What is ISO 20000?
ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT Service Management (ITSM), published by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization), and ICE (the International Electoral Commission). To become an international standard, ISO 20000 had to be agreed upon by a majority of member countries, which means it is accepted by a majority of countries worldwide.
The standard describes a set of management processes designed to help you deliver more effective IT services (both to those within your business and to your customers). ISO 20000 gives you the methodology and the framework to help you manage your ITSM, while allowing you to prove your company follows best practice. With the requirements of the standard you will achieve best practice, helping to improve your delivery of IT services. And ISO 20000 is applicable to any company size and any industry.
How is ISO 20000 different from ITIL?
The basic difference between ISO 20000 and ITIL is that ISO 20000 gives you the methodology and framework (providing you with the pieces with which to construct the ITSM jigsaw puzzle), while ITIL gives you the details (the best practices) on how to manage each and every IT process in your organization (i.e. how to put the jigsaw puzzle together).
A good way to think of it is that ISO 20000 says what you need to do, while ITIL tells you how to do it.
ISO 20000 does not work in complete isolation. It can be implemented independently from ITIL, but they do go very well together.
As opposed to a standard, ITIL is a practical framework of best practices that focuses on aligning your IT services with the wider needs of your business. As a company, you can’t become ITIL certified; you can only comply with the best practice guidelines.
ISO 20000 is based on the fundamental principles of ITIL, and is a standard that your company can certify against.
Individuals seeking excellence in ITSM and internationally recognized certification can become certified against ITIL and ISO 20000 (e.g. the foundation course discussed further below).
ISO 20000 certification for organizations is essentially the evidence that best practices have been implemented. ITIL is not required to gain certification in ISO 20000, but it is easier to achieve if you’re following an ITIL approach to IT service management.
Why ISO 20000 is important?
To understand the importance of ISO 20000, it’s vital to understand the relationship between IT and the overall success of your organization. You rely upon IT to help you achieve your organizational goals. It affects how you operate and how you communicate – it’s a fundamental element of how you do business.
You use IT to overcome your competitors, to reach larger audiences, to become more productive and more efficient. In myriad ways, IT is vital to improving revenues, reducing costs and enhancing your reputation.
So, it’s crucial that you get the most from your IT investments – meaning IT services must be well planned, designed, managed and delivered. Without high-quality IT service management, IT projects routinely fail or go over budget. Ongoing costs become hard to manage, and you often see businesses fail before achieving any return on their investment.
So, put simply, high-quality IT service management standards are fundamental to your success. And gaining the ISO 20000 standard is a way to ensure that quality.
What does ISO 20000 actually look like?
While consisting of eight parts, there are two that are most used for ISO 20000:
ISO 20000-1:2011 is the formal specification for IT Service Management. It clearly defines all the requirements you need to deliver managed IT services of an acceptable quality for your customers. It includes:
- Service Management System requirements
- Design and transition of new or changed services
- Service delivery processes
- Relationship processes
- Resolution processes
- Control processes
The second part: ISO 20000-2:2012 is the code of practice for IT service management;it is the guidance of the application of service management systems. In other words, it helps you interpret the requirements of the standard. It defines the best practice management processes, and is very useful if you’re preparing to be audited against ISO 20000 or planning service improvements.
It’s important to note your company can get certified against ISO 20000-1:2011, but not against ISO 20000-2:2012 (this is a code of practice only).
what are the benefits of ISO 20000?
The benefits of ISO 20000 cannot be overstated; companies large and small have used this standard to great effect, discovering and securing tremendous cost and efficiency savings. Here are just a few of these benefits:
Improve your image and credibility –ISO 20000 is the only internationally recognized standard for IT service management. Its international adoption has been rapid in recent years, as organizations see it as a key differentiator in the marketplace. And, as a popular and proven standard, you can be sure of the efficacy and scalability of the processes.
Become more productive – Gain a competitive advantage through increased efficiency and effectiveness due to more reliable IT services. With everybody clear about who does what and when, you’ll reduce both the number of incidents and your ability to handle them.
Increased customer satisfaction – Whether it’s your internal or external customers, you’re able to deliver improved IT services that better meet their needs – while at the same time better protecting the company, its assets, shareholders and directors.
Benchmark and improve – You can compare your organization’s processes and activities against theinternational standard for ITSM (you can then easily indentify and implement any necessary improvements). And, because an independent certification body audits your company, you (and anyone interacting with your organization) can be sure you’re meeting the required level.
Fully integrated processes –ISO 20000 helps you align IT services with the wider business strategy. You can ensure your company is focused on the IT service management solutions best suited to serving your customers and the needs of the business.
Reduce the cost of IT – Better understand and manage the cost of IT. Plan future financial costs with greater accuracy and clarity. With simpler processes and clear responsibilities, you can operate a leaner, more efficient service.
Create a culture of continual improvement – the business environment does not sit still, particularly in our age of digital and technological innovation. Ensuring your organization is always improving processes in reaction to customer feedback is not just a nice-to-have; it’s essential for a company’s longevity. And this also extends to improvements identified internally, changing technology and developing business norms.
Become more agile and change quickly –ISO 20000 creates the solid framework of best practice that helps support innovation. Change in your organization can be handled more adeptly and with greater speed, meaning you reduce internal and external risk levels andare more likely to meet your organizational objectives.
Gain a competitive advantage – Through more effective and efficient delivery of IT services, you can give your organization tangible advantages over your competitors. For example, you can reduce IT issues and respond to them faster, freeing up more of your time for strategic IT development in your organization.