ITIL® Foundation Essentials ITIL 4 Edition – The ultimate revision guide, an author’s perspective

ITIL 4 is the latest evolution of the leading best-practice framework for ITSM (IT service management). In this blog, service management trainer, consultant and author Claire Agutter discusses her book ITIL® Foundation Essentials ITIL 4 Edition – The ultimate revision guide.

ITIL® Foundation Essentials ITIL 4 Edition – The ultimate revision guide is the no-nonsense guide to ITIL 4 and passing your ITIL 4 Foundation exam.

It’s fully aligned with the course syllabus and gives a clear and concise overview of the concepts introduced in ITIL4, including the Service Value System, service value chain and ITSM (IT service management) practices.

The guide includes everything you need to pass the ITIL Foundation exam and set yourself up for success.

The book has been reviewed and licensed by AXELOS® to validate that it meets the syllabus requirements, so you can be assured that it is aligned with the ITIL qualification scheme.

Why is this book necessary?

I’ve been teaching ITIL Foundation classes since version 2 of the framework, and have been developing e-learning for ITIL and ITSM courses since 2007.

In that time, I’ve learned that there is no one perfect way of delivering knowledge. Training organisations, publishers and educators need to have a range of channels and methods for transferring information to help their customers achieve their learning goals.

This book provides one of these methods. It’s a ‘no waffle’ publication that covers the content from the syllabus – no more, no less. If you want to pass the ITIL 4 Foundation exam, this is one of the most focused sources of information that you’ll find. You can use it on its own or to complement other training resources that you have access to.

The previous version of this publication (ITIL v3 aligned) was used worldwide, and I had positive feedback from many people who said it helped them pass their Foundation exam. Based on the comments I’ve received so far about the ITIL 4 edition, this guide will be even more popular.

Who is the book for?

The book is suitable for a wide range of people. If you’re already an experienced ITSM practitioner, you can use this guide to bring your knowledge up to date with ITIL 4.

If you prefer to self-study, this is the book for you. And if you’ve taken a training course and want a handy refresher of the key facts, you’ll find everything you need.

I’d also love to think that people keep the book in their desk drawer to glance back at when they need to reflect on an ITIL scenario.

The book is also ideal for those new to ITIL and people looking to upgrade their ITIL 2011 certification.


The book is aligned to the ITIL 4 Foundation Syllabus, and includes:

  • Key terms and concepts;
  • Diagrams to help you memorise key concepts;
  • Important terms;
  • A compact and easy to follow structure;
  • Updates to reflect the changes introduced in ITIL 4; and
  • New sections on the guiding principles of ITIL and the four dimensions of service management.

An extract from ITIL® Foundation Essentials ITIL 4 Edition – The ultimate revision guide, explaining how service providers, stakeholders, service relationships and consumers fit into the framework.

Chapter 2: Service management roles

Service provider

The organisation providing a service is a service provider. A service provider can be part of the same organisation as a consumer (for example, an IT department offering services to a sales team) or an external organisation (for example, a software solutions provider selling to customers).

A service provider must understand who its customers or consumers are, and which other stakeholders are part of its wider service relationships.


A stakeholder is “a person or organization that has an interest or involvement in an organization, product, service, practice, or other entity.”

Service relationship

A service relationship is “a co-operation between a service provider and a service consumer. Service relationships include service provision, service consumption, and service relationship management.”

Service consumer

The service consumer is the person or organisation that is receiving a service. Most organisations will act as service providers and service consumers as part of normal service delivery (for example: as a consumer they buy components to build a service they provide as a service provider). Consumer is a broad term that includes customer, user and sponsor.

Customer “A person who defines the requirements for a service and takes responsibility for the outcomes of service consumption.”
User “A person who uses services.”
Sponsor “A person who authorizes budget for service consumption.”

One individual might act as the customer, the user and the sponsor for a service (for example, an individual who enters into a contract to have a mobile phone fulfils all of these roles). In other situations, the roles are held by separate people (for example, a purchasing department procures mobile phones for staff in a sales team).

Defining roles clearly supports:

  • Better communication
  • Better relationships
  • Better stakeholder management

Roles can have different and conflicting expectations about value, what is an essential requirement, and how much they are prepared to pay.

Different stakeholders receive different types of value.

Stakeholder Value example
Service consumer Receives benefits, optimises costs and risks.
Service provider Funding or loyalty from consumers, further business development, reputation enhancement.
Service provider employees Job satisfaction, financial and non-financial rewards, personal development.
Society and community Employment, taxes, corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Charity organisations Financial and non-financial contributions.
Shareholders Financial benefits, such as dividends.


I wish you every success with your ITIL studies,

Claire Agutter