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An Initial Look at ITIL Version 3 – Part Two

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In Part Two of his three-part series on ITIL version 3, Rich Schiesser examines the changes in this latest edition of the de facto standard for infrastructure best practices. He also explains the content and benefits of the second and third books of the version 3 five-book library.

See Part One and Part Three of this series.

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This is the second of a three-part series offering a brief look at the new version 3 of ITIL. Part One of this series presented the concept of a service management lifecycle, which is the cornerstone of this new edition. Part 1 also provided an overview of the first book, "Service Strategy," in the five-book library that comprises ITIL version 3. In this installment, we’ll continue with a look at the next two books, "Service Design" and "Service Transition."

Service Design

The main goal of service design is to develop and design new or changed IT services. The intended result is to convert strategic objectives into portfolios of services and service assets.

Seven processes are associated with service design:

  • Service level management. This is the first of four processes in service design that were present in version 2. Service level management involves negotiating, finalizing the contents, and periodically reviewing three key documents:
    • Service level agreements (SLAs) negotiated with business customers
    • Operating level agreements (OLAs) negotiated with internal support groups
    • Underpinning contracts (UCs) negotiated with external third-party suppliers
  • Availability management. This process has the same goals and responsibilities as it had in version 2. These are primarily to ensure that the level of service availability delivered in all services is matched to or exceeds the current and future needs of business customers, and to do so in a cost-effective manner.
  • Capacity management. This process, which was also in version 2, is responsible for ensuring that the capacity of IT services and the infrastructure is adequate to deliver agreed-upon service level targets in a cost-effective and timely manner.
  • IT service continuity management. Just as in version 2, the management of risk to IT services is one of the primary goals of IT service continuity management. Another goal is to maintain a set of IT service continuity plans and IT recovery plans that support the overall business continuity plan of the exercise, and to test the recoverability of IT services through use of these plans.
  • Information security management. This process is considered new in version 3 because it wasn’t part of the two main books of "Service Delivery" and "Service Support" in version 2. But security was mentioned in version 2, in which security had its own separate book. In version 2 of ITIL, the primary responsibility of security management was to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of a company’s data. In version 3, this responsibility is expanded to include a company’s assets, information, and IT services.
  • Service catalog management. The main goal of service catalog management is to ensure that a service catalog is produced and maintained, containing accurate information on all operational services and those being prepared to run operationally. The service catalog is a component of service portfolio management that’s associated with service strategy, but the overall management of the service catalog is a separate process within service design.
  • Supplier management. This is the third new process in service design. Supplier management is responsible for managing all external third-party suppliers that provide or support IT services.
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