ITIL 4 Update 2019 – Perspective from Global ITSM Thought Leaders

ITIL 4 Update 2019

At the end of 2017 when AXELOS announced that the world’s widely-accepted service management framework ITIL was going to be updated with major changes, enterprises and ITSM community, in general, were eagerly awaiting for the update. And throughout 2018, AXELOS started the ITIL 4 update with a community and industry-led initiative globally. AXELOS also created the ITIL Development Group, which now stands at 2000+ members, that has helped in developing ITIL 4 and continued to do so. So, what is the ITIL 4 update? And how is AXELOS addressing to create practical guidance where you can tailor your IT strategies for an increasingly complex business environment.
To start with, AXELOS is only releasing the Foundation level which is scheduled for a Q1 2019 launch, and the following levels will be released in H2 2019. To check out the latest ITIL 4 certification scheme, please visit AXELOS’ ITIL Update page.
Invensis Learning, a premier training, and certification organization that provides widely-recognized IT Service Management certification courses decided to do a quick survey on the upcoming major update from AXELOS in ITIL 4. As a training and certification provider, we wanted to clearly understand first hand from the ITSM community in general regarding this major ITIL 4 update and how it will impact enterprises and ITIL Practitioners and does the new framework has what it takes to address the necessary gaps.
So, we created geography-specific research on the subject and approached ITIL Experts from the US, UK, and Australia to begin with, and the response was overwhelming. These excerpts are not compiled by any in-house writer; these are from the leading industry experts with 10-25+ years of experience in their respective domain. So, let’s understand about ITIL 4 Update 2019, and its perspective from global ITSM thought leaders.
1. Roman Jouravlev, Product Development Manager, AXELOS, London, UK
There are two main reasons why this ITIL 4 update was overdue: first, the actual practices of IT service management and IT, in general, has been changing with increasing pace in the last decade; second, the architecture of the current version (as defined back in 2007) is not flexible or adaptive. So, while certain key concepts and recommendations of ITIL remain valid and valuable, it does not reflect recent developments in technology and management.
The new version aims to fix it and to prevent a similar situation in the future by (a) addressing recent developments and (b) introducing a flexible architecture designed for continual development. It means ITIL 4 has a chance to be the last edition of ITIL: there will be no need for ITIL 5 since ITIL 4 will be continually updated with emerging and proven practices. This development will be supported by a clear distinction between proven, or good, practices that can be safely adopted, and emerging practices that can be promising, yet risky, and need careful considerations.
Apart from this change, ITIL 4 offers a more holistic approach to service management. Most of the frameworks available today are over focussed on process component of service management and don’t pay enough attention to people, partnerships and technology. ITIL 4 brings a balanced and holistic approach to these 4 aspects.
Finally, it aims to help organizations to build a consistent end-to-end system for management of service lifecycle from ideation to use, including the parts currently missing: procurement, software development, integration. It is designed to provide a balanced approach uniting all those Bis, Dev, Ops, Sec and others in one integrated system.
To support these changes, ITIL 4 offers ITSM practitioners a set of guiding principles. They are updated from the set initially published in ITIL Practitioner guidance back in 2016 and put in the very core of ITIL 4 framework.
In one line, ITIL 4 is expected to help in managing today’s IT-enabled businesses in a holistic and sustainable way, based on the best of proven and emerging practices and a clear framework. Hope it will meet the expectations.
2. David Nottingham, Secretary and Director, itSMF USA, Charlotte, North Carolina, US
I am very excited about the prospects of ITIL 4 update coming in early 2019. Hearing more about it from Roman Jouravlev at FUSION 18, made me even more excited. For me I am looking for three main items in ITIL 4:

  1. More emphasis on the Guidance provided in the ITIL Practitioner course – especially the guiding principles and OCM aspects of Service Management.
  2. Further emphasis on adopting and adapting the guidance with other frameworks, standards, and philosophies.
  3. More emphasis on service management outside of IT – or in other terms an emphasis on Enterprise Service Management.

