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.
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.