ISO 20000 and service delivery effectiveness

Innovation News

Following eir’s recent achievement of ISO 20000, Michael Brophy, CEO of Certification Europe, discusses how this global best practice standard for Information Technology Service Management can make your job easier and improve customer satisfaction.

ISO 20000 is a global best practice standard for Information Technology Service Management. It is essentially a quality assurance scheme specifically designed for IT Service delivery, and it is eir’s recent major achievement, attained through Certification Europe assurance services.

The main objective of ISO 20000 when applied is to ensure that a service is delivered in such a way that drives customer satisfaction.

ISO 20000 provides organisations with a framework to manage their service and covers all of the areas essential to ensure that it is delivered in a way that will meet customers realised and unrealised needs. It covers:

  • Capacity Management
  • Service Continuity & Availability Management
  • Service Level Management
  • Service Reporting
  • Information Security Management
  • Budgeting & Accounting for IT Services
  • Configuration Management
  • Change Management
  • Release Management
  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Business Relationship Management, and Supplier Management

That was probably quite a bit to take in, but this list shows the width of improvements that a company can obtain in its Service Management, and can forward through its channels to their customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Not all of these areas are compulsory however.

I’m always glad to see companies enthusiastic about setting their goals and starting to work to achieve their certification, but my advice to them is that certification doesn’t have to cover all the service they provide. What is relevant is that certification will cover what is critical to improve their relationship with suppliers and customers, and that is consistently deliverable and measurable.

ISO 20000 acts as a facilitator to strengthen the links among the channel players, and it leads to continuous Improvement in three steps

  • Planning
  • Implementing
  • Monitoring, Measuring and Reviewing

Working to a best practice standard such as ISO 20000 should not make anybody’s job more difficult. Often companies think meeting an ISO standard will mean nothing but paperwork, and will become an imposition on delivering their day job. That is wrong.

In fact, approached in the right way, 20000 should make their job easier, and allow them to perform their service more effectively and efficiently, providing benefits throughout the business.

Some of the ‘big’ tangible benefits I have seen delivered through ISO 20000 include:

  • A reduction in incidents and perhaps more importantly improved incident management
  • The adoption of more integrated process to the delivery of IT services
  • A reduction in response times and interruptions to IT service
  • Improved management of cost leads to financial savings
  • Greater understanding of roles and business objectives
  • Increased customer satisfaction (internal and/or external), and
  • Far greater consistency in the delivery of service

Ultimately, through these and other benefits, ISO 20000 provides organisations with a competitive advantage.

A key requirement to implement certification is management commitment, which in turn opens the doors to all the resources and capabilities within the organisation.

The roots to grow an ISO 20000 IT Service Management are already in every company. It is just a matter of cultivating them to help the organisation maintain high levels of customer service.

In turn, this will drive revenues and cost-effectiveness, which is a great asset to have in times when service suppliers are continually under pressure to improve quality, lower costs, and offer greater flexibility and faster response to customers’ needs.

In summary, the successful implementation of an effective ISO 20000 certified service management system willconsistently deliver higher levels of customer service and customer satisfaction. Now, in today’s environment, what value would the Board place on such an achievement?

Michael Brophy is founder and CEO of Certification Europe, a group of accredited certification bodies which provides ISO certification and inspection services to organisations internationally.

Certification Europe is a world leader in Management System assurance services providing a range of external, independent assessments for business risk management standards, including IT Service Management (ISO 20000), and Information Security (ISO 27001). Certification Europe is also the only Irish accredited certification body operating in the field of Business Continuity standards.