ITIL® v3 vs ITIL® 4 Courses

Differences between ITIL v3 and ITIL4 explained by iLEARN

IT is at the core of every business in today's world. This update will allow ITIL to reflect the fast-paced and complex environment we live in, and new ways of working and emerging practices, all of which are essential not only for ITSM professionals, but also for a wider range of professionals working in the digital transformation world.

The purpose of ITIL 4 is to provide organizations with comprehensive guidance for the management of information technology in the modern service economy.

ITIL 4 will evolve to provide an end-to-end IT/Digital Operating Model, covering the full delivery (and sustaining) of tech-enabled products and services, guiding how IT interfaces with, and even leads, the wider business strategy.


ITIL® 4 has a series of new characteristics:

Holistic approach
ITIL 4 emphasizes a holistic approach by defining dimensions of service management that are collectively critical to the effective and efficient facilitation of value for customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services. They consider elements such as organizations and people, partners and suppliers, information & technology and value streams & processes, all of which are relevant not only to IT services, but to IT service management as well.

Service value system
ITIL has evolved beyond the delivery of services to providing end-to-end value delivery. The focus is now on the co-creation of value through service relationship.
The updated framework will focus on facilitating value co-creation via a service value system (SVS). The SVS represents how different components and activities can work together, in any type of organization, to facilitate value creation through IT enabled services. In ITIL 4, customers are an essential element in the process of creating value.

Service value chain
Incorporated within the SVS is the service value chain (SVC). The service value chain is the set of interconnected activities that, when sequenced in the right way, provides an operating model for the creation, delivery, and continual improvement of services. The service value chain allows an organization to define a number of variants of these sequences known as value streams, of which the v3 service lifecycle is one such example. The service value chain is flexible and can be adapted to multiple approaches, including product-focused delivery teams, DevOps, and centralized IT. The adaptability of the value chain enables organizations to react to changing demands from their stakeholders in the most effective and efficient ways.

ITIL practices 
What is currently known and described in ITIL v3 as ITIL processes will be a fundamental part of ITIL 4 framework and will expand their architecture to also consider other elements such as roles, skills, people and resources. These will be referred as ITIL practices in ITIL 4. The ITIL practices described in ITIL 4 will mantain the value and the importance provided by the current ITIL processes, whilst at the same time expand to be integrated to different areas of service management and IT, from demand to value. The ITIL 4 framework will reinforce a flexible and non-siloed approach for the application of ITIL practices. 

Integration with other practices and new ways of working
ITIL 4 will reflect other frameworks and integrate with new ways of working including Agile, DevOps, Lean, IT governance and leadership. It will provide the flexibility needed to adopt and adapt what is relevant to each business and organization while reinforcing the fundamentals for delivering IT service quality. All of this sets ITIL and service management in a strategic context, bringing together ITSM, Development, Operations, business relationships and governance in a holistic approach. This is a truly integrated model for digital service management.

Guiding principles
The ITIL guiding principles, firstly introduced in ITIL Practitioner, will be at the core of ITIL 4. They will evolve to keep providing guidance to organizations in their work as they adopt a service management approach acroos the organization and asapt ITIL guidance to their own specific needs and circumstances, including continual improvement at all levels.

Four dimensions
To support a holistic approach to service management, ITIL also defines four dimensions that collectively are critical to the effective and efficient facilitation of value for customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services. The four dimensions represent perspectives which are relevant to the whole service value system. All apply to both service management and to the services being managed across the whole organization.

How is ITIL 4 different from ITIL v3?

The ITIL 4 Certification Scheme comprises of the ITIL certifications:

One of the main characteristics of the new ITIL 4 certification scheme it is that is now formed by three different designation streams: ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP), ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) and ITIL 4 Practice Manager (ITIL PM). These three streams are intended to provide end- learners with greater clarity about how and where they can improve their skills and set them apart from peers. 

In order to be eligible to become an ITIL Master, end-learners must have all the ITIL Managing Professional (ITIL MP), ITIL Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) and ITIL Practice Manager (ITIL PM) designations.

Is there an ITIL 4 Foundation transition module?

Since September 30, 2022, the ITIL v3 to ITIL 4 transition module, originally published by PeopleCert as ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition, has been officially retired. Candidates with ITIL v3 credits will now need to start the ITIL 4 certification scheme from the first level, ITIL 4 Foundation. Discover the complete ITIL 4 certification scheme. The following procedure is no longer valid and is provided for informational purposes only.

The ITIL v3 certification scheme has been permanently retired.

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