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Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is the framework for delivering technology within a business. While often interchanged with Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), the two are very different.
ITSM is the organizational implementation of a management model used to design, implement and manage quality services for business customers. ITIL is a library of process standards outlined in five core publications that guide the delivery and support of IT services, including strategy, design, transition, operation and continual service improvement.
ITIL and ITSM together allow for the deliverance and management of a portfolio of quality services for the organization. Think of ITSM as the organizational function, while ITIL is the process function, but the differences don’t stop there.
ITSM is the way in which information systems manage and deliver value to an organization’s customers. IT service management solutions can be used to improve call, asset and change management processes, among other high-impact services like event, fleet and problem management. For example, with ITSM an organization can manage its properties and premises from one queue, safeguarding the quality of your processes, such as room management, property management, asset management, reservations, key management or long-term planning. You can register all of your buildings and rooms down to the last detail.
Managing properties and assets is one of the core tasks of a facilities organization. Several processes can be applied to properties and assets: operational tasks, large and small-scale maintenance, reservations, cleaning, long-term planning, repairs, etc. With so much going on, managing, registering and organizing information is of utmost importance.
ITSM is the capability of delivering services to their customers. ITIL is a framework for ITSM. ITIL’s theoretical framework is proper for implementing processes. True, ITIL was born from the IT world, but it can also apply to other business sectors. This is particularly true for areas of business with an increasingly process-oriented mentality, such as facilities management.
ITIL can enable process-oriented and service providing organizations to support a higher level of service and its application can offer the following benefits:
- Input concerning improvements, or help in easing existing bottlenecks in the service
- Stimulate process-oriented thinking and working methods, making it tangible
- Introduce common terminology, so that customers, service providers and mutual service providers all speak the same language
Not everything that is mentioned in ITIL is useful for every organization. The maturity, size and type of organization will determine which components of ITIL will be the most useful to bring into practice. ITIL is therefore no guarantee for success. A certain amount of translation is necessary when applying ITIL in practice. ITIL uses the words “urgency” and “impact”; two factors that have influence on the priority of, an interruption in services. However, both of these terms can be confusing and the terms may be better translated organization-specific terminology. In a hospital for example, people won’t talk about a “high” or “low” impact, but will instead look at whether an interruption in services has an effect on patient care. It is important not to make it more complicated than is needed.
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