The Evolution of ITIL®

Originally known as GITMM (Government Infrastructure Management Method), ITIL dates as far back as the early 20th Century when BMT signed an agreement with TMC (later known as IBM). As technology improved, ITIL has developed into a set of best practices that are known worldwide throughout the IT Service Management sector.

ITIL was an attempt to document a set of standard best practices that government agencies and private sectors alike could adhere to and which would help unify the system, reduce costs and be the basis for a training curriculum.

The beginning

It all started in 1907 when IBM, (then known as TMC) sparked up a license with BTM to market punched card machines in Britain. The agreement dissolved in 1949 but in 1972 IBM  did research for what is now referred to as the Information Systems Management Architecture (ISMA). They published this document in 1980 with more revisions done in the early 1980’s. In the late 1980’s, IBM bid aggressively againgst  their competitor, ICL, to be the “primary vendor of mainframe systems  to Government Agencies”. Whilst this was happening, there were attempts by staff within the Government to develop an “IBM-styled set of operational procedures. The CCTA finally “authorised a program to develop a common set of operational guidance with the objective of increasing efficiencies in Government IT”. Draft versions of GITMM were finalised and were published as guidelines for Government IT operations in the UK.


The first book was published in 1989 and GITMM changed it’s name to ‘ITIL’.  Over the next 12 years, 30 volumes were published  They were developed on a volunteer as seen as important basis. Along with the books coming out, the IT Infrastructure Management Forum was proposed, which we now know as the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF).  There was no central process model to the ITIL V1 books; they were function based and talked about groups of people doing jobs. The last ITIL v1 titles was published in 2001.


In 2001 the CCTA became an integral part of the Office of Government Commerve (OGC) and the ITIL v2 titles were released which were more process based compared to the earlier titles. The OGC down-sized the 30 volumes to a mere 7 core titles which made it more affordable and therefore more accessible for IT professionals.


ITIL v3 was published was published in 2007. The set of best practices were condensed into five core titles, and became more service based. Collectively known as the Service Lifecycle suite, the 5 core titles are; Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transistion, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement. The lifecycle suite shifted its focus, concentrating on how IT departments could provide business value.

ITIL 2011 updates in July 2011

Four years on in June 2011, the OGC announced an update to the current 5 titles (ITIL v3), more commonly known as the ITIL 2011 updates. These updates are available to buy from Friday 29th July 2011. They contain many improvements to the five titles which help clarify concepts and principles and will improve structure and content. Although the titles are not available at the moment (you can pre-order them from us), there are a handful of lucky people out there that have had the chance to read the new titles, and so far we’ve heard nothing but good reviews about them. Read what some people thought of the ITIL 2011 updates here.

And in regards to ITIL v4? Watch this space!

To make sure you have the most up-to-date version of the ITIL books, Order your copies of the ITIL 2011 updates now:

ITIL Lifecycle Publication Suite (Updated 2011 Softcover Version)

ITIL: Service Strategy (Updated 2011 Softcover Version)

ITIL Service Design (Updated 2011 Softcover Version)

ITIL Service Transition (Updated 2011 Softcover Version)

ITIL Service Operation (Updated 2011 Softcover Version)

ITIL Continual Service Improvement (Updated 2011 Softcover Version)

ITIL Countdown – 0 days to go!
The ITIL 2011 updates have finally been released. Order your copy before the end of July and receive FREE delivery!

Pre-order your copy now!


Source: ‘The History of ITIL Part 1′ by Ian Clayton, and the ITIL experts on Linkedin


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