ITIL 4 Specialist vs Strategist Certifications

Taylor Karl
/ Categories: Resources, Training Trends, ITIL
ITIL 4 Specialist vs Strategist Certifications 2589 0

Organizations that adopt the ITIL framework and follow ITIL best practices will likely outperform their competition in the area of service management. In fact, 88% of ITIL-certified professionals believe ITIL is the best IT Service Management (ITSM) framework. However, to take full advantage of everything that the ITIL framework has to offer, and to achieve full organizational alignment, we recommend ITIL certification for any member of your team working within the realm of IT Service Management. We have broken down the ITIL Specialist and ITIL Strategist Certifications to help you determine the appropriate paths for you and your team.

ITIL eBook

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Managing Professionals

This designation provides practical and technical knowledge about how to run successful IT-enabled services, teams, and workflows, for a variety of professionals working in IT, ITSM, and other digital roles across the business. These certifications are divided into three different areas.

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support: Professionals who earn this certification will acquire insights enabling them to integrate different value streams and activities to create, deliver and support IT-enabled products and services. Equipping your team with this knowledge will instill more confidence in running IT-enabled services and workflows successfully.

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: High-Velocity IT: This certification highlights the ways in which digital organizations and digital operating models function in high-velocity environments, including the use of working practices such as Agile and Lean, and technical practices and technologies such as Cloud, Automation, and Automatic Testing. It is ideal for IT professionals working within or towards the delivery of digital products and services or any digital transformation project. Digital transformation goes beyond IT alone, it is about holistic organizational change which focuses on customers and the creation of value.

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value (DSV): This certification is ideal for IT professionals who are responsible for designing and/or managing customer journeys and experiences, managing and interfacing with stakeholders, and fostering relationships to gain value realization. It covers every aspect of ITIL Stakeholder management and will enable professionals to increase stakeholder satisfaction.

Strategic Leaders

The two certifications under this designation will enable current and aspiring leaders to recognize the value of adopting and adapting ITIL for all IT-enabled products and services, not just IT operations. This designation will also help professionals to understand how IT can influence and shape business strategy.

  • ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve: Known as the certification that brings digital and IT strategies to life, this certification is aimed at IT and digital managers of all levels involved in planning, aligning work to organizational strategy and developing a continually improving team or service. This certification will help professionals gain the necessary practical skills to establish a "learning and improving" IT organization.

  • ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy: This certification is known for enabling business success through the creation of digital and IT strategies. This certification will help senior IT and business executives, heads of departments, and aspiring C-suite professionals across the organization define and lead the strategy for the design and/or management of IT-enabled products and services. Broken into 8 sections, professionals will experience the four key capabilities to develop a holistic, digital capability framework.


No matter which certification you believe is right for you and your teams, ITIL's best practices are globally recognized and proven to be effective. The dominance that ITIL has established in the area of service management ensures that your investment in ITIL certification is a smart business decision and a wise career choice.

Visit our ITIL page for more information including, a certification roadmap, and course details.