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The Difference between ITIL® Foundation Version 3 and Version 4

AXELOS has released the latest version of the ITIL® Foundation certification, the world-renowned and widely used IT service management framework. This is the first new version to be released since the 2011 update. Version 4 of ITIL Foundation has been developed by more than 150 experts in the field along with a team of writers and contributors. A new ITIL development group has also been established, comprising of over 2000 members in order to gain input from large and modern organisations.

This latest version was released in the first quarter of 2019 after its announcement in 2017 at the it SMF (Information Technology Service Management Forum) USA Fusion conference.

What is ITIL?

For many years now, ITIL has been considered as one of the foremost IT service management best practice frameworks. ITIL helps ITSM professionals develop effective methods that follow best practices in delivering IT services to their organisations. This will help them not only manage risk and strengthen relationships with customers but will help them to ensure that their organisations’ IT services are cost-effective and delivered in an environment that is ready for change and advancement.

ITIL uses a set of Service Lifecycle stages, ensuring that the requirements for new services in the organisation are well documented and known to those involved in the change and those that are utilising existing services that need to be updated. Throughout the ITIL processes, knowledge management is vital and iterative improvements should be made wherever they are needed.

Who is ITIL for?

ITIL is the perfect best practice framework for those who work in, or are new to IT service management and will benefit anyone working in roles such as Senior IT Service Manager, Service Desk Analyst, Technical Relationship Manager, Telecoms Manager, Senior Desktop Technician, Application Engineer, Network Engineer, IT Change Analyst, IT Service Transition Analyst or Technical Business Analyst to name but a few.

What’s new in version 4?

Version 4 of ITIL Foundation has a strong focus on the integration of ITIL guidance with DevOps (Development and Operations), Agile and Lean best practices, taking a more holistic approach to IT service management. It also supports organisations that are moving towards a greater emphasis on digital transformation by providing a practical platform that is also flexible in nature.

ITIL Foundation V4 delivers an IT operating model that is end-to-end, supporting the delivery and implementation of IT products and services. This ensures that IT Teams continue to play a vital role in the business strategy of the organisation.

What will I learn?

The ITIL Foundation V4 curriculum includes the following:

  • Introduction and overview
  • Key concepts of service management
  • Four dimensions of service management
  • Service value system
  • Introduction to practices
  • Purpose of 11 practices and some definitions
  • Introduction to seven key practices in detail
  • Continual improvement
  • Change control
  • Incident management
  • Service request management
  • Service desk
  • Service level management
  • Exam simulator

Upon completing the ITIL Foundation V4 course and passing the accompanying exam, you will have a firm understanding of ITIL service management concepts and how your organisation will benefit from adopting ITIL service management. You will also gain perspective on the four dimensions of ITIL service management, the purpose and components of the ITIL service value system and the key concepts of continual improvement.

Why study ITIL Foundation 4?

In this new version of ITIL Foundation, the concerns regarding the framework’s relationship with the IT service management community and the relevance of version 3 to new and emerging trends in software development and IT operations. This is done by ensuring that the latest version is community-driven and by integrating Agile, DevOps and Lean into traditional ITIL best practices.

What if I am studying version 3?

If you are certified under version 3 of ITIL Foundation, fear not. ITIL Foundation version 3 certifications will remain relevant and you will still be able to apply your skills and knowledge gained from that certification. You will, however, not be ready to sit the new version 4 exam as the new version includes an array of new content that will be present during the exam.

There are also avenues to consider that will allow you to upgrade to version 4 from version 3. If you have already studied the modules beyond the ITIL Foundation version 3 certification, you will be able to transition to version 4 without having to start from the very beginning.

If you have gained the status of ITIL V3 Expert, or you have gained 17 ITIL version 3 credits, you will automatically qualify for the ITIL MP Transition module. This will allow you to gain your ITIL Managing Professional certification.

Those that have gained their ITIL Foundation V3 certifications but have nor gained 17 ITIL version 3 credits will have to sit the ITIL Foundation version 4 exam in order to become version 4 certified.

What about the exam?

During the ITIL Foundation 4 exam, you will be given 1 hour (60 minutes) in which to answer as many of the 40 questions as you are able to. In order to gain your ITIL Foundation V4 certification, you will be required to score a minimum of 65% (26 marks or higher). This exam is entirely closed-book and you will not be allowed to use any additional reading material while you sit your exam.

Upon passing your ITIL Foundation V4 exam, you will have the option to study towards two ITIL 4 certification paths. These are:

  • ITIL Managing Professional which is aimed at IT practitioners
  • ITIL Strategic Leader which focusses on digitally-enabled services and business strategy

In conclusion

The new version of ITIL Foundation includes a significant amount of changes when compared to version 3. With the integration of Agile DevOps and Lean into the ITIL framework, IT Service Managers can rest assured that the knowledge gained from ITIL Foundation V4 will help them stay current as far as their IT operations are concerned. The world of IT is an ever-expanding one and ITIL Foundation version 4 will ensure that your skill set expands at the same pace.

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