To remain competitive, businesses face the challenge of an increasing amount of data which IT professionals must collect, analyze and distribute. Following practices consistent with the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) can address these challenges directly.
ITIL certification provides IT managers, directors, consultants and business analysts an understanding of best practices IT service management strategy, as well as a comprehensive understanding of business requirements—and that gives them, and the companies which employ them, a professional edge.
What IS ITIL Certification?
It’s important to note that ITIL is not a tool but a set of practices the purpose of which is to help companies reduce costs and streamline processes. CIO describes ITIL best practices as follows:
“ITIL practices are designed to help companies identify areas where they need improvement, providing vendor-neutral guidelines on where to make specific changes to reduce costs and increase productivity. For example, you may use ITIL practices to reduce helpdesk traffic by implementing self-help sections on your company's website or you may use ITIL guidelines to decide whether something is done in-house or by a third-party.”
Once certified, IT professionals can help their companies maximize product effectiveness and reduce response time. This in turn increases customer satisfaction and reduces resource expenditures, making companies more productive, and more profitable.
Are There Different Levels of ITIL Certification?
Depending on their current role within their organizations (and their own professional goals), IT professionals can seek 4 levels of ITIL certification:
- Foundation level certification: this is the lowest level of certification, providing a basic understanding of ITIL and how to implement it within their companies. Foundation level certification familiarizes professionals with standard terminology and general knowledge to provide ITIL services support and delivery.
- Intermediate level certification: this level includes several specialized training modules from which professionals can choose to best meet their needs, and those of the businesses for which they work. There are 2 primary sections: (1) service lifecycle, which teaches how to manage ITIL processes; and (2) service capability, which provides in-depth knowledge on ITIL processes. To successfully complete the intermediate level, candidates must also pass the ITIL Managing Across the Lifecycle qualification, which helps them transition to expert level certification.
- Expert level certification: at this level, candidates gain the detailed skills and knowledge to comprehend the totality of the ITIL scheme. Like the former level, knowledge is delivered in discrete modules from which candidates can choose to best meet their professional needs. Expert level certification requires gaining a comprehensive understanding of the complete ITIL service lifecycle.
- Master level certification: this is the highest level of certification, designed for professionals who are responsible for the planning, management and operation of service management operations. Master level certification can be applied to a wide variety of industries. Achieving this level of certification demonstrates that a professional is fully competent to apply his understanding of ITIL to achieve specific business outcomes.
Why Is ITIL Certification Important?
IT professionals who obtain ITIL certification bring a unique set of skills to the companies for which they work, and that makes them more attractive to current and future employers. Certification demonstrates a solid commitment to be at the forefront of IT and help companies achieve their key business objectives. IT directors, managers and consultants who gain certification are equipped with a “universal language” of IT best practices, making it possible for them to communicate and network more effectively with other highly-skilled ITIL professionals anywhere in the world.
Also, IT professionals with ITIL certification help the companies for which they work accurately measure service performance and streamline data management to improve efficiency, communication and response time. Said differently, as the amount of data which companies must manage continues to increase, so will the need for IT professionals with a detailed understanding of IT processes. ITIL certification provides that competence, and in this way helps businesses remain competitive.