10 Strategies to Build Successful Career in IT Service Management

Acquiring ITIL Knowledge has several advantages but more importantly higher salary remuneration and landing key job roles is what drives people to go for ITIL certification. But, many do not know how to get started with this certification and certainly need to understand ITIL methodology to implement the framework in an organization. The article is about a simple brief overview of top ITIL books and resources for reference to kick start your career in ITSM.

Overview of ITIL

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has held its ground for more than two decades by being the mainstay of IT Service Management initiatives across the globe. Started in the UK in the early 80s, ITIL soon became the de facto standard for IT services in both public and private sectors in UK and other European regions. Today, ITIL has found widespread acceptance across the globe where top organizations such as Disney, NASA, IRS, Cisco, Bank of America, Boeing, Microsoft and others are using it to provide IT services which aligns with the organizational business strategy.
With widespread adoption of ITIL all over the world, companies are looking at hiring professionals with ITIL credentials. In fact, ITIL certification on your CV sets you apart from your uncertified counterparts and helps you to expand the scope of your career.
The ITIL certification program has four levels of certification.

  • ITIL Foundation
  • ITIL Intermediate Modules (Service Lifecycle and Service Capability)
  • ITIL Expert
  • ITIL Master

In fact, ITIL incorporates 26 processes that are categorized into five main modules which are as follows:

  1. ITIL® Lifecycle Publication Suite by OGC:

    This ITIL book by OGC takes a lifecycle approach where there are five ITIL foundation modules which are considered as five different stages. It starts with Service Strategy and moves through other stages and Continual Service Improvement stage. The content of the book relates to each of the stages to the previous level and discuss service management as a best practice in an organization. The Service Strategy mainly focuses on strategy principles and organization culture whereas the Service Design focuses on activities related to service design and its processes. The Service Transition module provides knowledge on events such as event and incident management and Continual Service Improvement sheds light on governance and benchmarks.

  2. Passing Your ITIL® Foundation Exam – 2011 Edition:

    This book is published by TSO (The Stationery Office), they are the official publisher of ITIL reference materials and are endorsed by the ITIL Official Accreditor. The content of this book has been fully updated to the latest ITIL 2011 version syllabus which is ideal for developing concepts, terminologies and principles related to ITSM.
    The book contains chapters that focus on service management for each of the five lifecycle stages. It also provides information on ITIL qualification scheme and exam related preparation material for your ITIL Foundation examination success. This is an excellent reference book for participants who are undergoing ITIL Foundation training and appearing for the ITIL Foundation certification examination. You can buy the book here.

  3. IT Service Management: A Guide for ITIL® Foundation Exam Candidates, Second Edition:

    This book is more like a study guide which will help you to clear your ITIL Foundation exam with flying colors. This is a 200-page book published by BCS and authored by Ernest Brewster, Richard Griffiths, Aidan Lawes and John Sansbury. The book is broken into four sections. The 1st section focuses on fundamental overview of service management and section 2 covers all the modules of ITIL lifecycle. The 3rd section sheds light on key ITIL processes and functions and the 4th section covers all the important measurements and metrics. The book is just like any other normal study guide which helps you to quickly grasp important topics in a short amount of time and helps you to clear your ITIL Foundation examination on your first attempt.

  4. ITIL® v3 Foundation Study Guide by Taruu:

    Taruu, an IT service management firm in Indiana, US, has created one of the best free resource on ITIL Foundation for those looking to get certified in ITIL certifications. This handy 45-page resource material covers all the concepts of ITIL Foundation course. The study guide also includes many infographics for better understanding of the concepts. In fact, the guide also acts as a cheat sheet for professionals who are already handling IT processes.
    The ITIL Foundation Study Guide works best, if a participant already has couple of years of ITIL exposure, but definitely a bit arduous to understand for beginners. As the questions in the ITIL Foundation exam would not be straightforward, so exposure to ITIL processes is found necessary to get the best out of this study guide.
    You can download this free ITIL v3 Foundation Study Guide by Taruu here.

  5. ITIL® Foundation 2011 Exam Reference Book:

    This book is penned by the very best trainers of ITIL in Helen Morris and Liz Gallacher. Considering their highly distinguished practical experience in ITIL, they have arranged the syllabus in such a manner that it is very helpful for participants who are opting for self-study approach. Their writing is very easy to understand and have explained the ITIL lifecycle in a better manner. The best part is each chapter ends with a short summary which helps you to grasp the concepts better.
    The book is filled with charts, graphs and illustrations to ensure you understand the content easily. Everything in the book is properly organized and is arranged in a logical sequence. The book also provides real-life examples with links for free downloadable study tools and questions at the end of each chapter. You can buy the book in the form of an ebook or as paperback from here.

