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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.

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What is ISO 20000?

ISO 20000 enables IT organisations (whether in-house, outsourced or external) to ensure that their IT service management processes are properly aligned with international best-practice requirements and with the needs of the business.

Broadly aligned with ITI, ISO 20000 helps organisations assess their performance and how they deliver managed services, and measure their service levels.

IT Governance has a wide range of books, tools, professional services and information to assist you with your ISO 20000 project:

ISO 20000 Standard

ISO 27001 Certified ISMS Foundation Training Course

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 specifies the requirements for a service management system (SMS) and how organisations can establish, implement, maintain and improve an SMS.

The Standard can be used by organisations:

  • performing conformity assessments against ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018;
  • that would like to improve the planning, design, transition, delivery and improvement of their services with an SMS;
  • that are looking to measure, monitor and review their SMS; 
  • that would like to demonstrate their capability in terms of the planning, design, transition, delivery and improvement of their services; and

ISO/IEC 20000 Documentation Toolkit

ISO 27001 Certified ISMS Foundation Training Course

Accelerate your ISO 20000 project with this toolkit.

Designed and developed by ISO 20000 lead auditors and consultants, and enhanced by more than ten years of customer feedback and continual improvement, this ISO 20000 toolkit provides all the ITSMS documents you need to comply with the Standard.

ISO/IEC 20000: A Pocket Guide

ISO 27001 Certified ISMS Foundation Training Course

This pocket guide is a handy reference to the key information on ISO/IEC 20000. It features an overview of the purpose of the standard and shows how to use it. It explains qualification programmes, certification schemes and the interrelationship of ISO20000 with other standards, such as ISO27001.

The overall emphasis of the guide is on ISO20000's customer-driven approach to ensure your IT service management processes align with the needs of your business

Implementing Service Quality Based on ISO/IEC 20000

ISO 27001 Certified ISMS Foundation Training Course

Michael Kunas' Implementing Service Quality based on ISO/IEC 20000 gives a clear and detailed breakdown of the explanations of the individual processes outlined in 2011 edition of the ISO 20000 Standard.

It explains step-by step how to carry out a successful implementation, including advice on how to prepare for audit and carry out a gap analysis to increase your chances of success.

ITSM, ITIL® & ISO/IEC 20000 Implementation Toolkit

ISO 27001 Certified ISMS Foundation Training Course

The AXELOS-accredited, essential toolkit by Jenny Dugmore and Shirley Lacy, two of the leading experts on the ISO/IEC 20000 standard. 

This toolkit will allow your organisation to Deploy IT service management (ITSM) best practice quickly and cost-effectively


Benefits of ISO 20000

ISO 20000 certification:

  • Sets you apart from the competition by demonstrating reliability and high-quality service.
  • Provides access to critical markets (e.g. many public-sector organisations mandate that their IT service providers are ISO 20000 compliant).
  • Assures clients that their service requirements will be fulfilled.
  • Renders effectiveness measurable, enforcing a process-based approach for continual improvement as part of your company culture.
  • Reduces the costs of complying with multiple regulations, including the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • Leverages ITIL practices to optimise resources and processes.

Implementing an ISO 20000 SMS can help you:

  • Improve your IT service management services;
  • Create a framework for independent assessment; and
  • Meet customer requirements.

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 Standard were released in 2011 and 2012 respectively.


Need help with ISO 20000 implementation?

IT Governance’s expert consultants can help you implement an ISO 20000 SMS and gain certification to the Standard.