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ITIL 2011 and ITIL 4: Key Differences and Examples

ITIL 2011 and ITIL 4

ITIL 2011 and ITIL 4

ITIL—Information Technology Infrastructure Library—is a popular ITSM framework. ITIL 4, released in 2019, is its latest version. This article compares ITIL 2011 and ITIL 4, highlighting key differences and providing delivery and operations examples.

Framework scope

The framework’s scope distinguishes ITIL 2011 from ITIL 4. ITIL 2011 emphasizes IT service management, while ITIL 4 covers the entire service value system. ITIL 4 introduces the “service value chain,” which describes how IT services create value.

Example: ITIL 4 addresses user experience, digital transformation, and continuous service delivery in delivery and operations.

Structure and Methods

Process organization distinguishes ITIL 2011 from ITIL 4. ITIL 2011 has 26 processes, while ITIL 4 has four dimensions: organization and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, and value streams and processes.

ITIL 2011’s Incident Management process prioritizes service restoration. ITIL 4 considers not only incident resolution but also the impact on the service value chain, including the relationships between teams, technologies, and suppliers.

ITIL 4 Innovations

ITIL 4 introduces the service value system, chain, activities, and outcomes. These concepts help organizations understand how different parts of the service value system create value.

Example: The ITIL 4 service value chain includes “engage,” “plan,” “improve,” “deliver and support,” “design and transition,” and “obtain/build.” These activities reflect the growing complexity of modern IT environments and the need for flexibility in service delivery and operations.

Framework Structure

ITIL 2011 and ITIL 4 differ in framework structure. ITIL 2011 has five core volumes that cover different IT service management topics. ITIL 4, however, is centered on “ITIL 4 Foundation.” This volume covers the ITIL framework and how to implement it.


ITIL 4 is a more holistic and flexible IT service management framework. ITIL 2011 is still widely used, but ITIL 4 is growing in popularity as organizations seek a more strategic and value-driven approach to IT service management, particularly in service delivery and operations.

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