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ITIL® Processes & Best Practices: Introduction

Everything you need to know about ITIL and IT Service Management

Last Updated: 9/17/2015

New to ITIL? Start here!

Most organizations consider their people, capabilities, processes, and technologies to be strategic assets that deliver and support the business services representative of the company’s vision and mission. Efficient and effective alignment of capabilities and resources for services and products can help create a strategic advantage in the markets that the organizations serve. This is where ITIL®, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, comes into play. ITIL is the most widely accepted approach to IT Service Management (ITSM) for delivering business service value.

The ultimate goal of ITIL is to improve how IT delivers and supports valued business services. ITIL is not just technology management or process management but IT service management with a focus on improving the capabilities of people, processes, and technology. ITIL provides value for an organization, its resources and capabilities – including employees, and its customers.

Adoption of the ITIL framework can be the foundation for success of initiatives such as DevOps, cybersecurity, cyber-resilience, Internet of Things (IoT), and other emerging trends and technologies.

How to use this guide

This online guide presents an overview of the principles of ITIL, the advantages of adopting the ITIL framework, descriptions of each ITIL stage, and links to useful resources for further learning.

As you page through this online guide, you’ll have opportunities to read blog posts associated with ITIL, learn about BMC ITIL-compliant solutions, download free ITIL best practice books, visit the ITIL and CMDB community, and sign up for ITIL Certification and Training. Check back often to keep up with the latest ITIL information available from BMC.

ITIL Processes from ITIL V3 2011

These processes are covered in the guide:

What is ITIL?

ITIL (formerly the Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of IT Service Management practices that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business.

Every organization delivers a service or product. For every service or product, the ITIL framework helps manage delivery, industrialization, support, and consumerization from inception to retirement. The five stages of the ITIL framework include Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement. Each stage in this service lifecycle supports all the other stages.

ITIL does not tell any particular organization all the needed capabilities that it needs. It does, however, give practical guidance on strategy and managing IT services for any organization making roadmap decisions for IT service management.

ITIL complements other industry best practices. For example, if an organization adopting ITIL also needs guidance for project management, then that organization can augment the ITIL framework foundation with a project management best practice.

Who uses ITIL?

Large, medium, and small organizations all over the world use ITIL to help them improve the value of their services. ITIL helps organizations in all industries and sectors solve business issues instead of just improve an IT capability. Organizations use ITIL as a guide to improve or implement a capability that provides business value.

Since ITIL is a set of best practices and not a standard, organizations are free to adopt as much of the ITIL framework as they see fit. However, the more ITIL-compliant an organization’s processes, the greater the benefits that organization will realize.

What are the benefits and advantages of ITIL?

Organizational benefits of adopting ITIL best practices include:

  • Stronger alignment between IT and the business
  • Improved service delivery and customer satisfaction
  • Reduced costs through improved utilization of resources
  • Greater visibility of IT costs and assets
  • Better management of business risk and service disruption or failure
  • More stable service environment to support constant business change
More detailed benefits and advantages of the ITIL framework are documented in each of the stages and in the 26 ITIL process areas defined in the core books. Essentially, the benefit lies in aligning process area with desired business outcome. The overall goal is to improve the business service, which is supported by the specialized capability of the process, people, suppliers, and technology.

Video: How To Embrace ITIL as an Organization

BMC Education Services presents: How To Embrace ITIL as an Organization with Heather Applegate. (12:10)

Why BMC?

BMC builds ITIL-compliant solutions and supports those solutions with ITIL training, services, and resources. Our Centers of Excellence and industry-leading technologies help organizations all over the world define and execute their IT Service Management (ITSM) strategies for traditional and digital services.

Whether transforming or evolving service maturity, BMC has helped organizations worldwide achieve high-performing service business value. BMC helps organizations achieve value from all of the ITIL process areas.

BMC also provides:

  • ITIL PinkVerify Certified Technology
  • ITIL industry contributors
  • Industry-leading education offerings
  • Transformation practice for ITIL prescriptive guidance
  • Industry partner collaboration
  • ITIL synergies with other best practices

BMC's Complete Guide to ITIL