ITIL 4: What you need to know about the 2019 ITIL update

A new version of ITIL® is being released in the first quarter of 2019.

ITIL 4 will build upon its existing framework and address the criticisms of its current iteration.

How does ITIL work?

ITIL has five volumes, each focusing on a different aspect of ITSM (IT service management):

  1. Service strategy: helps organisations understand their customers and how to develop and deliver IT services to meet their needs.
  2. Service design: helps organisations design an efficient and cost-effective service.
  3. Service transition: advises organisations on building and testing their design.
  4. Service operation: advises organisations on how to deliver and manage their service.
  5. Continual service improvement:provides a mechanism for improving the service and the technology and processes used in its management.

This structure will remain in ITIL 4, but there are key changes within each volume.

What’s changing?

ITIL 4 aims to fix two issues that its owner, AXELOS®, has identified: its relevance and its relationship with the ITSM community. AXELOS conducted more than 30 workshops and research sessions, and assembled a Lead Architect Team to make the latest version of the framework “more nimble and contemporary”.

It has done this by providing an end-to-end digital operating model for the delivery and operation of tech-enabled products and services. It has also focused on Agile, DevOps and Lean as areas for integration with traditional ITIL best practices.

Adam Stewart, head of business skills at QA, concludes that ITIL 4 “will be much more relevant to developers, practitioners and businesses. This latest iteration moves away from a traditional process-led approach to value-driven delivery for people and organisations.”


AXELOS has confirmed that all current ITIL certificates will remain valid when the latest version takes effect.

Become an ITIL expert

The ITIL 4 Foundation manual is available for pre-order from our website.

In the meantime, our training courses can help you gain ITIL qualifications. Our ITIL® 4 Foundation Training Course is ideal for those getting started with the framework. It covers ITIL’s principles, models and definitions, outlines the framework’s service lifecycle and helps you prepare and practice for the ITIL Foundation exam.

The course runs in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Manchester on various dates between February and October 2019. Alternatively, you can take the course in-house.

Once you’ve passed, you can train for more advanced qualifications to further your career.

Looking for more help with ITIL? 

Take a look at our ITIL books and toolkits >>