ISO 20000 is the first international standard for information technology (IT) service management and was published by the International Standards Organization in December 2005. The standard presents a comprehensive grouping of management processes that ensures the quality of IT service management deliverables to a business entity and corresponding customers.
The standard helps service providers in a supply chain to integrate and implement the service management processes. The standard allows for the service provider to have more control over efficient operations. This means services are improved and benchmarks for meeting customer requirements are established. The standard serves as the basis for independent assessments of IT service management operations.
The first part of the ISO 20000 standard outlines the processes for service delivery, relationship, resolution, control and release. The standard establishes the requirements for a management system, the planning and implementation of service management, and new or changed services. The second part of the ISO 20000 standard is the Code of Practice that outlines the best practices for IT service management processes.
An IT service management system (ITSMS) is a systematic approach used by service providers to manage the IT service each business offers to customers through an effective and efficient process. ITSMS revolves around people, processes and IT systems. The ITSMS ensures that service providers and customers are in agreement regarding the delivery service quality. The service management department of the business should effectively monitor processes related to the service delivery.
An internal or an external assessment is performed to determine if a service provider complies with the ISO 20000 standards requirement. After the certification assessment has been conducted, a service provider organization must demonstrate quality managed services that are acceptable to the customer by answering many questions correctly. Receiving ISO 20000 certification requires demonstrating acceptable standards in five fundamental process areas as defined by the ISO 20000 standard. These processes areas are in service delivery, relationship, resolution, release and control.
Before an assessment body can certify that a service provider complies with the requirements of the ISO 20000 standard, the service provider must provide sufficient evidence that the organisation’s complies with the ISO standard at the time the assessment is conducted. Every process is documented in details. The knowledge and control of input and outputs should be available for every process. Defined metrics must have been gathered for every process. The company must show continuous process improvement in all company operations. All process flows should conform to the ISO 20000 standard. Each service provider’s management system is checked twice yearly and is reassessed every three years.
ISO 20000 certification ensures continual improvement in the quality of IT services offered to a customer. The relationship between IT and the business customers improves because of increased understanding. Another benefit of ISO 20000 certification is that it gives the service provider a competitive advantage through cost-effective services. Effectively managing an organization’s human resources reduces long-term costs and promotes risk assessment and management. Managers are provided with a clear understanding of inter-dependencies between IT and the ISO 20000 processes.
The certification demonstrates that the service provider is the best company to deliver high quality IT services to customers. This gives the service provider a competitive edge over other competitors. Other benefits include enhanced reputation and perception for using best practices and the establishment of a stable framework that promotes resource training and service management automation.
It is important for IT service providers to become ISO 20000 certified because it demonstrates an awareness of customer requirements and a dedication to meeting these requirements. In fact, many organisations will even insist upon ISO 20000 compliance as a prerequisite for awarding contracts.