- Section one
- Section two
- Section three
- Conclusion and recommendations
ExcelIT is an Australian IT service provider that is seeking ISO/IEC 20000 certification to improve its service providers in the nation’s information and technology sector. ISO/IEC 20000 is the recognised standard for IT services management in the world today. The certification is the minimum requirement that an organisation must attain to be identified as an IT provider. On the other hand, there is also the ITIL that provides guidelines for IT companies to follow, though the practice cannot be used to certify IT organisations. The main features of the ISO/IEC 20000 include the efficient provision of IT services through the integrated process approach, customer-supplier relationship, and minimal use of ITIL practices.
This report seeks to provide guidance and clarity for ExcellIT and why it should try and gain ISO/IEC 20000 certification. All the material that I will write about is based on a case study by Mr. Saikat Basu where he discusses the benefits that ISO 20000 has brought to the IT industry. Mr. Basu works as an information systems consultant at the Consultant Factory. His company deals with the provision of information on the appropriate It services that business can integrate into their models to meet their set goals and objectives. By the end of this report, ExcellIT should be able to decide whether it requires ISO 20000 certification to improve its current business model. (258 words)
A service management system is a process through which operate within a given organisation are integrated to ensure the smooth flow of goods and services (Buchsein and Muller, 2016). The system borrows from the ISO 9000 certification. It mainly consists of planning, control and management responsibilities. The use of service management systems works and integrating it into the ITSM works in the following ways;
- Integration of all departments in an organisation- ITSM frameworks focus more on the bringing together element in an organisation to work as a single core unit. The IT department plays a crucial role in such an endeavor because it controls all the activities conducted by a business through a company’s servers (Bon et al., 2008).Services management works to create cohesion and effective running of various departments. ExcellIT can benefit from this largely because the company carries out most of its operations through information systems.IT should not be limited to only its department. By integrating IT into various departments, it would help to improve service delivery, efficient decision making and help to achieve a business’s goals and objectives.
- Identifying problems before they occur- Before the emergence of service management systems businesses would only learn of issues or difficulties once they happen. They would thus be unprepared for the risks that each problem brought along. ITSM and services management systems when brought together help to alleviate the problem and identify it before it occurs(Cots,2015).The use of the two systems as well as ITIL practices helps one to create measures or steps that can help reduce the problem or avoid it completely (Buchsein and Muller, 2016)
- Keeping structured workflows- The use of ITSM frameworks and services management systems ensures the smooth flow or services of an organisation. Both combine to track data movement and record repeated incidents thus making delivery of services efficient. ISO 20000 uses component of ITIL practices such as counting and budgeting. The ISO 20000 helps to manage how finances flow from department to department and can identify inconsistencies in the financial flow when they arise. The implementation of ISO 20000 would help ExcelIT keep track of their records for smooth delivery of services
- Promotes constant growth- Service management systems ensure that any organisation grows every year. The systems can identify inefficiencies and solve problems that arise promptly. Constant monitoring of data enables efficient allocation of resources, and thus the organisation can meet its goals and objectives.
For any organisation to attain ISO 20000 certification, it must follow various steps as outlined by Mr. Basu. The main stages of attaining ISO 20000 certification include:
- Request-A company needs to provide all details related to the organisation such as nature of the business, number of employees, and the scope of the business. The certification body then reviews all the information an sets a price to be paid by the organisation (Bon et al., 2008)
- Certification audit- the board conduct a complete audit of all the organization’s activities as Mr. Basu said. Auditing occurs in two phases. During the first phase, an audit plan is created and covers all the issues to be reviewed. The main purpose of the first phase is checking the authenticity of the documents given and whether they are compliant with ISO 20000 guidelines. The second phase also involves coming up with an audit plan that contains all the elements and people involved in the process.
- Attaining a certificate –Once the organisation addresses all the issues presented by the audit team can then be presented with a certification document
- Surveillance visits- The audit board can conduct regular audits of the organisation at any given time before the renewal of the certificate (Cots, 2015). Organisations found to be incompliant with the guidelines may be stripped of the license Recertification audit – Organizations are required to apply for a new certificate every three years and will have to undergo all the above processes before approval.
Mr. Basu also highlighted the numerous challenges that organisations undergo before or after acquiring an ISO 20000 certificate. The main problems that he identified include:
- Skepticism about the ISO 20000 – Many organisations do not see the value of ISO 20000 certification because of most of the previous versions. Mr. Basu says that it is a challenge trying to explain how the system will improve business operations to his clients. An organisation needs to have an in-depth understanding of the system to understand its importance before applying for certification.
- Knowledge gap within organisations- A majority of top-level management have little knowledge about the system. When approached by their juniors about getting verification most of them refuse to apply for certification because of the costs involved.
ExcelIT can use the organisational change management principle of ITSM to achieve ISO certification. The type of management structure at the organisation does not favor any growth and innovation. All the decision making power has been left to the management and thus limiting ideas given by junior staff, the organisation can decentralize its management so that the lower level staff do not feel left out. Decentralizing management would ensure that there would be improved decision making and an increase in innovation within the organisation.
ISO 20000 certification brings many benefits to any given organisation. ExcelIT would also benefit hugely from the implementation of the systems. The main advantages of ISO 20000 certification include:
- Creation of competitiveness and credibility- In today’s business environment organisations that have passed ISO 20000 certification will most likely be chosen over those that have not attained the certificate. Customers are also more likely to believe in the legibility of a business because of the rigorous auditing process that takes place before certification (Barafort, 2017). ExcellIT would benefit more from certification as investors would flock to pump their resources for the growth of the company (Why do you need ISO/ISE 20000 to ensure success, 2017)
- Productivity- The use of ISO 20000 means that all business processes are defined. Thus each employee within the ExcelIT organisation would be assigned to a given task. The planning process using service management systems ensures that each employee is attached to a task that he or she is best suited. Therefore the productivity of an organisation is bound to increase the percentage of profits (Why do you need ISO/ISE 20000 to ensure success, 2017).
- Benchmark – ISO is the current benchmark for the UT industry. The system shows what a company can achieve through it implementation. The system is bound to improve as technologically also grows and thus will be used by future researchers as a reference for studies.
Recommendations and conclusion
As discussed above ISO 20000 certification is needed for success in the IT industry in Australia. The following are my recommendations that the company can consider before seeking certification.
- Value addition to the organisation- getting an ISO 20000 certification is costly. Therefore, before we have to gauge whether it will prove beneficial to the organisation in the long run. At the moment no current system is better than ISO, so I would recommend that the company applies for certification.
- Cost of implementation- The organisation would be prepared financially for the implementation of the system. It would involve the overhaul of the entire department and restructure them. The certification would require that the organization set aside large sums of money.
- Employee’s role-For the systems to work efficiently employees must work in cohesion. The various department heads should allocate each employee as a specific duty to identify a weak link that would prevent the audit board from issuing certification
In conclusion, ISO 20000 is the future of all types of businesses. Organizations should strive to gain accreditation as it comes with more benefits. Moreover, they would be able to attain the goals and objectives that they set each fiscal year.
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