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ISO/IEC 20000 origin

Since 2005 ISO/IEC 20000 has been the international standard for IT Service Management. ISO/IEC 20000 resulted from the willingness of IT Service Providers and customers to reach a collaborative standard toward service management.

Developed in the late 1980s, in England, ITIL® (Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Library) was at the beginning of this initiative, describing IT Service Management. ITIL’s approach relies on best practice recommendations that can be adapted at the Service Provider’s discretion. Standardizing on these best practices for Service Management was an obvious opportunity to capitalize on. This was done with the BS 15000 introduced by the BSI (British Standard Institute) in 2002. As BS 15000 was a national standard, and being used abroad, it was necessary to bring it up to an international level. This was achieved by a newly established international working group who made adjustments to the initial text to create the ISO/IEC 20000.

Nowadays both ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 relate to IT Service Management, but from two different perspectives: ITIL promotes recommendations of best practices; whereas ISO/IEC 20000’s approach relies on the compulsory application of industry standard specifications.  ISO/IEC 20000 is the standard in which IT Service Providers’ organizations are audited against, with the intent to be certified. On the individual side, Certified professionals are trained to help IT Service Providers implement the standard while others are trained to audit these organizations.

The ISO/IEC 20000 standard is now managed with the contributions of IT Service Management experts from over 20 national standard bodies (countries) and under the umbrella of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC40, Workgroup 2. Members of the Workgroup 2 (WG2) are presently involved in improving existing parts and developing upcoming parts of the standard.

ISO/IEC 20000 consists of the following parts, under the general title Information technology — Service management:

  • Part 1: Service management system requirements
  • Part 2: Guidance on the application of service management systems
  • Part 3: Guidance on scope definition and applicability of ISO/IEC 20000-1
  • Part 4: Process reference model [Technical Report]
  • Part 5: Exemplar implementation plan for ISO/IEC 20000-1 [Technical Report]
  • Part 9: Guidance on the application of ISO/IEC 20000-1 to cloud services [Technical Report]
  • Part 10: Concepts and terminology [Technical Report]
  • Part 11: Guidance on the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 and service management frameworks: ITIL [Technical Report]

The following parts are under preparation

  • Part 6: Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of service management systems
  • Part 8: Guidance on the application of service management systems for smaller organizations
  • Part 12: Guidance on the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 and service management frameworks: CMMI-SVC [Technical Report]
  • Part-13 (Guidance on the relationship between ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 and service management frameworks: COBIT 5)

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ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.
IT Infrastructure Library® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited


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