ISO/IEC 20000 is the first worldwide standard specifically aimed at IT Service Management. It describes an integrated set of management processes for the effective delivery of services to the business and its customers.

ISO/IEC 20000 is aligned with and complementary to the process approach defined within ITIL from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).

ISO/IEC 20000 consists of two parts:

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 is the formal Specification and defines the requirements for an organisation to deliver managed services of an acceptable quality for its customers. The scope includes:

  • >> Requirements for a management system;
  • >> Planning and implementing service management;
  • >> Planning and implementing new or changed services;
  • >> Service delivery process;
  • >> Relationship processes;
  • >> Resolution processes;
  • >> Control processes;
  • >> Release processes.

ISO/IEC 20000-2:2005 is the Code of Practice and describes the best practices for Service Management processes within the scope of ISO/IEC 20000-1. The code of Practice will be of particular use to organisations preparing to be audited against ISO/IEC 20000 or planning service improvements.

ISO/IEC 20000 Contributions

The ISO/IEC 20000 standard is being adopted globally by 100s of companies and organizations already. Many have even been certified. Not so much to use the certification as a marketing advantage, but most often to show to the customers of IT’s services that the IT department/organization is taking the quality of services seriously. Below you will find a list of considerations the ISO/IEC 20000 standard could be a valuable contribution:

  • >> When comparing IT service providers. ISO/IEC 20000 provides uniform and common language as well as a norm for benchmarking
  • >> When selecting an IT service provider. An IT organization can express added value when offering its services and distinguish itself from its competition
  • >> When an IT department/organization is looking for ways to better understand the needs of the customer. ISO/IEC 20000 can be a norm to improve IT governance
  • >> When needing guidance to determine which best practices to focus on first when adopting industry best practices to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the IT department/organization
  • >> When seeking increased transparency of IT service provision costs, risks, IT budgets and costs
  • >> When looking for ways to implement changes faster and more effective and when seeking for a norm to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • >> When attempting to better align the IT department’s/organization’s services to a third party’s services, creating a uniform chain of services in particular from a process perspective
  • >> When looking for an effective method and uniform guidelines to outsource or offshore through a well-aligned process interfaces and common and consistent nomenclature. A norm which regulates outsourcing
  • >> When seeking a norm for reliable and available quality IT services
  • >> When looking for evidence that IT’s processes are in compliance with international financial and security norms, rules and regulations
  • >> When going for a broad range of quality improvements within the IT department/organization, as well as boosting IT’s professional image
  • >> When looking for an independent and non-biased baseline to weigh service providers against and use it as a norm Most likely you will find a reason that resonates when going over this list which meets your short or long term service quality improvement needs.

ISO/IEC 20000 Benefits

ISO/IEC 20000 provides a framework and systematic approach to managing the IT Service Management processes to deliver an IT service that conforms to the customer expectations. Implementing ISO/IEC 20000 improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the business process and it saves money. Most companies implementing ISO/IEC 20000 have experienced an increase in process efficiency, higher customer satisfaction and improved service quality. An ISO/IEC 20000 certified IT department or IT organization complies to globally accepted norms regarding the development and the delivery of IT services. For customers it will become easier to compare these IT service providers. There are many other benefits of being certified or simply using the standard even when not seeking certification. Below you will find a few examples.

  • >> To qualify for new customers; more and more companies and organizations consider ISO/IEC 20000 certification an essential requirement for conducting business with a new vendor
  • >> To enter global markets; the ISO/IEC 20000 standards are widely recognized
  • >> To objectively measure the level of compliance to industry best practices
  • >> To have better information available for numerous purposes
  • >> To better streamline to various process improvements that may go on simultaneously in an IT department
  • >> To provide guidance with prioritizing the best practices to be implemented in an IT department
  • >> To give a company or organization a competitive edge
  • >> To show a drive for quality services
  • >> To objectively assess and benchmark IT’s level of maturity
  • >> To increase customer focus and transparency of value provided to the business
  • >> To establish a mentality of continual improvement in IT

The Certification Process

The ISO/IEC 20000 certification process consists of seven steps:

  • >> Complete a questionnaire
  • >> Apply for an assessment
  • >> Conduct an optional pre-audit
  • >> Conduct an initial audit (stage 1)
  • >> Conduct the certification audit (stage 2)
  • >> Conduct surveillance audits
  • >> Conduct the re-certification audits



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