How Microsoft Solutions Help Put the ITIL Framework into Practice

Published: March 3, 2008


The Microsoft strategy for IT service management is to provide guidance and software solutions that enable organizations to achieve mission-critical system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability of the Microsoft platform. The strategy includes a model for organizations and IT pros to assess their current IT infrastructure maturity, prioritize processes of greatest concern, and apply proven principles and best practices to optimize performance on the Microsoft platform.

Microsoft has been actively involved with the ITIL community since 1999, both by adapting it and by contributing to ITIL content and publications. ITIL provides a broad spectrum of guidance documents that cover IT service delivery, management, and support, as well as elements of IT infrastructure, security, and application management. It promotes the practice of applying descriptive guidance to achieve focused improvement in various areas of service management on a continuing basis.

ITIL v3 defines the top-level processes and functions that constitute best practices in IT management and the service life cycle. This top-level approach provides an excellent way to organize IT activities and deliverables for effective service management throughout the IT service life cycle. 

ITIL v3 defines the five phases of the service life cycle as follows:

  • Service Strategy. How to design, develop, and implement service management not only as an organizational capability but also as a strategic asset.
  • Service Design. How to design and develop services and service management processes that convert strategic objectives into portfolios of services and service assets.
  • Service Transition. How to take designed services into the live environment.
  • Service Operation. How to successfully manage services on an ongoing basis.
  • Continual Service Improvement. How to create and maintain value for customers through better design, introduction, and operation of services.

Through the integration of Microsoft Solutions Framework, Microsoft Operations Framework, and the recent addition of the Continuous Improvement Roadmap (CIR), Microsoft delivers guidance for managing IT services throughout the life cycle. MSF, MOF, and the CIR have been developed using the data and wisdom of the Microsoft ecosystem of users, customers, partners, and internal IT and research groups. Figure 2 demonstrates the alignment of the Microsoft frameworks to ITIL v3. 

Figure 2. How the Microsoft strategy for IT life-cycle management aligns with ITIL v3

In addition, MOF, MSF, and the CIR provide a way to demonstrate how Microsoft products, technologies, guidance, and solutions link to ITIL concepts and support putting them into practice.

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