Also commonly known as ITSM, IT service management is a broad term that refers to various activities involved in the organization, design, planning, operation, and control of information technology in the context of providing services to customers. In simpler terms, it is about the implementation of IT services through IT specialists, special processes, and IT resources to meet the needs of customers.
The difference from IT Systems Management
IT service management is different from IT systems management as it is about taking up a process approach towards management with emphasis on IT services and customer needs, not on IT systems. The use of ITSM is mostly to support the customer experience and ensure service quality. It is not focused on the internal IT system of a business but on what the business is able to provide to customers through its IT staff/employees, processes, and IT resources.
There are different frameworks related to IT service management. They may be different from each other but they share the common goal of ensuring that the right people, processes, and technologies are in place to support a business or organization in achieving its goals.
COBIT – Backed by the IT Governance Institute and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, the COBIT framework is intended for the development, tracking, and improvement of practices in information technology governance and management.
Microsoft Operations Framework – This framework consists of 23 documents that serve as a guide for IT professionals in creating, implementing, and managing IT services efficiently and cost-effectively. It provides guidelines for the whole life cycle of an IT service.
Six Sigma – Created by Motorola, this IT service management framework puts emphasis on the need to set extremely high objectives, collect data, and meticulously analyze results to reduce problems in products and services.
ISO 20000 – This global ITSM standard was developed by the British Standards Institution. It describes the things that are needed for an effective ITSM system.
TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) – Maintained by The Open Group, TOGAF is designed to provide a structured approach in organizing and governing the implementation of technology, software in particular, among organizations.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – This framework supplies best practices that help coordinate IT with business needs. The most common ITIL framework is ITIL v3, which consists of strategy, design, transition, operations, and continual service improvement.
ITSM is not a fixed concept that can be concisely explained in a short article.
It is continuously growing as inputs from members of the professional association IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF) are compiled and considered. ITSMF members help grow ITSM through the exchange of ideas and experiences that take place during conferences and workshops.
However, what remains constant is the goal of ITSM, which is to ascertain that businesses or organizations only use the right IT people, processes, and technologies to accomplish their business goals.