WHAT IS ISO/IEC 20000-1?

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

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 promotes the adoption of an integrated process approach to meet business and customer requirements. For an organization to function effectively it has to identify and manage numerous linked activities. This standard focuses on the integration and implementation of coordinated service management processes. Its aim is to provide ongoing control, greater efficiency and opportunities for continuing improvement.

ISO 20000-1 certification demonstrates the reliability and quality of your IT services to employees, stakeholders and customers.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 can be used by:

  • an organization seeking services from service providers and requiring assurance that their service requirements will be fulfilled;
  • an organization that requires a consistent approach by all its service providers, including those in a supply chain;
  • a service provider that intends to demonstrate its capability for the design, transition, delivery and improvement of services that fulfill service requirements;
  • a service provider to monitor, measure and review its service management processes and services;
  • a service provider to improve the design, transition, delivery and improvement of services through the effective implementation and operation of the SMS;
  • an assessor or auditor as the criteria for a conformity assessment of a service provider’s SMS to the requirements in ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011.


ISO IEC 20000-1 is designed to be used for certification purposes. If you’re a service provider and you decide to pursue this option, you need to establish a service management system (SMS) that complies with the ISO IEC 20000-1 2011 standard. Once you’ve done so, it’s time to ask a registrar (certification body) to audit the system to see if it, in fact, complies. If it does, your registrar or certification body will issue an official certificate that states that your SMS complies with the standard.

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