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This statement is true which will surprise a lot of people.

ISO/IEC 20000, the standard for service management, only has ‘Information Technology’ (IT) printed on the front cover because it is produced in an international committee that is titled IT but actually covers many other areas such as information security. Those of you who know ISO/IEC 27001 for information security will know that this also has IT on the front cover for the same reason but obviously, 27001 is not only used within the IT department but across the business.

The same applies to 20000 and service management. There is no other mention of IT in the standard – it uses service management system (SMS) and not ITSMS, service management (SM) and not ITSM, services and not IT services. This is true of the 2011 current edition and the new edition due out in September 2018.

There is a clear statement in the standard about this: ‘All requirements specified in this document are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of the organization’s type or size, or the nature of the services delivered.’

Of course, the majority of users of 20000 are for IT services but there are organisations certified to this standard for business process outsourcing and facilities management. As long as an organisation delivers services and can meet all of the requirements of the standard, then they can be certified to 20000. It may be that there needs to be some different interpretation of requirements. For example, availability management for BPO may be about the staff on a shift system, technical resources for facilities management may cover office equipment, printers/scanners and physical storage facilities.

In today’s world, it is often difficult to separate the IT or technology department from the rest of the business.  Services are the key growth area – even more so than products. As service management moves from IT into the enterprise, ISO/IEC 20000 is prepared to move with it too.

Read more about the 2018 edition of ISO/IEC 20000-1 in our A Guide to ISO /IEC 20000-1:2018 Service Management.

About the Author:
Lynda Cooper has been working with service management for most of her career. She is an ITIL Master, Chair of the BSI committee on ISO/IEC 20000, UK representative to the ISO committee and project editor for ISO/IEC 20000-1, the International Standard for service management. Lynda is a conference speaker, blogger, consultant and trainer who takes a friendly, open, pragmatic approach when working with her customers.