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ITIL – What does it mean to you?

Level 17

ITIL- What does it mean to you? No really, think about it for a moment- what role do ITIL practices play in your environment? Has your boss simply mandated all IT tools be “ITIL certified” without perhaps understanding the context? Or does your organization actually have an active interest in implementing ITIL processes and getting value out of the methodology? If you implement an “ITIL” tool, is the expectation that it will fix currently less-than-optimal business processes? If so, are you concerned with how long it will take to implement a new tool?


Keeping in mind what you want to accomplish with ITIL- let’s talk about what ITIL is. ITIL is a collection of processes. It is a means to an end, rather than the goal itself. While that could probably be turned into a good haiku, in plain English it means that instead of a single “certification” a product can conform to any number of processes to support the ITIL framework. For example:

  • Incident management
  • Change management
  • Problem management
  • Service-level management
  • Continuity management
  • Configuration management
  • Release management
  • Capacity management
  • Financial management
  • Availability management
  • Security management
  • Help desk management
  • Knowledge Management

Your organization may care about all of these features, or just a small subset. The key point here is that even “ITIL-certified” products may not have the features you are looking for and may only be “certified” in a particular area. Why are we using quotes around “certified” you may be asking? It is because ITIL itself (or rather the Cabinet Office of Her Majesty’s government that administers the ITIL standard) does not offer certifications for software products. There are third-party companies that charge a small-fortune to provide “certification” of a product, but the certification does not come from ITIL. Bottom line is just because a product is “ITIL Certified” it doesn’t mean they have all the processes or features you are looking for.

So where does Web Help Desk fit on the ITIL continuum? Web Help Desk supports the core of ITIL IT service management processes, and allows you to implement them quickly and easily.


The core of IT service management (or service management in general) is ticketing capability as it relates in an incoming flow of incidents. The incident ticket is then routed, has an SLA applied (or not) and is worked in innumerable ways. Incidents can be linked to Problems, Changes, as well as existing assets and the resulting knowledge or root cause can be captured in the knowledge base. Assets are tracked throughout their lifecycle and any changes or incidents related to them are automatically recorded. The Web Help Desk pragmatic approach to ITIL gives you the power of the ITIL framework, with the flexibility and ease of use to make it work for your environment. For more information on how Web Help Desk maps to ITIL processes, please visit:

Level 8

I think you're somewhat overselling WHD in terms of supporting Change Management at the moment. Although you can build processes which assist in managing change, not having a Change ticket type to distinguish from SR\Incident\Problem tickets is not a great start. To be realistic and honest about it, you should take out Change in that graphic and replace with Request Fulfilment, which is supported pretty well.

--Richard A.

Level 15

Hi Richard, thanks for feedback. What we were trying to say is that ITIL is great concept, but sometimes it may be too much. It requires training to be properly used, it even has vocabulary of terms with specific meaning in ITIL! However best practices are meant to make your life and work easier. Therefore WHD is heavily inspired by ITIL, but it doesn't want to make work too complicated by enforcing ITIL. That said, improvements you mentioned are actually on the product roadmap. We want to make changes separate and more prominent. We plan many improvements in change management area, so this will be one of the first steps.

We went through the ITIL phase some years ago.  It was the do-all, be-all, end-all for Management.

My group was severely under-staffed, but we tried to play the game.  I actually had enough stability that I got out of Reactive and was starting to be able to take a few steps into the Proactive realm, and the Predictive and SLA levels seemed doable. 

But then we doubled in size without expanding my department's staffing, and back to Reactive I went.

Now we don't hear about ITIL at all.  It seems its novelty's worn off, and no doubt another new idea that rehashes the old hash will soon be the new latest and greatest.

If it gets me more staff, I'm for it!

Level 9

Management, support, change, creation and implementation of service, it in a nutshell because ITIL is much more than that for sure.

About the Author
Former SolarWinds IT Former SolarWinds PM Current Director of PM @ Vyopta