Let’s take a brief look at each of these areas.
Guiding Principles:
I find the guiding principles present in the ITIL® Practitioner Guidance book to be an essential addition to the ITIL model.  Further emphasizing and expanding upon these principals should be an essential part of the ITIL 4 Guidance. I especially find the focus on value, the emphasis on designs being focused on experience, and keeping it simple and progressing iteratively to be especially important.
Adopting and Adapting with other frameworks:
This is an essential element in modern service management approaches and is an essential must for ITIL 4 to be successful. By providing further guidance in this area, ITIL 4 can help to provide at the very least examples on the ways the various frameworks and standards could be combined or used together to provide a best of breed solution.
An Enterprise Service Management approach:
Hopefully, the ITIL 4 guidance will provide and emphasis on the use of the ITIL and other frameworks outside of IT – especially in other areas of the enterprise such as HR, Finance, and facilities.
Hopefully, these items and more will be included in the ITIL 4 Guidance – I am eagerly awaiting it!
3. Ahmed Hussein, Director, ARCA Information Security, Sydney, Australia
We know that ITSM is the way to manage the services that you offer to your clients, even though you don’t necessarily refer to the term. And, on the other side, we have the ITIL, which basically represents a framework on the best practices of ITSM. It’s public knowledge that adopting ITIL ideas is valuable when managing your services in a more effective way.
ITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS and is the most known (and accepted) framework of ITSM by hundreds of thousands of organizations. Millions of certified professionals around the world work and recommend ITIL.
With the early arrival of ITIL 4 update, many people have begun to speculate about its benefits and opportunities. However, what is certain according to Peter Hepworth of AXELOS, is that the new version will focus on:

  • A practical guide on how to use the ITIL.
  • The principles of service quality management.
  • How ITIL could be used in conjunction with DevOps, Agile and Lean.

All of this is part of AXELOS’ plan to continue to be a relevant brand and to continue evolving, also highlighting that an important part of its consumers is start-ups, as well as large companies.
Another important factor in the future role of ITIL is automation. 89% of professionals believe that by increasing the automation of tasks, they will begin to avoid the repetitive actions that IT sometimes requires.
For the ITSM community there are still many questions to be answered, and some suggestions that they would like to see are: making ITIL a much more practical tool, recognizing that some organizations could adopt only some phases of ITIL; not hiding useful content by positioning content that may not be so useful in reality; offering more free things of better quality; and finally, stop thinking of ITIL as a money-making machine that simply qualifies and delivers.
Now, regarding security management, like all processes, it’s normal that we can sometimes find flaws, especially when they’re people who ultimately have the power to handle and decide on the part of the process. To prevent errors and enhance security control, ITIL suggests that they take five measures: preventive actions (assigning tasks and permits to the right people, checking their information so that people without authorization don’t use the system); reductive measures, such as contingency plans; Detective measures, to identify the risk as quickly as possible; repressive measures, such as counterattacks; and corrective measures to repair the damage caused.
In the end, the most important factor is to create and strengthen security policies, as well as create security strategies and ISMS. All this also entails educating employees so that they understand what the risks are.
Will ITIL 4 be able to meet the expectations of the community? Let’s hope so.
4. Cheri Tyler Stewart, ITIL Expert, Little Rock, Arkansas, US
Since my introduction to ITIL in 2004, our approach has always been ITIL and, not ITIL or. We incorporated complementary methodologies based on specific business needs. One of the most exciting announcements on the upcoming release is that ITIL 4 update will formally embrace Agile, Lean, and DevOps to provide a more comprehensive solution that will ensure ITIL remains a foundational best practice framework. What am I personally hoping for beyond what’s been announced?

  • More attention to cyber security
  • Greater focus on streamlining processes (lite implementations)
  • Further refinement of configuration management to recognize the critical role of automated data in ensuring the veracity of configuration data
  • The context for the growing impact of big data and artificial intelligence

