ISO 20000-1 ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for IT Service Management Systems (ITSMS).  ISO 20000-1 is designed to help organizations deliver effective managed IT services to customers and maintain those standards overtime. ISO/IEC 20000-1 helps organizations efficiently deliver quality IT Service Management through a comprehensive process approach.


With IT Services continually advancing and integrating into all aspects of business, organizations are increasingly depending on internal and external managed service providers. But unprepared providers can quickly find themselves struggling to meet even the most basic levels of service and customer satisfaction.


An ITSMS supports the management of the service lifecycle, including the planning, design, transition, delivery, and improvement of services, which meet agreed requirements and deliver value for customers, users and the organization delivering the services.


The adoption of an ITSMS is a strategic decision for an organization and is influenced by the organization’s objectives, the governing body, other parties involved in the service lifecycle and the need for effective and resilient services. Implementation and operation of an ITSMS provides ongoing visibility, control of services and continual improvement, leading to greater effectiveness and efficiency. Improvement for service management applies to the ITSMS and the services.


ITSMS implementation is designed to be a bedrock upon which to build continually improving service management systems. It is fully scalable to organizations large and small or to customers internal and external. Consider the benefits of developing an ITSMS as part of your organization’s customer satisfaction and business continuity strategies.


Understanding expectations, planning for services and service changes, and monitoring performance can be critical to an IT service’s success or failure. An IT Service Management System (ITSMS) can in turn be critical for organizations providing anything from Service Desk support to full-fledged system design and deployment.


An ITSMS provides a technology-neutral framework for understanding, agreeing on, implementing, and monitoring effective managed services. ISO/IEC 20000-1 offers internationally recognized best practices through an integrated process approach designed to meet the expectations of both businesses and customers.


Specifically, the ISO/IEC 20000-1 standard sets forth the structural requirements for an ITSMS from service planning and service delivery to resolution and release management, along with resources and controls throughout the service lifecycle. The companion document ISO/IEC 20000-2 code of practice provides interpretive guidance and recommendations for organizations implementing the standard.


If your organization does not already have IT Service Management System (ITSMS), the ISO 20000-1 standard and the companion ISO 20000-2 document can be used to establish one. And once your organization has  established your organization’s ITSMS, you can use it to demonstrate that your organization is capable of meeting customer requirements, enhancing customer satisfaction, and continually improving both its products and services and its practices and processes.

ISO 20000-1 requirements are underpinned by universal IT Services best practices which help your organization with

Service-Oriented Architectures

Mutual understanding of requirements and accountabilities



Driving improvements in processes

Aligning framework for ITIL methodologies

Cloud Computing

Providing structure for business continuity and growth

The ISO 20000-1 Standard is comprised of 10 clauses/sections which describe the universe of requirements that must be met by an organization seeking certification of their organization’s ITSMS.

Clause / Section 4.


Context asks you to start by understanding your organization and its context before you develop its process-based IT Service Management System (ITSMS). It asks you to consider the external and internal issues that are relevant to your organization's purpose and strategic direction and to think about the influence these issues could have on its ITSMS and the results it intends to achieve. This means that you need to understand your organization's external environment, its culture, its values, its performance, and its interested parties before you develop its ITSMS. Why? Because your ITSMS will need to be able to manage all these influences. Once you have considered all of this, you are ready to define the scope of your ITSMS and to begin its development.

Clause / Section 5.


Leadership asks your organization's top management to provide leadership for its ITSMS by showing that they support it, by expecting people to focus on service and on customers, by expecting them to provide compliant products and services, and by expecting them to manage risks and opportunities. Section 5 also expects top management to establish a service management plan and policy, and to assign ITSMS roles, responsibilities, and authorities.

Clause / Section 6.


Planning asks you to plan the development of your ITSMS. It asks you to address the risks and opportunities that could influence your organization's ITSMS or disrupt its operation and to consider how its context and its interested parties could affect its ITSMS and the results it intends to achieve. Section 6 also asks you to set service objectives and to develop plans to achieve them. Finally, it asks you to control changes to your ITSMS.

Clause / Section 7.


Support asks you to support your ITSMS by managing communications and by providing the necessary resources. It asks you to provide competent people, to provide an appropriate process infrastructure and environment, to provide suitable monitoring and measuring technologies, to provide the knowledge that is needed to facilitate process operations, and to provide documented information.

It asks you to start by figuring out how extensive your documented information should be and then asks you to select and include all the documentation your organization needs in order to ensure that its processes are being carried out as planned and all the documentation it needs in order to comply with the ISO 20000-1 standard. It asks you to manage the creation and modification of this documentation and to control how it is used.

Clause / Section 8.


Operations asks you to develop, implement, and control the operational processes that your organization needs to provide products and services and to manage risks and opportunities. It asks you to clarify how product and service requirements will be managed and how customer communications will be handled.


Section 8 also asks you to establish a product and service design and development process (when necessary), to monitor externally provided products and services, to manage production and service provision, to supervise product and service release, and to control coats and nonconforming outputs in order to prevent unplanned events.

Clause / Section 9.


Evaluation asks you to monitor, measure, analyze, and evaluate the performance of your organization's ITSMS. It asks you to monitor customer satisfaction, to evaluate monitoring and measuring results, to audit conformance and performance, and to review the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of your ITSMS.

Clause / Section 10.


Improvement asks you to identify opportunities to improve your organization's processes, products, and services, and to enhance customer satisfaction. It also asks you to control nonconformities, to take corrective actions, and to enhance the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of your ITSMS.



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