ITSM Vs. ITIL: What Are The Prominent Differences?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 21 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recent developments in technology enables businesses to effectively streamline their operations and serve customers better. It is easier to coordinate these technologies and provide customers with excellent service using information technology service management (ITSM) frameworks and information technology infrastructure libraries (ITILs). You may better comprehend how different frameworks interact with ITSM and ITILs by understanding their differences. In this article, we compare ITSM vs. ITIL based on some crucial parameters and list a few benefits of each technology.


While comparing ITSM vs. ITIL, it is beneficial to consider certain crucial parameters:


ITSM refers to the method an IT team uses to manage its information systems and produce value for customers and users. It includes the tasks a business completes to develop, run and maintain IT-related services and infrastructure. For instance, a business might opt to address IT problems before they disrupt workflows and services. Delivering IT as a service and ensuring that the company uses the appropriate people, procedures and technologies to accomplish its goals is the overarching aim of ITSM.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a collection of practices or processes that enable enterprises to match IT services with organisational requirements. This library's first collection includes more than 30 books in its first edition. Service strategy, continuous service improvement, service operation, service transition and service design are the five main components of ITIL.

Related: 44 ITIL Interview Questions With Sample Answers


ITIL is a popular ITSM framework. While ITIL is a subset of ITSM, not all ITSM frameworks use ITIL. Businesses that utilise ITSM may opt to adopt a different kind of framework, such COBIT, which is a guideline for managing IT enterprise. ITIL is a type of framework that businesses may use to manage IT services through ITSM.

Related: What Are The Popular Courses In IT? (Scope And Details)


The focus of ITSM and ITIL is another crucial point of difference. Internally, ITSM is typically micro-focused on the IT department. ITIL is broadly oriented at the entire business operation.


While ITSM concentrates on diverse management functions such as project management, ITIL concentrates on cost-effective tactics. The ITIL's components cover many phases of the IT service life cycle. ITSM primarily focuses on how an organisation manages its technologies to provide consumers with useful services.

Related: Information Technology Skills (With Definitions And Tips)

What Is DevOps?

DevOps is a framework that integrates professional philosophies, tools and practices to enhance an organisation's capacity for quick product delivery. It derives its name from the phrase's operations and development. DevOps' primary objective is to get the IT team to collaborate on bug fixes, software updates and features for quick delivery. Collaboration, automation, integration, continuous delivery and testing are components in this strategy.

Related: 75 DevOps Interview Questions And Sample Answers (With Tips)

ITSM vs. DevOps

ITSM tends to have a broader focus than DevOps since it looks at all aspects of customer engagement. The following are some other ways ITSM differs from DevOps:


The focus of ITSM and DevOps differs in one fundamental aspect. DevOps is more focused on people and technology, whereas ITSM is more process-intensive. Smaller and mid-sized businesses often succeed with DevOps while larger businesses typically succeed with ITSM. DevOps favours speed, whereas ITSM typically favours stability.

Related: What Does A DevOps Engineer Do And How To Become One

Speed of change

DevOps, in contrast to ITSM, strives to quickly respond to changes in IT operations. This entails recognising issues as soon as possible so that businesses can respond appropriately and implement any necessary modifications to processes and infrastructure. Meanwhile, ITSM is focused on providing high-quality output for end users and is less concerned with speed of delivery.


Another distinction between ITSM and DevOps is the hierarchical structure of ITSM, using which IT administrators establish operational policies. DevOps is often more collaborative and encourages a community of contributors to suggest potential fixes for issues. For those who use DevOps, this increases application development flexibility. While ITSM adopts a more centralised control strategy, DevOps empowers team members to take charge and advance utility.

Benefits Of Using DevOps

DevOps can help companies achieve faster delivery times through the use of automation and quick feedback cycles. Companies using this framework can improve their customers' experience significantly. The following are some benefits of using DevOps:

  • Detecting defections earlier in the process

  • Allowing teams to develop and integrate code continuously

  • Improving collaboration between teams

  • Stabilising work environments

  • Enhancing product quality

  • Creating more time for innovation due to the automation of repetitive tasks

  • Providing fast problem-solving techniques

Related: How Much Do DevOps Engineers Make? (And How To Become One)

Why Is ITSM Important?

ITSM refers to all the tasks a company performs to organise, provide, manage and oversee information technology (IT) services to staff members. To deliver value, ITSM ensures that the right combination of people, procedures and technologies are in place. Technical assistance is only one aspect of ITSM and it addresses more than just routine problems.

An IT department is made up of many roles. Reliant on direction from company and IT executives, IT service professionals analyse needs and create a strategy for developing and maintaining IT infrastructure. A help desk typically resolves routine issues. Each of these positions is required to communicate with one another and make suggestions for improvement. Based on a process-based approach that is centred on customers' demands and high-quality IT services, ITSM manages the entire spectrum of roles and services in this domain.

Some Useful ITSM Frameworks

These are a few useful ITSM frameworks:


Organisations in the telecommunications sector can use the expanded Telecom Operations Map or eTOM framework. It consists of three hierarchically ordered processes for best practices, models and standards. These procedures provide an organisation with certain standards and values to manage its operations and deliver customer service, and also define terminology and concepts. This usually enhances communication between staff members and between various teams.

Six Sigma

Many different fields use the Six Sigma management system. This methodology entails setting high goals, collecting information and carefully evaluating outcomes. With Six Sigma, businesses employ the information they gain from data warehouses to minimise product and service flaws, resulting in better-quality goods for the business and more consumer value.

Related: Six Sigma Interview Questions (With Answers And Tips)


TOGAF or The Open Group Architecture Framework is a framework that helps in increasing organisational effectiveness and developing frameworks for deploying new technology. It seeks to identify business objectives and match these objectives with software development architecture goals. This might aid businesses in implementing software more effectively. This approach seeks to aid firms in building precise enterprise architecture life cycle processes.


Control Objectives for Information-related Technologies (COBIT) framework enables firms to effectively create information management and governance plans by standardising procedures. This framework offers tools for developing, assessing and enhancing such procedures after adoption, in addition to offering solutions to help with risk management. It is common for COBIT to operate with other systems like ITIL and TOGAF.


ITIL 4 is the latest edition of ITIL. It integrates service management experience with practical knowledge to give businesses advice on how to modify their services to accommodate common changes pertaining to Agile, DevOps and cloud computing workflows. The service value system (SVS) and the four dimensions model are two major components of ITIL 4.

Factors To Consider While Implementing ITSM

To deploy ITSM processes, a cultural shift is also necessary. Customers or end users are required to view IT as a service provider rather than just another division within a company. While establishing ITSM procedures, there are a variety of factors to consider. These are some important ones:

  • Maturity of the firm: An organisation's size and its rate of expansion influences its decision to implement ITSM processes. Rapid growth also supports the use of ITSM.

  • Problem statement: Identifying problems and detailing their aspects in the form of a statement is typically the start of an IT-related process. Depending on the issue, implementing ITSM may or may not lead to a solution.

  • Framework to be adopted: Consider the framework that you want to use. Almost all frameworks succeed in achieving structure and predictability but the methods each framework uses may vary.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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