ISO 20000: The International Standard for Service Management

What is ISO/IEC 20000?

ISO/IEC 20000 is the international ITSM (IT service management) standard. It enables IT departments to ensure that their ITSM processes are aligned with both the needs of the business and international best practice.

The ISO 20000 standard 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®.

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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.

Benefits of ISO 20000 certification for service providers:

  • 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.
  • Assures 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 laws and standards, including the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Helps leverage ITIL practices to optimise resources and processes.

ISO 20000 requirements

ISO 20000 is split into ten parts. Of these, parts 1 and 2 are the most important. 

Part 1: Service management system requirements

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 – provides requirements for ITSM and is relevant to those responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining ITSM in their organisation. It also provides a specification for an SMS (service management system). Organisations can have their SMS independently certified as conforming to the requirements of the Standard.

Part 2: Guidance on the application of service management systems

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

ITIL and ISO 20000

ISO 20000 and ITIL have a close relationship.

ITIL provides advice on ITSM best practices, including options that may be adopted and adapted by organisations according to business need, local circumstances and the maturity of the service provider.

ISO 20000, meanwhile, sets the standards that service management processes should aim for. Organisations can achieve independently audited certification to the Standard to demonstrate that they are following best practice.

ISO 20000 documentation

As part of implementing an ISO 20000-compliant SMS, you will be required to produce documentation aligned with the Standard. Although there is no particular approach for how to structure your documentation, you will need to produce documents and records for all processes in the scope of ISO 20000. The amount of documentation you produce will vary depending on your company size.

You can use the ITSM, ITIL® 4 & ISO 20000 Toolkit to meet these documentation requirements. Developed by industry experts, the templates, policies and procedures will accelerate your project, helping you implement and execute your own SMS with minimal stress. 

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Whether you’re just starting your ISO 20000 project, or you need the tools and training to move to the next stage, our range of bestselling products and services can support you on your journey.

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