What’s the path for ITIL certification?

IT professionals in the modern business environment certainly understand the benefits of ongoing training and education, but can neglect the usefulness of certifications in proven frameworks and methodologies.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), for example, delivers a strong set of practices for IT service management. These practices can then be used to great effect, aligning IT services within a company with the greater needs of the organisation.

Certification in ITIL and other similar frameworks needs to be placed at the top of the priority list, and as such an understanding of how certification works can be useful.

The set of five ITIL modules have been outlined below. It's important to note they are free standing, but also part of the ITIL Intermediate Lifecycle stream.

Service Strategy

The first module that IT professionals will engage with prior to gaining ITIL certification is the Service Strategy module. This focuses on building an understanding of service strategy principles, how to define services and spaces within the market, and the process of conducting strategic assessments.

Financial management is another key focus, and can be extremely useful for IT professionals when implementing strategies. Service portfolio management, effective ways to manage demand and implementing a driving service lifecycle strategy receive additional focus.

The core of service strategy is deciding on a clear strategy to serve customers. It helps professionals to determine which services the IT sector of a company needs to offer, and the capabilities that require development.

Service Design

The service design module builds upon the groundwork laid with service strategy, and is focused on the management and control of service design activities, as well as the management and application of design concepts.

IT professionals will also gain a detailed understanding of service design principles and management of the necessary processes.

The underlying focus of ITIL service design is to design new IT services, and make changes and improvements to services already in place. Due to the cost and complexity of modern IT services within an organisation, understanding how to make changes to existing implementations is invaluable.

Service Transition

When it comes to the deployment of IT services, the service transition module is highly effective. This is also designed to make sure that any service management changes are carried out in a coordinated and effective way.

The module builds an understanding of service transition principles, and management and control of transition activities. Communications, organisational change and commitment activities are also explored, in order to ensure that any management changes are implemented correctly.

Other focuses within the module include analysis and justification (as well as selection) or implementation approaches.

Service Operation

The second to last module deals with service operation principals and processes, along with common operation activities and the best approaches for service operation functions.

The key focus of the service operation module is essentially on ensuring IT services are delivered effectively and efficiently. Often, the key areas of focus are resolving service failures and fixing any issues that may emerge. Undertaking routine operational tasks is also a centre point of the module.

It's important to remember that solid service depends on the resolution of challenges and engaging critical success factors and risks. Any failures here can often be significantly detrimental to an organisation.

Continual service improvement

Any IT project requires continual improvement, and that's why the focus of the final module is improving the effectiveness and efficiency of services and processes. As with service design, it's important to understand the necessity of ongoing upkeep when it comes to modern IT services.

By reviewing business IT services and infrastructure on a regular basis, service quality can be improved or tweaked where necessary and any larger problems noted.

This module lends a heavy focus to improvement methods and techniques, as well as the technology for continual improvement.

ITIL certification can be one of the most valuable tools for an IT professional, and taking the time to undertake each module can be extremely beneficial.