Obtaining an ITIL certification isn’t as important as it once was in the age of DevOps. However, there are still compelling reasons to pursue ITIL certification.
If there were a professional bible for IT engineers, it would be the Information Technology Infrastructure Library or ITIL. Understanding ITIL and showing ITIL expertise through ITIL Certification has long been a prerequisite for many IT roles.
However, ITIL is arguably less significant today. Although it is not time to abandon ITIL, IT engineers whether new to the industry or in established roles trying to advance may be better off investing in other expertise and certifications, depending on their ambitions and location.
What Exactly Is ITIL?
ITIL is a set of rules to assist enterprises in defining and managing IT operations.
Although ITIL is not a compliance framework, it is similar in that it outlines several ideas and procedures for the IT team to follow. For the most part, the ITIL recommendations are written at a high level; the ITIL does not tell you exactly how to do things or which specific technologies to employ, so much as it informs you which essential issues to keep in mind when addressing IT management. This is especially true in the most recent edition of ITIL, ITIL 4, which is less prescriptive than previous incarnations.
For example, ITIL 4 includes a set of standards for managing change in IT processes. It does not specify how to manage changes explicitly, but it does advocate fundamental best practices such as categorizing changes based on their level of risk and importance and managing them accordingly.
History of ITIL
The ITIL framework dates back to the late 1980s. It received various updates over the 2000s but remained unchanged into the 2010s. ITIL 4 did not become available until 2019.
This implies that, until recently, the ITIL had not been revised to reflect the era of DevOps, microservices, containers, and other significant innovations that have changed IT administration over the last decade.
ITIL Certification’s Changing Value in the DevOps Era
Learning the ITIL and obtaining an ITIL certification is arguably less significant than they once were because the ITIL has not done an outstanding job of keeping up with innovation in the IT business. You may be more competitive in the IT job market nowadays if you are certified in DevOps rather than ITIL.
After all, ITIL was the only conceptual framework available to serve as a guide for IT operations just ten or twenty years ago. DevOps, on the other hand, now plays a similar role. Unlike ITIL, is not a single framework or collection of best practices. DevOps provides a conceptual foundation for influencing your organization’s approach to IT operations and associated disciplines.
Focuses on IT operations
The ITIL is also potentially constrained because it narrowly focuses on IT operations. This is a disadvantage in an era when firms are under increasing pressure to “de-silo” their multiple technical teams by promoting cooperation among developers, IT engineers, security engineers, QA experts, and others. Investing in a framework that primarily serves the needs of IT engineers is not a good place to start for cross-organizational collaboration.
Another consideration if you’re considering obtaining ITIL-certified is that some employers may value your ability to demonstrate practical abilities on the platforms they use more than your knowledge of ITIL concepts. In other words, certification in AWS Course or Azure may be more beneficial than certification in ITIL. Engineers who understand how to handle complicated cloud workloads may be more helpful to modern firms than those who understand ITIL’s rather abstract suggestions regarding things like change management.
Location Is Important
It’s also worth mentioning that ITIL carries varying degrees of weight in different geographical places.
It is mainly prevalent in Europe, where it originated and where Axelos is headquartered. In fact, Axelos and ITIL are partially funded by the UK government. ITIL certification is less likely to be prioritized among engineers in the United States.
Overall, ITIL is certainly still vital to many enterprises. A fast check of job boards reveals thousands of advertisements mentioning ITIL, for example. Learning ITIL and obtaining an ITIL certification would not harm you.
Still, whether ITIL expertise is as crucial today as it was 10 or 20 years ago is debatable, particularly in the United States. ITIL is no longer as important as it was in the DevOps age.