With up to 80% of information technology budgets of most organizations directly linked to service management processes, a new ISO/IEC standard that benchmarks this activity is expected to result in cost savings for users, whether large or small enterprises, as well as increased productivity and improved customer service.

Published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ISO/IEC 20000 will enable organizations to benchmark their capability in delivering managed services, measuring service levels and assessing performance.

The implementation of ISO/IEC 20000 will ensure proactive working practices able to deliver high levels of customer service to meet their business needs.

"Organizations will reap major business and financial benefits by ISO/IEC 20000 adoption," explains François Coallier, Chair of ISO/IEC group that approved the standard. "These service management processes deliver the best possible service to meet a customer’s business needs within agreed resource levels, i.e. service that is professional, cost effective and with risks that are understood and fully managed."

ISO/IEC 20000:2005, which is issued in two parts under the general title, Information technology - Service management, will enable service providers to understand how to enhance the quality of service delivered to their customers, both internal and external.

  • Part 1: Specification provides requirements for IT service management and is relevant to those responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining IT service management in their organization.
  • Part 2: Code of practice, represents an industry consensus on guidance to auditors and assistance to service providers planning service improvements or to be audited against ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005.

ISO/IEC 20000 integrates the process-based approach of ISO's management system standards – ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 – including the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and requirement for continual improvement.

Organizations that so wish can have their IT service management systems independently certified as conforming to the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000.

The new standard is based on the British Standard BS 15000 and is integrated into ISO and IEC collection of software and systems engineering standards.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 costs 81 Swiss francs and ISO/IEC 20000-2:2005 costs 124 Swiss francs. They are available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat (see below).