ISO/IEC 20000: The International Standard for Service Management


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.

If you need help with your ISO/IEC 20000 project, call us on 00 800 48 484 484 today!

What is ISO 20000?

ISO/IEC 20000, often referred to simply as ISO 20000, is the international IT Service Management standard that enables IT organisations (whether in-house, outsourced or external) to ensure that their IT service management processes are aligned both with the needs of the business and with international best practice.

ISO/IEC 20000 helps organisations benchmark how they deliver managed services, measure service levels, and assess their performance. It is broadly aligned with, and draws strongly on, ITIL®.

This site offers a wide range of books, tools, professional services and information to assist you with your ISO 20000 project:

Benefits of ISO 20000

ISO 20000 can assist your organisation in benchmarking its IT service management, improving its services, demonstrating an ability to meet customer requirements and creating a framework for an 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/IEC 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 has two main parts under the general title Information technology - Service management. They enable IT service providers to identify how to enhance the quality of service they deliver to their customers, both internally and externally.

  • Part 1: Specification (ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011) provides requirements for IT service management and is relevant to those responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining IT service management in their organisation. It provides an SMS specification.
  • Part 2: Code of practice (ISO/IEC 20000-2:2012) describes the best practices for service management processes within the scope of ISO/IEC 20000-1.

ISO 20000 uses a process-based approach for continual improvement. Find out more about implementing ISO 20000 here.

Organisations can have their IT service management systems independently certified as conforming to the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011. The two mains parts of ISO 20000 are not clear on scoping. They say, simply, that ‘the requirements for a service provider to deliver managed services of an acceptable quality for its customers.’

This is where ISO/IEC 20000-3:2012 comes in. ISO 20000-3 provides vital information on writing a scope for a service management system (SMS), as well as providing information on implementing an ISO/IEC 20000-1 SMS. ISO 20000-4 will help you develop a process assessment model according to ISO/IEC 15504 process assessment principles. The final part of the ISO 20000 standard, ISO 20000-5, provides an implementation plan for an SMS that meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1.


The ISO/IEC 20000 2011/2012 update

The current versions of Parts 1 and 2 of the ISO/IEC standard were released in 2011 and 2012 respectively.


ITIL & ISO 20000

There is an important and close relationship between ISO 20000 and ITIL®, the IT Infrastructure Library®. You can read all about ITIL, and the relationship between ITIL and ISO 20000 in the web's largest library of ITIL and IT service management books, tools, training and learning resources.


Need assistance with ISO 20000 implementation?

The IT Governance expert consultants can help you implement a service management system compliant with the Standard and gain ISO 20000 certification. 

Click here to find out more about our ISO 20000 consultancy service or call us on 00 800 48 484 484 today.

Need assistance with ISO 20000 implementation?

The IT Governance expert consultants can help you implement a service management system compliant with the Standard and gain ISO 20000 certification.