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If you are considering obtaining any type of IT certification, you have likely come across ITIL®. The ITIL certification is a globally recognized IT service management certification, distributed by Axelos. Depending on your work and career goals, an ITIL certification can prove very beneficial.

There are four levels within the ITIL 4 certification scheme:

For this post, we are going to dig deeper into the ITIL Strategic Leader certification. With the debut of ITIL 4 in 2019, Axelos is launching this new certificate in the first few months of 2020. For now, here’s what we now about this new ITIL Strategic Leader certificate.

What is the ITIL Strategic Leader certificate?

The ITIL Strategic Leader certification recognizes the value of ITIL, not just for ITSM and ITOM, but for all digitally enabled services. Obtaining an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader certification demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy.

ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) is a stream of two modules:

  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve
  • ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy

You must complete both modules in order to earn this certificate, so let’s look at each one.

ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve

This module provides individuals with the practical skills necessary to create a ‘learning and improving’ IT organization, with a strong and effective strategic direction. ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve is aimed at managers of all levels who are involved in leading or directing a continually improving team, (In fact, this module is a key component of both the ITIL 4 Managing Professional and ITIL 4 Strategic Leader certificates.)

The module explores the impact of Agile and Lean ways of working on the organization, including how they can ultimately be leveraged to its advantage. It also provides practitioners with both practical and strategic methods for planning and delivering improvements with ability.

Training & Requirements

Accredited training for the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader modules is mandatory to enable full understanding of the core material. This certificate requires that you earned ITIL 4 Foundation, as a prerequisite, and that you have a minimum of three years of IT managerial experience.

Exam Overview

The Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve exam is a total of 90 minutes with 40 questions. In order to pass, you must get at least 28 questions correct. All questions are multiple choice.

Learning Outcomes

There are a variety of learning outcomes intended of the ITIL 4 Direct, Plan & Improve qualification. Successful completion of this module demonstrates that you understand:

  • The key concepts of Direct, Plan & Improve
  • The scope of what is to be directed and/or planned, and how to use key principles and methods of direction and planning in that context
  • The role of Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and how to integrate the principles and methods into the service value system
  • How to use the key principles and methods of continual improvement for all types of improvements
  • How to use the key principles and methods of communication and organizational change management to direction, planning and improvement
  • How to use the key principles and methods of measurement and reporting in direction, planning and improvement
  • How to direct, plan and improve value streams and practices

ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy

This module focuses on the alignment of digital business strategy relating to IT strategy. It covers how new technologies affect, and sometimes disrupt, organizations in every industry, as well as how business leaders and key decision makers should respond to this impact.

ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy helps current and aspiring IT leaders to build and implement digital strategies that can face these challenges and drive success. This module adds a new perspective to the ITIL suite and elevates the discussion around ITIL concepts to top business leaders.

Training & Requirements

Accredited training for the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader modules is mandatory to enable full understanding of the core material. This module has ITIL 4 Foundation as a prerequisite and you must have a minimum of three years of IT managerial experience.

Exam Overview

More information about this exam will be updated as the syllabus and ITIL 4 certification are made available.

Learning Outcomes

We’ll update this section as this information becomes available.

Want more on ITIL and IT Certifications?

ITIL certifications are among the top IT certifications in the industry, with competitive salaries to match. Having an ITIL Strategic Leader certification could be the first step in landing a job, obtaining a promotion, or advancing your career to the next level.

BMC Blogs offers expert knowledge on a variety of IT certifications, so check out these articles:

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Last updated: 03/17/2020

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Laura Shiff

Laura Shiff

Laura Shiff is a researcher and technical writer based in the Twin Cities. She specializes in software, technology, and medicine. You can reach Laura at LauraShiffCopywriting@gmail.com or her website at https://www.laurashiff.com