No process is written in stone, and neither is the ITIL framework. It will continue to evolve and grow to keep pace with the constant transformation of business and technology.
5. Patrick Tullao, ITIL Expert, Greater Chicago Area, US
In ITIL 4, I expect a stronger emphasis on an “outside-in” approach that puts a greater focus on business needs and customer outcomes rather than an “inside-out” or technology-centric approach to service management. I like to think that failure to understand this concept is the reason why IT is often perceived as “out of touch” by business.
What many of us already know – ITIL 4 will incorporate Agile, DevOps, and Lean, but what would be extremely beneficial are more practical guidance and examples around ITIL playing nice with other methodologies and approaches. Hopefully, ITIL 4 will address one of its biggest criticisms, which is a failure to stay in tune with new and emerging technologies.
Also, further reinforcing the “adopt and adapt” principle will hopefully address a known problem with organizations enabling ITIL capabilities: rigidly sticking to ITIL core publications for guidance.
6. David Kelly, Service Management Lead Practitioner, BT, Belfast, UK
In recent years ITIL has become a tougher sell. I believe that’s because it’s unfortunately dated and also because it has suffered from those who have tried to implement it, almost out of the book, word for word, the process flow for process flow, missing the whole philosophy of ‘adapt & adopt.’ While it does feel dated, Practitioner made strides to move it forward in 2016, but it wasn’t enough, and in the vacuum that expanded, VeriSM moved in to fill that space. VeriSM was the fulfilment of something we all needed, a prayer answered, and I believe it was the catalyst for the Great Relevance Debate at this year’s ITSM conference in London.
ITIL 4 now needs to take the gauntlet, accept the challenge, and move the debate on even further. What I want to see, what I believe is needed, is an embracing of the whole organisation by ITIL and how it contributes to delivering service, a good balance between process and practice with an emphasis on flexibility, agility to continually adapt the adoption while complimenting agile deliveries and DevOps culture. What would be key for me is something in there that encourages the most senior figures within an adopting organisation to want to know more? ITIL should not be the preserve of the IT Crowd or the Process Teams any longer; it needs to become part of the fabric of the organisation and won’t survive unless everyone embraces its adoption and indeed its adaptation.
7. Mary E Schlemmer, ITIL Expert, Tampa, Florida, US
As a passionate believer in service management, I have been very curious about ITIL 4 update since I first heard it mentioned. I‘d begun seeking more specific details about the updates last spring and was lucky enough to be included in some SME program updates.
Without delving into any specifics, the most exciting concept to me was to learn about deeper integration with agile service management, DevOps, and lean principles. Where older versions of ITIL were about breaking down silos between IT towers, ITIL 4 seems to break down silos between the different practices and incorporating into a broader, but a simpler ecosystem. The ITSM model scope has widened but without becoming more complicated. Enterprise service management seems much more approachable and attainable.
As an Agile ITISM ambassador, I often promote Service Management by stealth, sneaking in different ITSM or DevOps concepts without preaching about “ITIL Says” (when it really doesn’t…) or push one practice over another. ITIL 4 takes a lot of these social and political factors into account when building the overall model for ITSM and making them all work together.
With the emphasis on co-creating values and simplified guiding principles, I feel like ITIL 4 brings the focus back to people and to the factors that influence the products & services that provide value, instead of focusing on the supporting processes. While processes are still very necessary, the priority and the emphasis are on the outcome and customer experience, which I believe was the original heart and soul of ITSM.
8. Jason Zou, ITIL Expert, Adelaide, Australia
ITIL has been and still is widely used best practice framework for IT Service Management in enterprises globally. I highly recommend ITIL lifecycle knowledge body not only to people who work in IT but also those who work in any service industry! However, experience tells that it is so easy to fall into following the framework word by word and forget why we are adopting it.
Honestly, I can’t wait to see ITIL 4 published. It’s definitely well due to being updated. 11 years on since ITIL V3, the technology has changed dramatically. So has the world. In 2007, we were amazed by the first iPhone produced by Apple. Now, we comfortably accept AI enabled Google assistant making appointments using real human voice for us.
Nowadays, we are demanding more value for less, pushing organizations to shorten time to market, increase efficiency and effectiveness and be creative. Agile, DevOps and Lean Six-Sigma have been adopted by many organizations along with ITIL to improve their performance. Just like the Cynefin framework suggested we require different techniques to deal with different types of issues, there won’t be one framework fits all.
It is great to see that ITIL 4 will be more community driven and provide practical guidance on adopting the framework, better integration to new business practices and other practices mentioned above on top of the core ITIL principles. This will allow businesses to achieve flexibility and agility whilst still to maintain a balance between risk and governance. I personally would like to see more research and studies showing that ITIL 4 assisting in increasing enterprise performance.
9. Karen Ferris, ITIL Expert, Brunswick, Australia
It is hard to know what the ITSM community is thinking about ITIL 4 because at this time we know very little.
The certification scheme has been announced, and we know that the first release will be the Foundation level in Q1 of 2019 and the rest of the levels release later in the year.
Train the trainer sessions have been conducted so that training companies are ready.
The way in which current holders of ITIL certifications can transition to ITIL 4 is also known, and details are on the AXLEOS website.
We know little about the content, and as a result, I think we have to just ‘wait and see.’ I am hoping, as I have written in other places, that there will be a much bigger emphasis on using ITIL integrated with other approaches such as agility, DevOps, Lean, etc. That it’s not one or the other. ITIL is just one approach that underpins the plinth that is ITSM, and other approaches can complement it. It doesn’t have to be replaced. I also want to see a reinforcement of the age-old ITIL v1 piece of guidance – adopt and adapt. I don’t know how many times we can say it in so many different ways, but individuals and organizations are still taking ITIL guidance by the letter. Stop it NOW!”

