5 key benefits of ISO 20000 implementation

I agree with all of you who claim that implementation of ISO/IEC 20000 is a complex task. But, see it from the positive side – at least you have a concrete goal. Yes, there will be many challenges during the implementation, but the goal is clearly set. The rest, however, is hard work.

If that’s the easier part, what would be the opposite? It’s – how to explain the benefits of ISO 20000, and thereby gain top management support for the implementation (believe me, you will need it along the way). Namely, if production needs a new machine or robot, it’s easy to explain measurable (that’s the key!) benefits; e.g., the number of produced parts will be 50% higher than now. But, problems occur when you have to explain the benefits of implementing something intangible, like ISO 20000, which deals with organization, processes, improvement, roles and responsibilities … etc.

What are they, really?

Implementation of ISO 20000 encompasses the business of the company, as well as operation of the services, which implies many options. We could argue about every single process and what ISO 20000 brings, but that would lead to endless discussion. Let’s stay at the service, i.e., process level. In that case, the benefits of the ISO 20000 implementation are:

  • Competitiveness and credibility – implementing ISO 20000 is your way to improve your company’s reputation (because you’ve adopted an internationally recognized standard for IT service management), competitive edge (because of your ability to compete with much bigger, well-organized competitors), perception and image (an ISO certificate, generally, improves the way partners/suppliers and customers perceive the organization), and credibility (e.g., your customers will trust you when they see that your internal organization and processes are aligned with ISO 20000).
  • Compliance – by your implementation of an ISO standard, your customers know what they should expect; i.e., there are clear evaluation criteria (e.g., by implementing ISO 20000 they know what to expect from the Change Management or Incident Management process). Additionally, ISO 20000 takes care that legal or other regulations (e.g., security/ISO 27001) and their requirements are considered.
  • Customer satisfaction – is there anything better in business than a satisfied customer? Well, implementing ISO 20000 makes it much easier to control IT service delivery processes and fulfillment of SLA targets (through having defined and implemented incident and problem management processes with respective roles and their responsibilities, as well as having monitoring and measurement in place). That improves the efficiency of your service management team and organization – a fact that makes your management happy.
  • Productivity – let’s assume you are responsible for the whole IT service management team. Imagine a situation where everyone is clear about who does what and when, processes are defined, documented and in place, interfaces between them are clear… etc. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, ISO 20000 provides that agility. Big companies have already gained a lot of experience in IT service management, but smaller companies need an “instant” solution – they don’t have the time and resources to start from scratch. Further on, by having people and processes under control, it shouldn’t be hard to control (and optimize) your costs. Believe me, management will like that.
  • Benchmark and improvement – ISO 20000 is a recognized standard for IT service management. By having it implemented, you can compare your organizational setup, processes, and services with those of other organizations (particularly with those that have also implemented the standard). And, as with all other ISO standards, continual improvement is a cornerstone of the implementation and ensures that your Service Management System (SMS), and the IT services it supports, is regularly monitored, measured, and reviewed. That opens the possibility to be better day-by-day and helps your management get a clear picture about performance and efficiency. In real life, that means that you are able to respond to the changing business requirements, which are so commonplace in today’s dynamic business environment.

So, as you can see, the advantages of the ISO 20000 implementation relate to both the business and operational ends. Your management is aware that excellence in delivery of services (operational domain) enables business excellence. Business excellence means satisfied customers, as well as increased revenue and market share. And that’s the language management likes.

And, it’s not only customers who appreciate your responsiveness and efficiency in delivery of IT services. Your own employees will like to work in an environment that is organized and monitored, in which they know what their job is and the inputs and outputs, duplication of activities is almost zero, suppliers are under control, etc. That means greater stability of your IT service management team and cost optimization.

Is that all?

That’s just the beginning. The five benefits that I just explained contain lot of catchy, but “hard” words. Meaning, when you’re explaining benefits, you are actually making promises. And, as with any other promise, you should pay more attention to the ones you believe are achievable. That’s because if you want management to believe in the implementation, and the benefits such implementation should achieve – there must be one person who has an even higher level of belief – you.

Use our free ISO 20000 Gap Analysis Tool to check how your organization complies with ISO 20000 recommendations.

Advisera Branimir Valentic
Branimir Valentic
Branimir is an expert in IT service management (consultancy, training and tools), IT governance (training and consulting), project management and consultancy in IT and telecommunication. He holds the following certificates: ITIL Expert, ISO 20000, ISMS Lead Auditor and PRINCE2.