According to a Forbes report, IT service management is highly important to most executives and a lack of a service management approach hurts competitiveness due to too much time and money spent on ongoing maintenance and management rather than new initiatives1).

A service management system (SMS) supports the management of the service life cycle, from planning to delivery and improvement, offering better value for customers as well as those delivering the service. It gives ongoing visibility, allowing for continual improvement in effectiveness and efficiency.

Published jointly by ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the ISO/IEC 20000 series of standards provides comprehensive guidance on virtually every aspect of SMS and two key parts have just been updated.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018, Information technology – Service management – Part 1: Service management system requirements, specifies the requirements for an organization to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve an SMS, while ISO/IEC 20000-10:2018, Information technology – Service management – Part 10: Concepts and vocabulary, describes the core concepts and terminology for the whole ISO/IEC 20000 series.

Jan Begg, Chair of the ISO technical subcommittee that revised the standards2), said that while this series has mostly been used for IT services, it is increasingly being applied to other services to improve business processes and decision making.

“While there are many frameworks and methodologies for service management, the ISO/IEC 20000 series is the only one available to measure conformance, support certification and provide assurance to customers that their services are being effectively managed,” she said.

“The ISO/IEC 20000 series can be of benefit to anyone that provides services to customers, whether it be a whole company or an individual department, not only improving their service but ensuring that service management activities meet business needs and objectives.”

The revised versions take into account changes in market trends, including the commoditization of services and the management of multiple suppliers by an internal or external service integrator. It also incorporates new features such as requirements about knowledge and service planning, as well as updated terminology and definitions.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 and ISO/IEC 20000-10:2018, and all standards in the ISO/IEC 20000 series, can be purchased from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.


1) Forbes: How IT Service Management Delivers Value To The Digital Enterprise

2) The ISO/IEC 20000 series, including ISO/IEC 20000-1 and ISO/IEC 20000-10, were developed by the ISO and IEC joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, subcommittee SC 40, IT Service Management and IT Governance, the secretariat of which is held by Standards Australia (SA), ISO’s member for Australia.