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ISO/IEC 20000: The international standard for IT Service Management (ITSM)

ISO 20000 allows IT organizations to ensure the alignment between ITSM processes and overall business strategy, which in turn ensures the best service for the customer and value for the service provider.

This page introduces ISO 20000, explains its benefits, and contains links to helpful resources.

On this page:

ISO 20000 Part 1
ISO 20000 Part 2
ISO 20000 Part 3
ISO 20000 Part 4
ISO 20000 Part 5
ISO20000: an overview
Benefits of using ISO 20000
ISO 20000 resources
The ISO 20000 standard
ISO 20000 toolkit
ISO/IEC 20000: An introduction to the global standard for service management

ISO 20000: an overview

ISO 20000 comprises five parts:

ISO20000 Part 1

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 specifies the requirements for a service management system (SMS). It details requirements for the service provider to plan, establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, and maintain and operate an SMS. The requirements within the standard include the design, transition, delivery, and improvement of services to meet agreed service requirements. It comprises nine sections:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Service management system general requirements
  5. Design and transition of new or changed services
  6. Service delivery processes
  7. Relationship processes
  8. Resolution processes
  9. Control processes

ISO 20000 Part 2

ISO/IEC 20000-2:2012 gives guidance on implementing a service management system (SMS) that is fully aligned with ISO20000-1. The aim of this part of the standard is to enable an effective understanding of the requirements of Part 1, enabling better deployment and use of an SMS.

ISO 20000 Part 3

ISO/IEC 20000-3:2012 provides guidance on scope definition and the applicability of ISO20000-1, covering the demonstration of conformity to its requirements. The guidance in ISO20000-3 takes the form of practical examples, typical scenarios and recommendations that show how the scope of an SMS can be defined. Guidance on the different types of conformity assessment and assessment standards is included.

ISO 20000 Part 4

ISO/IEC TR 20000-4:2010 details a process reference model (PRM) that meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 15504, the process assessment standard. The PRM provides a high-level description of the service management processes within ISO/IEC 20000-1 and will help you understand each process’s objectives and expected results, enabling you to assess the maturity of your processes in line with the standard.

ISO 20000 Part 5

ISO/IEC TR 20000-5:2010 is an exemplar implementation plan, providing guidance on how to implement a service management system (SMS) to fulfil the requirements of ISO20000-1. It is useful for those planning service improvements and intending to use ISO 20000 as a business goal and could also be useful for those advising service providers on how to best achieve the requirements of ISO 20000-1.

Benefits of using ISO 20000

The main benefit of using ISO 20000 as a basis for IT Service management is that it provides a structured framework for service benchmarking and improvement, and it allows for independent assessment and external verification of an organization's ability to meet customer requirements.

Some of the most common uses of ISO 20000 by organizations are:

  • for the quality assurance of service providers
  • for assurance of the ability of service providers
  • for assurance of the consistency of service provision
  • for assurance of a service provider’s ability and intention to review processes and services
  • to implement a best practice Service Management System
  • to monitor the effectiveness of their delivery of managed services

ISO 20000 resources

The ISO 20000 standard

All five parts of ISO20000 are available in the IT Governance ISO 20000 Web Store in a variety of combinations and formats:

ISO 20000 toolkits

The ITSM, ITIL® & ISO/IEC 20000 Implementation Toolkit bridges a gap in the market by making IT Service Management easier to implement and improve. This toolkit is completely up-to-date with the latest editions of ITIL 2011 and ISO/IEC 20000:2011.

The ISO/IEC 20000 Documentation Toolkit gives your organization what it needs to implement an ISO/IEC 20000 Management System and meet the basic documentation requirements of ISO/IEC 20000-1. It gives you the templates you need to achieve ISO/IEC 20000 registration, saving you months of time and, potentially, a great deal of money.


ISO/IEC 20000: An introduction to the global standard for service management is intended to be a handy reference tool that contains, in one place, some of the key information that those working with ISO/IEC 20000 may need. Topics covered include qualification programs, registration schemes, and the interrelationship of ISO 20000 with other standards, such as ISO 27001. The overall emphasis of the guide is on ISO 20000's customer-driven approach, ensuring your IT service management processes will be aligned with the needs of your business.