What are the differences and similarities between COBIT and ITIL? This is a question on the minds of many people. This post aims to help settle that doubt and clear things up for you. 

COBIT and ITIL have been used for many years by Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) professionals. Together, COBIT and ITIL are a robust foundation for governance and management of IT services, regardless of whether they are internal services, outsourced, or business partners.

COBIT is primarily concerned with guiding organizations in the implementation, operation and improvement of governance and IT management processes.

ITIL offers good practice guidelines for managing and executing IT services, from the perspective of business value creation.

COBIT describes the principles that support an organization and is geared toward corporate needs, mainly those related to the use of IT assets and resources by the organization.

ITIL describes, in more detail, the parts of IT that are related to service management (process activities, organizational structures etc.).

The difference between the two can be described like this: COBIT describes the ‘what’ and ITIL describes the ‘how’. Although it is an interesting way to put it, this view is very simplistic and seems to force the choice between one of the two models.

It is more correct to say that companies and professionals looking to solve their business needs in the ITSM area will be better served if they consider the use of both models at the same time.

This unified approach helps to solve business problems and maximizes the attaining of corporate goals, leveraging your strengths and adapting their use according to needs.

Is it clearer now? If you want to delve deeper into the subject, have a look at the official websites of Cobit and Itil.


Tobias Schroeder


Tobias Schroeder

MBA in Strategic Management from UFPR. Business and market analyst at SoftExpert, a software provider for enterprise-wide business processes automation, improvement, compliance management and corporate governance.

You might also like:

Get free content in your inbox!

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get content about corporate management's best practices produced by specialists.

By clicking the button below, you confirm that you have read and accept our Privacy Policy.