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Discontinuation of ITIL v3 in 2022 And New Technological Era


Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) as a set of guidelines that help organizations manage their IT infrastructure, apps, and associated processes. ITIL is one of the leading frameworks the offer the best practices and processes to be adopted in order to provide effective IT service management. To put it simply, it’s what you buy, find the parts which work for your business, implement them, and then, improve them constantly.

Despite its previous versions issued, ITIL v3 has become the best version of this framework. It was released in 2007, and updated in 2011.Because of its effectiveness, it has been widely used by organizations and companies. The success of this framework has become possible due to the fact that ITIL v3 contains strategic elements to implement IT service management in order to meet business requirements. In addition, it is cost effective and its usage guarantees customer satisfaction.

The latest version of this framework, ITIL v4, was released in Feb, 2019. It has become a mark of the new technological era of digital services introduced by AXELOS – a UK joint venture, organized to develop and promote best methodologies designed for professionals that work in service management, project management around the world. So, this new version of ITIL has presented a new approach, known as end-to-end service management approach, which implies the shift from demand to value. It has become essential in the new era of cloud, Agile, DevOps, and transformation.

So, what are the differences between these two versions?

Speaking of the main difference between ITIL v3 and ITIL v4, the shift was done from process to practices. Thus, 5 parts devoted to processes (service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, continual service improvement) have been taken as basis from ITIL v3, transformed, and expanded into 3 parts of ITIL v4 practices (general management, service management, technology management). The 34 practices are designed for any organization, as it has been taken into consideration that each organization is different and requires its own approach/es to run its business.

With ITIL v4 you gain tools to improve the value you create with the business. So, the talk is not about delivering business but working with it to gain the value, thus, co-operation is the key word in terms of ITIL v4. One more difference between ITIL v3 and ITIL v4 is in the service lifecycle, which is the core part in the ITIL v3, while the latter puts there the service value system (SVS). The central part of the SVS is the service value chain with 6 activities (plan-improve-engage-design& transition-obtain/build-deliver& support) to provide value to customers and understand the value for the organization.

Guiding principles also differ in these two versions of ITIL. Thus, 9 guiding principles in ITIL v3 focused on continual service improvement (CSI) have been finalized and introduced as 7 guiding principles in the ITIL v4 version, with the emphasis on the continual improvement (CI).

Four P’s (people/process/product/partners) included in the ITIL v3 framework have been transformed into 4 dimensions developed in the ITIL v4 framework (organizations & people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, value streams and processes). These are the requirements of the current IT market.

Moreover, speaking of ITIL v4, it has put emphasis on automation support and governance in its framework. If the first means the minimum of human intervention in the process and the usage of human resources to gain the maximum effect, then the second point implies demonstrating a governance framework with the focus on the service value system and discussing the ways of guiding and managing any organization.

And the final point is the qualification way. The ITIL certifications are developed, offered, and managed by AXELOS. In the ITIL v3 program the certifications include 5 levels, while the ITIL v4 contains only three. In addition, if you are curious of how the to become ITIL certified and what changes to expect in the certification program, then read on the information below.

AXELOS has already announced that ITIL v3 certifications and exams will be discontinued by the end of 2021. Let’s go through its certification levels, which are as follows:

  • Foundation (launched in February 2019 to equip candidates with the basic ITIL terminology, concepts, and key elements) and already discontinued in July, 2021,
  • Practitioner (helps to support one’s business objectives through using practical guidance on how to deal with the ITIL framework);
  • Intermediate certification is represented by a modular structure, where each module is focused on a definite IT Service Management
  • Master certification testifies your expertise in implementing the appropriate ITIL methods, principles, and techniques in the workplace
  • Expert certification is of the highest level in this ITIL v3 framework, and proves your top-notch skills in applying ITIL best practices.

The current ITIL v4 certification program includes 3 levels:

  • Foundation (to know the ITIL fundamentals)
  • ITIL v4 certification streams, which include:
  1. ITIL v4 Managing Professional or
  2. ITIL v4 Strategic Leader
  3. ITIL 4 Extension Modules
  • ITIL Master

So how to stay relevant on the IT market if you are ITIL v3 certified?

If you possess the ITIL v3 Foundation certification, you need to pass a transition exam – Upgrade to ITIL v4 Foundation. The exam can be taken till June 2022. If you don’t do so, you will start from the very beginning, from the v4 Foundation level. Then, if you are ITIL v3 Expert certified with 17 or more credits, you can sit for the ITIL v4 Managing Professional Transition module and exam. This is how you can earn the ITIL v4 MP certification. If you are ITIL v3 Expert or Master, you need to take the ITIL v4 Managing Transition module. But remember, that the time to pass the exams is limited. As it is stated on the AXELOS website, after the 1st of Jan, 2022 all ITIL v3 exams and training courses will be discontinued.


ITIL framework is one of the leading ones among companies and organizations that are interested in providing business value and outcomes. Since changes determine your success, ITIL v3 framework is no exception. To stay competitive one has to possess the most updated skills, thus the ITIL v4 is a promising upgrade which meet modern requirements of the IT market. So, this new version comprises the best and the most effective practices to be adopted in your business process. And, in terms of one’s qualification, new certification will help you upgrade your skills and successfully function in this constantly developing world.