those being prepared to be run operationally. In addition, V3 identifies the need for two interdependent parts of the service catalog, namely an external business catalog of (business) services as described and recognized by end-users, and an internal technical catalog of the tools, processes and procedures required to support those services.
In ITIL v2, the concept of a service catalog was mentioned, but no process was outlined for its creation or maintenance, nor was the distinction made between a business catalog and a technical catalog.