Posted by Robert Half on 27 June 2016
Simply put, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) provides IT Project Managers the framework they need to support the business through times of transformation. ITIL is an internationally recognised library of best practice across the five elements of the ITIL Foundation lifecycle – service strategy, design, transition, operation and continual improvement.
A brief history of ITIL certification
ITIL started in the UK over 25 years ago as a system for managing services in a technology environment and is now the most widely accepted IT service framework in the world. According to Axelos, a joint venture company setup to manage the Best Practice Management Portfolio on behalf the UK Government, “ITIL advocates that IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes. It provides guidance to organizations and individuals on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change, transformation and growth.”
What are the benefits of ITIL for the company?
ITIL doesn’t provide the answers to any issues that come about while implementing IT service changes. What is does do is provide a framework to help you pre-empt any issues to provide a smoother roll-out. As stated in an article by Computer Weekly, a company has to be flexible enough to be able to utilise the processes and procedures suggested, without overcomplicating or overanalysing. For example: “by opting for fewer but more highly skilled helpdesk personnel, a company can meet its users' stated requirement for more first-call fixes, with the expectation that call answering may take several minutes. This approach ensures fewer call backs, simplifies incident tracking and boosts user satisfaction.”
By having ITIL certified professionals on board, these professionals are better able to provide clarity, offering reliable services to end users and delivering solutions in a time effective and efficient way.
Before ITIL gained widespread acceptance, a lack of well-defined procedures often led to projects going over budget, or – in some cases – failing. Instead, the ITIL foundation addresses these issues and provides a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery in organisations of all sizes and industries around the world.
What does ITIL certification offer your career?
For many professionals looking to gain ITIL certification, knowing the benefits ITIL can offer your career can provide the encouragement to sign up with a training provider.
As the world of IT continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the ITIL certification is no exception. Today, ITIL is highly relevant for all IT professionals working within the UK as virtually all management service providers (MSP) and internal IT departments use it as the framework for managing and delivering their IT services. While an ITIL certification may not be the only criteria that hiring managers base their decisions on, it can provide an edge.
So why would an aspiring IT Project Manager want an ITIL certification? Here are five reasons:
1) ITIL is an independent evaluation of your skills
Like all certifications and qualifications, the ITIL certification provides clear, unbiased evidence of your skills. The IT industry continues to demand skilled professionals at a rate that outpaces supply, a trend excepted to continue for the foreseeable future. As such, your qualifications and certifications give hiring managers confidence in your ability and skill level. An ITIL certification will allow hiring managers to reflect on your understanding to develop project effeciencies.
2) It provides common understanding among IT professionals
As ITIL is a globally recognised certification, many global organisations with IT departments based in different organisations adopt ITIL as it provides common IT lingo which makes it easier to understand, manage incidents and change management tools across their entire operation.
3) ITIL supports your career development
As ITIL courses advance to match the current practice environment, the different levels of ITIL certification (from Foundation to Master) provides a plan to keep your skills current. Even once to you move into a management role, an ITIL certification can demonstrate a level of competence in managing and delivering IT service as well as support your ability to assess providers against a predetermined set of criteria.
4) The certification will support your overall career
Collectively the IT department is responsible for delivering IT service in some way, therefore everyone needs some level of awareness about the ITIL framework, even if they aren’t looking to become certified. For those seeking the certification, it can add value to your career.
How to become ITIL certified?
Should you decide to pursue an ITIL certification, you will be learning about the five key areas that drive the IT life cycle, including: service strategy, design, transition, operation and service improvement.
There are five different levels of ITIL certification, from Foundation to Master. The most basic level, Foundation, is a three-day course plus a certification exam. In many cases, just having the Foundation is enough to open the doors to an employer requiring certification. To get certified at the Intermediate, Expert and Master levels, you'll need to take additional courses, although some employers may pay for these.
If you starting out, there are two ways you can obtain the ITIL Foundation level qualification, you can sign up to an approved ITIL qualification training course or study privately before sitting the exam.