Contributed by IT Service Management (ITSM) Experts

Roman JouravlevRoman Jouravlev, Product Development Manager (Responsible for ITIL Update), AXELOS, London, UK
Professional in IT Service Management since 2003. Experienced in designing implementing and operating ITSM processes. Certified ITIL Expert, IT Service Manager and Practitioner, ISO-20000 Tutor. Specialties: Education, Accreditation in IT Management area, Best management practice development.
David NottinghamDavid Nottingham, Secretary and Director, itSMF USA, Charlotte, North Carolina
David Nottingham is a service management professional with 23 years of experience from the user, customer, and service provider perspectives. David’s specialties lie in process improvement, service transition, and metrics. David is a Director and Secretary for itSMF USA, the premier membership association for service management professionals. He is an ITIL® Expert, Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)®, a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Distinguished Toastmaster. Follow David on Twitter @dnottingham4 and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Ahmed HusseinAhmed Hussein, Director, ARCA Information Security, Sydney, Australia
A strong process mind set IT management & Security management professional offering over 22 years of experience in Information Technology (IT) with 12 years in direct ITIL/Cobit/ISM implementation and operational management roles in varied sectors including investment banking, insurance, and trading. Qualified with Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management and Bachelor of Computer Science, with, ITIL 2011, TOGAF 9.1, ISO 20k COBIT, Scrum Master, PCI -DSS, ISO 27001, CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, CSX, AWS ,Office 365 compliance , Microsoft Azure, SCADA and (MCSA, MCSE, MCITP) and other relevant IT certifications.
Cheri (Tyler) StewartCheri Tyler Stewart, ITIL Expert, Little Rock, Arkansas
Cheri Tyler Stewart guides IT teams in the transformation from the organized chaos necessary in an entrepreneurial environment to enterprise-level performance. Cheri believes that by being proactive and creating change from within, issues become opportunities for growth. Cheri has served as a lead consultant on ITIL implementations, as well as other diverse projects, such as merger project management, Smart Grid implementation, and IT Showback design. She is a Certified ITIL Expert with over 15 years of ITIL, Business Process Optimization, and Compliance experience.
Patrick TullaoPatrick Tullao, ITIL Expert, Greater Chicago Area
Patrick Tullao is an accomplished IT service management and process improvement leader with a background that combines ITIL, Six Sigma, project management, and a strong track record managing global delivery teams. Patrick has a strong aptitude for ITSM process design/management, pre-sales consultancy, and data analytics.
David Kelly, Service Management Lead Practitioner, BT, Belfast, UK
I’ve been in IT now for 20 years; I’m an accredited ITIL Expert and hope to be an ITIL Master as I’m sure it comes with a Jedi-like cloak. I’ve worked in the Private and Public sector, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, stuff that you rarely find in the ITIL publications. Today I work in an amazingly innovative and vibrant part of BT that delivers a myriad of TV, Broadband, and Mobile services in a myriad of different ways. I am happy to be in this line of work in these fast changing times.
Mary E SchlemmerMary E Schlemmer, ITIL Expert, Tampa, Florida
Mary Schlemmer is currently the CMDB Manager at a global manufacturing services company. She has been an ambassador for service management since 2006 when she developed her first Service Catalog. Over the years she has embraced and become a part of the agile service management and DevOps community in a variety of roles and certifications and is looking forward to the ITIL 4 rollout.
Jason Xinshan ZouJason Zou, ITIL Expert, Adelaide, Australia
Jason is a seasoned IT professional with more than 10 years diverse experience in IT capital project delivery, operation and application management. I am passionate about adopting best practices to build high performing teams and to deliver value add solutions beyond technology. I’ve spent last year helping my team to adopt the Scrum framework in application support space. I am certified ITIL V3 Expert, Professional Scrum Master and exposed to Design Thinking, Agile, DevOps, and Lean Six-sigma
Karen FerrisKaren Ferris, ITIL Expert, Brunswick, Australia
Karen Ferris is an internationally acclaimed service management professional and organisational change management practitioner with a reputation for providing both strategic and practical advice, assistance and insights for organisations in their implementation and maintenance of efficient and effective business and service management. She is an author, facilitator, trainer, speaker, and coach.
About Invensis Learning
Invensis Learning is a leading training and professional development solutions provider. We deliver globally-recognized training and certifications to individuals and enterprises to aid key business transformations and help to stay relevant by closing skill gaps and cultivate an environment that fosters continuous learning. We have trained 20000+ professionals over wide portfolio 50+ training and certification courses. We provide training and certification courses for categories such as IT Service Management, Project Management, Quality Management, IT Security and Governance, DevOps, Cloud, Agile and Scrum that addresses the immediate and future needs of business evolution and technological relevance.

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Jacob Gillingham
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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