ISO 20001 (ITIL)

ISO 20001 and ITIL – the Relationship

IT service is usually provided by an internal department known as the IT organization. The IT infrastructure includes hardware, software, procedures, computer-related communications, documentation, and skills required to support IT services. Overall, IT services and management of the IT infrastructure is referred to as IT service management.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of books initiated by the UK central government to provide a framework for managing IT services. ITIL’s existence triggered the growth of an entire industry that includes training, certification, consultant, software tools and its own trade association (irSMF).

When most companies think of ITIL, they are referring to the ITIL Service Support and Service Delivery books that contain a set of structured best practices and standard methodologies for core IT operational processes such as Change, Release, and Configuration Management, as well as Incident, Problem, Capacity, and Availability Management.

ITIL stresses service quality and focuses on how IT services can be efficiently and cost-effectively provided and supported. However, ITIL does not provide specific, detailed descriptions about how the processes should be implemented, as they will be different in each organization. In other words, ITIL tells an organization what to do, not how to do it.

In practice, ITIL is usually a starting point and is often used by organizations wanting to address a particular problem area, such as a process that is obviously failing. Once one process has been implemented successfully it soon becomes obvious that the related processes would also be worth implementing...and a service improvement journey begins.

An outgrowth of ITIL is a new ISO family of industry standards. It consists of Part 1, ISO/IEC 20000-1 the requirements or “must do” practices of service management, and Part 2, ISO /IEC 20000-2 a guideline for implementing Part 1.

ISO/IEC 20000 certification is often undertaken when organizations want to test and prove they have adopted ITIL advice effectively. It is used to develop consistent, integrated processes across organizational and national boundaries.