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Service Management

IT service management (ITSM) refers to the entirety of activities – directed by policies, organized and structured in processes and supporting procedures – that are performed by an organization or part of an organization to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to customers. It is thus concerned with the implementation of quality IT services that meet the needs of customers, and is performed by the IT service provider through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology.

Differing from more technology-oriented IT management approaches like network management and IT systems management, IT service management is characterized by

  • adopting a process approach towards management
  • focusing on customer needs and IT services for customers rather than IT systems
  • stressing continual improvement

As a discipline, ITSM has ties and common interested with other IT and general management approaches, for example quality management, information security management and software engineering.  There are strong links between the IT service management frameworks and other standards.  

In this area you can find training relating to both ITIL (ITSM framework) and ISO/IEC 20000, the service management standard.


ITIL was created as a set of best practices to ensure IT services are aligned to the needs of the business and support its core processes. It demonstrates how to use IT as a way to improve, transform and grow the business, as well as create a more efficient working environment with contingencies in place.

ISO/IEC 20000

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 fulfil agreed service requirements.

ISO/IEC 20000 is aligned with and complementary to the process approach defined within ITIL, and is supported by other similar control approaches, such as COBIT.

ISO/IEC 20000 is a standard which means it is prescriptive in what you can or cannot do in terms of the processes it covers.  It is based on the ITIL framework, so shares many areas in common, but the standard will set out what must be achieved, instead of providing guidance which can be adapted.

The benefits for an IT service provider organization working towards and achieving certification against the ISO/IEC 20000 standard are many and varied, dependent upon the organization itself and the business and customers it serves.