The Relationship Between ITIL and ITSM

Taylor Karl
/ Categories: Resources, Training Trends, ITIL
The Relationship Between ITIL and ITSM 2683 0

If you are looking to improve the management of the IT services that you deliver to customers, you may be questioning the need for ITSM or ITIL, and whether you need one or the other. The relationship between the two is quite simple.

  • IT Service Management (ITSM) pertains to the management of the IT services you deliver to your customers.
  • ITIL is a popular framework for ITSM. Adopting the ITIL framework can drastically improve the IT Service Management practices for your organization.

Let’s take a closer look.


ITSM is an acronym standing for Information Technology Service Management. It is fundamentally a set of best practices that define exactly what an IT service organization should be doing for its customers. This includes designing solutions, deploying them, operating, and managing them, and monitoring their performance.

Because it is focused on IT many people assume that it is a technology-focused discipline, but ITSM is more customer-focused with emphasis on customer satisfaction and task completion. Most people who use the term are referring to internal customers, and the goal of ITSM is to produce system solutions that yield real value to the organization.

The increasing need for ITSM can be correlated directly with the evolution of IT itself. Originally, IT was seen as a necessary cost of doing business, meant to keep records and track various quotients. Over the past few decades, IT has grown to become a key strategy in achieving business advantage and value. For many businesses, IT performance serves as a key differentiator between them and their competitors.

With ITSM defining what the servicing organization should be doing for customers, there’s an obvious need to explain how.

ITIL eBook

Submit your email below to download our free 16-page eBook, Introduction to ITIL 4


ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is the definitive source of how to go about all of the functions defined by ITSM. A product of AXELOS, which constantly improve and refine the library, ITIL is drawn from a wide variety of sources in both the public and private sectors and is considered the de facto guide to how to deliver IT services.

ITIL v4, the latest edition of the ITIL framework, consists of six books, or volumes.  

  • ITIL Foundation, ITIL 4 Edition – this book supports the updated ITIL Foundation qualification.
  • Create, Deliver and Support – this book covers the Design & Transition, Obtain/Build, and Deliver & Support activities.
  • Drive Stakeholder Value – this book focuses on the conversion of demand into value and covers the Engage and Value elements within ITIL
  • High-velocity IT – this book supports the ITIL Managing Professional qualification.
  • Direct, Plan, and Improve – the book covers the plan and improves activities of the ITIL service value chain.
  • Digital & IT Strategy – this book focuses on the alignment of digital business strategy with IT strategy.

For more information on ITIL v4, including certification track information, visit our ITIL product page