ISO/IEC 20000, the first international standard for IT Service Management, is based on the pre-existing British Standard, BS 15000, and intends to surpass it. Like BS 15000, ISO 20000 was initially developed to highlight the best practices guidance included within the Information Technology Infrastructure Library Framework. Apart from this, it also supports other IT Service Management frameworks and approaches, such as Microsoft Operations Framework. The ISO 20000 standard was published for the first time in December 2005. This international standard consists of two parts, namely ISO/IEC 20000-1 and ISO/IEC 20000-2.

ISO 20000-1 stands for IT Service Management against which the practices of an organization can be certified. It helps in the promotion of an integrated approach, which works towards the delivery of managed services, in order to meet business and customer needs.

It comprises of ten categories:

•    Scope
•    Terms and conditions
•    Planning and Implementing Service Management
•    Requirements for a Management System
•    Service Delivery Process
•    Relationship Processes
•    Control Processes
•    Resolution Processes
•    Release Process

ISO 20000-2 refers to the ‘code of practice’ that explains the best practices and requirements of ISO 20000-1. It consists of the same sections as in ISO 20000-1. However, it does not include ‘Requirements for a Management System’ as no requirements are imposed by ISO 20000 part-2.

With the publication of ISO 20000, BS 15000 was withdrawn and individual standards and certification bodies are formulating their formal transition programs in order to adapt to the new standard.  

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