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IT Service Management (ITSM)

IT service management (more commonly known as service management) is a set of processes and functions that help align IT with organisational goals and deliver value.

ITIL® is the most commonly used approach for IT service management.

On this page we detail many of the relevant approaches to ITSM, plus the relevant books, tools and qualifications.

What is on this page:

What is IT Service Management (ITSM)?

IT service management is a set of processes and functions that help to align IT with organisational goals and deliver value. Sometimes referred to now simply as service management, ITSM focuses on delivering services that have a focus on the end user and that have an adequate amount of utility (fitness for purpose) and warranty (fitness for use).

IT service management is about more than ITIL. While ITIL does provide a basis for IT service management, the development of an international standard for IT Service Management, ISO/IEC 20000, has been crucial to the long term take up of IT service management around the world.

ITSM Books

For those new to ITSM, we recommend the following books:

See our Webshop for our full range of ITSM books.


ITSM Qualifications and Training

Accredited ITIL service management qualifications such as ITIL Expert certification can be achieved, and there is a wide range of classroom seminars and distance learning products that are designed to assist individuals to prepare for them. Read more about IT service management qualifications, training courses and distance learning options here.

ISO20000 training is available for professionals who require the skills and knowledge to implement the ISO20000 standard.

ITSM Toolkits

IT service management toolkits provide practitioners and IT professionals with proven methodologies and tools that will enable them to accelerate their IT service management projects. We have a range of toolkits available to help you in whatever stage you are at with your project. See the ITSM, ITIL® & ISO20000 Documentation Toolkit by IT service management experts Shirley Lacy and Jenny Dugmore.

ISO/IEC 20000

ISO/IEC 20000 is the international service management standard. ISO20000 enables organisations to ensure that their IT service management processes are aligned with business needs and international best practice. You can read more about ISO20000 here. We recommend the following ISO20000 titles:

Service Level Agreements

Service level agreements (or SLAs) are at the heart of IT service management and are used to describe agreed levels of service between a service provider and a customer. These are applicable both inside and outside an organisation.

Read more on our designated SLA page.

IT Service Management and Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement, a cornerstone of an effective IT service management environment, is fundamentally dependent on gathering and using meaningful measurements (metrics). The Definitive Guide to IT Service Metrics provides comprehensive, current guidance on how best to tackle this critical subject.

Capability Maturity Models

The concept of a capability maturity model (CMM) is common to most IT service management frameworks. Understanding how a CMM approach works is fundamental to any long-term service improvement strategy. A framework that makes use of capability maturity models is COBIT.

Buy COBIT 5 here.

The Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge (USMBOK)

The Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge (USMBOK) is a collection of best practices for service management that are based on the experiences of practitioners or sourced from published literature.

USMBOK codifies the current understanding of best practice in the field of service management. It continues to evolve over time and reflect the latest in thinking and technological developments. You can access USMBOK in the form of the USMBOK Guide.

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