ISO 20000: The International Standard for Service Management

What is ISO/IEC 20000?

ISO/IEC 20000 is the international standard for service management. Part 1 of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard lays out a specification for a service management system (SMS). Part 2 provides guidance on SMS implementation. On this page you'll find information on the ISO/IEC 20000 standard itself, as well as relevant books, training and resources.

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Benefits of ISO 20000

ISO 20000 can help your organisation benchmark its ITSM, improve services, demonstrate its ability to meet customer requirements and create a framework for independent assessment.

Some of the most common benefits of ISO 20000 certification for service providers are that it:

  • Offers competitive differentiation by demonstrating reliability and high quality of service;
  • Gives access to key markets, as many organisations in the public sector mandate that their IT service providers demonstrate compliance with ISO 20000;
  • Provides assurance to clients that their service requirements will be fulfilled;
  • Enforces a measurable level of effectiveness and a culture of continual improvement by enabling service providers to monitor, measure and review their service management processes and services;
  • Drives down the costs of conformance to a multitude of regulations, including the PCI DSS and Sarbanes-Oxley;
  • Helps leverage ITIL practices to optimise resources and processes.

ISO 20000 parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

ISO 20000 uses a process-based approach for continual improvement and is split into five parts.

Parts 1 and 2 outline the requirements for implementing a service management system (SMS) that enables IT service providers to enhance the quality of service they deliver to internal and external customers.

Part 1: Service management system requirements

Part 1 - ISO 20000-1:2011 - provides requirements for ITSM and is relevant to those responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining ITSM in their organisation. It provides a specification for an SMS. Organisations can have their SMSs independently certified as conforming to the requirements of ISO 20000-1:2011.

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Part 2: Guidance on the application of service management systems

Part 2 - ISO 20000-2:2012 - describes the best practices for service management processes within the scope of part 1.

Part 3: Guidance on scope definition and applicability of ISO/IEC 20000-1

Part 3 - ISO 20000-3:2012 - provides vital information on writing a scope for an SMS, as well as providing information on implementing an ISO 20000-1 SMS.

Part 4: Process reference model

Part 4 - ISO 20000-4:2012 - helps you develop a process assessment model according to ISO/IEC 15504 process assessment principles.

Part 5: Exemplar implementation plan for ISO/IEC 20000-1

Part 5 - ISO 20000-5:2012 - provides an implementation plan for an SMS that meets the requirements of ISO 20000-1.

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