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COBIT vs ITIL | Differences and Which Should You Learn?

Last updated on 31st Oct 2022, Artciles, Blog

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Varun Vasanth (ITIL Data Expert )

Varun Vasanth is an ITIL Data Expert with 6+ years of experience and he has expertise in ITSM/ITIL Service Implementations. His articles help to impart knowledge and skills in the core field and get students to acquire informative skills.

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    • In this article you will learn
    • 1.What exactly is this COBIT?
    • 2.The COBIT framework adheres to the following guiding principles
    • 3.What exactly is an ITIL®?
    • 4.Comparing COBIT with ITIL: the key differences between the two frameworks
    • 5.The Comparison between ITIL and COBIT
    • 6.How do ITIL and COBIT coincide?
    • 7.Conclusion

What exactly is this COBIT ?

COBIT stands for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies. It is a collection of principles and recommendations that was first presented in 1996 with the intention of assisting management in getting the most out of their available IT resources. COBIT bridges the gap between IT goals and business goals by providing resources to build, oversee, and improve its implementation. At the same time, it helps to reduce costs, uphold privacy standards, and give structure and oversight to the IT functions that are carried out within an organisation. COBIT is also referred to as a framework or a methodology.

COBIT’s primary components include:

  • Manage the goals in question.
  • Frameworks.
  • Management guidelines.
  • Models of maturation.
  • Process descriptions.

The COBIT framework adheres to the following guiding principles:

  • Implementing a single unified structure throughout the company.
  • Facilitating the adoption of a comprehensive strategy.
  • Complete protection of the business from every angle.
  • Meeting stakeholder needs.
  • Keeping management and governance distinct and separate.

What exactly is an ITIL®?

Information Technology Infrastructure Library is what’s meant by the acronym ITIL®. It is a framework that was created with the intention of managing an organization’s information technology services by using a collection of best practises, planning, and selection over the whole of the lifecycle. IT service management is the primary emphasis of ITIL®, which approaches problem solving from the viewpoint of the IT department. ITIL® is a business organisation tool that assists companies in organising the everyday activities and routines of an IT workforce.

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) may be broken down into the following five components:

Focusing on replicating the entire IT Service Delivery model in such a way that it flawlessly satisfies the organization’s structure and requirements while at the same time putting in place the procedures required to monitor and update configuration items in accordance with those requirements and the impact they have on the organisation is an example of service strategy.

Service Design is the process of designing and continually analysing a set of information technology processes and service processes that are tailored to meet the requirements of the organisation.

Service Transition: Identifying Risk Factors and Taking Precautions to Reduce Them Through Effortful Planning and Change Management.

Service Operation is the process of ensuring that everyday operations are carried out successfully by offering recurrent support tasks using resources such as a service desk and backups, to mention just a few examples.

Looking at established key performance indicators (KPIs) and their development, identifying any difficulties and bottlenecks, and completing the necessary analysis to produce optimization ideas is an essential part of continuous service improvement.

Comparing COBIT with ITIL: The key differences between the two frameworks

The most essential issue that emerges for those who are interested in going through with the ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) Implementation is, which framework should be used? Both COBIT and ITIL are certainly excellent technologies that may be used for IT service management. To put this into perspective, we may argue that the COBIT scope of coverage is more extensive than that of ITIL.

The COBIT framework may be seen as a collection of best practises for high-level management that can help individuals comprehend how they should approach their IT organisation. On the other hand, ITIL may be interpreted in the form of a road map, which details the steps that need to be completed in order to manage and organise the everyday procedures of IT staff. These two separate platforms are distinct from one another in a number of important respects and are not interchangeable. Permit me to provide a more in-depth explanation of these distinctions by referring to the following points:

The remit of both COBIT and ITIL respectively:

Both COBIT and ITIL essentially cover the same field of work, and information technology professionals have been using both for a significant amount of time in IT service management. When utilised in conjunction with one another, COBIT and ITIL are able to provide companies direction about governance and management. However, it would not be incorrect to state that COBIT takes a far more comprehensive approach than what is offered by a typical IT service management (ITSM) system.

The Comparison between ITIL and COBIT Let’s have a look at the detailed comparison of these two types of platforms in terms of IT and Governance Frameworks that has been provided below.

  • The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides a route that may be followed to manage all of the IT services across their respective ITIL life cycles.
  • COBIT primarily focuses on how enterprise information technology may be governed to maximise the amount of money made or value created by an organisation.
  • ITIL focuses on the components of corporate information technology, which are essentially the facilitators of service management and include things like process activities and organisational structures, among other things.
  • COBIT is based on a collection of principles and enablers that help businesses satisfy the demands of their stakeholders. These needs are primarily concerned with how an organisation makes use of its information technology resources and assets across the board.
  • IT Infrastructure Library is essentially a solution or platform for managing information technology services.
  • COBIT addresses both the management and the governance aspects of an organization’s information technology.

The COBIT and ITIL approaches, both of which are used in IT Governance Frameworks.

COBIT has a business perspective, which implies that it implements a top-down strategy for your organization’s information technology (IT). ITIL, on the other hand, approaches its operations from an information technology point of view, using a bottom-up methodology. Aside from this, COBIT is useful for differentiating between the governance and management of information technology. Management may be compared to a strategy, while governance is more along the lines of a tactic. IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is responsible for completing duties that are linked to management, whereas COBIT is responsible for completing tasks that are related to governance.

How do ITIL and COBIT coincide?

Since COBIT and ITIL cover almost the same ground in their respective activities, it is difficult to pick between the two of them. There are a number of processes on both platforms that are equivalent to one another. For example, the BAI06 Managing Changes process in COBIT is equivalent to the ITIL Change Management process. In addition, ITIL does not include a particular process for risk management, but the risk management process known as APO12 is included in COBIT. As a result, we can see that both platforms have certain overlapping features, and you need to keep in mind that if COBIT functions as an antibiotic, then ITIL will function as an aspirin.

Both of these platforms contribute significantly to IT service management (ITSM), and although their aims are similar, they are unique from one another. The ITIL method of approaching development is always being refined, and developers are always looking for ways to improve it. Simply put, we may argue that there is no other choice accessible except ITIL, although the market offers a variety of options outside COBIT. On the other hand, there is no other option besides COBIT. In a corporate information technology setting, COBIT is often employed for audit duties, whereas ITIL is used for enhancing procedures. Since we are in charge of managing the IT for a company, we strongly suggest utilising both of these platforms together, rather than selecting just one of them.


To put it in simpler terms, we may say that COBIT is essentially a framework that is used by established and major IT businesses. To control it effectively demands a significant amount of corporate IT as well as a large number of individual IT operations. On the other hand, if you are still in the planning stages of putting up an organisation, ITIL can be the right solution for you.

Therefore, if you are unsure whether to go with COBIT vs. ITIL or COBIT plus ITIL, our recommendation is that you choose ITIL in the early stage of the implementation of your ITSM system. On the other hand, after you have gained the necessary skills and experience, you have the option of upgrading to a more advanced form of IT service management known as COBIT. This article covers all of the significant key aspects and essential facts that are associated with COBIT and ITIL. At this point, it is entirely up to you to choose how you will put these incredible platforms to use.

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