  6. An Introductory Overview of ITIL® v3 by itSMF:

    IT Service Management Forum (itSMF), an organization which is run by ITSM professionals, and their main objective is to integrate ITIL knowledge in one place by bringing in millions of professionals from all over the world to share knowledge and constantly improve on best practices in IT Service Management.
    The itSMF forum has assembled an introductory study material on ITIL v3. The study material is brief and each of the section defines the objectives and activities of the processes. Many consider this as a very good reading material for people who are about to take up the ITIL Foundation training and certification exam. You cannot totally rely on this material to pass the Foundation exam, but if you are just getting started in ITIL, then it provides a high-level overview of IT Infrastructure Library.
    You can find the ‘Introductory Overview of ITIL v3 by itSMF here.

  7. IT Skeptic Blog by Rob England:

    If you can find a blog which publishes articles on a regular basis on a topic of your interest, then it is definitely worth your time. Even more so if the writer of the blog knows what he is doing and keeps doing it on a regular basis. One such blog is the IT Skeptic written by Rob England from New Zealand on ITIL related topics.
    He creates topics on the issues that he faces at work. The topics are really interesting, especially for people who can relate to them. Also the readers of his blogs participate actively by commenting and discussing new things with regards to ITSM. He also provides useful links to online ITIL resources which can be quite helpful in your ITIL certification journey.
    You can check his blog and join the discussion here.

  8. ITIL® Foundation Essentials: The Exam Facts You Need:

    The ITIL Foundation Essentials written by Claire Agutter is another useful ITIL resource material. This 150-page study material takes a straight forward approach to many of ITIL essentials in an organized way. The book is very easy to read and straight to the point.
    The only drawback of this book is that the diagrams are small and people who expect to gain an in-depth understanding of concepts will be disappointed. But for beginners, this book is highly utilitarian which can be purchased at an affordable price here.

  9. ITIL for Beginners: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to ITIL®:

    ITIL for Beginners is the most comprehensive ITIL Foundation resource material provided by ClydeBank Technology. The book contains 98-pages of proven strategies to help beginners get accustomed to ITIL lifecycle modules.
    The book covers the entire subject with regards to ITSM which is explained in a simple way. Moreover, each concept is broken down to small pieces to ensure better understanding of IT processes. For beginners who are looking at getting certified in ITIL Foundation, this book offers a lot on ITIL lifecycle modules.
    You can buy the book from this link.

  10. ITIL® Lifecycle Suite, 2011 Edition (5 Volume Set):

    The ITIL Lifecycle Suite authored by Randy A Steinberg is a comprehensive resource. The book has 5 volumes and each volume is specific to one lifecycle module. The earlier edition had few inconsistencies which have been fixed in the latest 2011 edition and the content flows in a logical order and takes you through each of the framework. It is a mammoth 1959-page guide which covers every aspect of ITIL.
    Being an in-depth reading material, it contains sample questions, quizzes and graphical representations to help you grasp the concepts thoroughly. This comprehensive study kit is more than enough to clear your ITIL Foundation certification exam on your first attempt.
    You can find ‘ITIL Lifecycle Suite, 2011 Edition’ here.

These are some of the best ITIL resources that are available which will help you to clear your ITIL Foundation exam and start your journey in becoming an ITIL Expert. Apart from some free and paid ITIL resources, it is better to attend a formal ITIL Foundation training program from an accredited training provider. With both practical and theoretical knowledge of ITIL concepts, you will be able to take your ITSM career to a whole new level. Do let us know in the comments section if you believe there are any other important ITIL resource entities that we might have missed out on.

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Jacob Gillingham is an Incident Manager with 10+ years of experience in the ITSM domain. He possesses varied experience in managing large IT projects globally. With his expertise in the IT service management domain, currently, he is helping an SMB in their transition from ITIL v3 to ITIL 4. Jacob is a voracious reader and an excellent writer, where he covers topics that revolve around ITIL, VeriSM, SIAM, and other vital frameworks in IT Service Management. His blogs will help you to gain knowledge and enhance your career growth in the IT service management industry.


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