Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is an established set of well-defined Services that focuses on managing IT infrastructure, business components, applications, and associated processes. Many industry groups have well-defined recommendations on the services, and processes called frameworks, that can be used to solve varied business needs or requirements.

When appropriately applied, ITSM solutions help IT Operations teams to successfully manage progressively more complex, hybrid environments and accelerate the delivery of Cloud services. These solutions provide advanced automation, performance management, and orchestration abilities.

IT service management (ITSM) consists of the activities, tools, processes, and policies that businesses and other organizations use to deliver IT services. Although many of the best practices and models that are used for delivering IT services are beginning to spill over to other departments, (such as HR and finance), IT remains the most dominant use-case for service management frameworks.

ITSM characteristically involves the following:


What is an ITSM framework?

ITSM emphasizes on approaches that are led by processes. These processes consist of set best practices and are called frameworks. An ITSM framework focuses on services rather than systems – unlike other IT disciplines such as network management, which is more focused on technology.

ITSM framework refers to the collective processes and practices that are needed to manage and support Information Technology services. ITSM framework supports the full spectrum of IT services - right from network, application and complete business services, in a vendor-independent manner. Several ITSM framework and standards such as ITIL, IT4IT, eTOM or COBIT contribute to defining standard operation techniques and supporting services within establishments while providing value and efficiency gain for the IT operation teams.

Along with frameworks such as DevOps, Lean and Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT), the most popular and widely used ITSM framework is called ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). ITIL aims at improving IT delivery to support multiple business objectives.

The practical use of framework and process ratings

Knowing the most popular frameworks and processes implemented by other organizations helps to understand that there are multiple options available to meet IT service delivery needs. A list of the more universally used frameworks and processes is valued, if for nothing else than to help shape the choices as an organization determines its own ITSM strategy.

For those looking for a career in ITSM or for establishments offering ITSM support, knowing which frameworks and processes are more viable and popular helps to identify potential employers or customers. For example, while ITIL is a colossal name in ITSM frameworks, it is worthy to know that Microsoft Operations Framework is making a reputable name for itself as a contending framework.

Benefits of ITSM frameworks

There is much expenditure supplementary to IT investments. Many leaders and C-Level officials express frustration as their teams try to end the disorder with restricted guidance and direction. ITIL is internationally the most widely recognized approach to accomplish and deliver IT services.

IT departments and employees in many establishments are not capable of accomplishing tasks on a well-timed basis, due to impromptu work, at all times, taking precedence over work that is planned. ITIL can help an organization close this unremitting cycle giving a clear emphasis to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and other accompanying activities in their unit.

Successfully adopting ITIL with IT Service Management (ITSM) enables to deliver the following:

ITIL – The best ITSM Framework

Any ITIL process or ITIL framework is varied and comprises of many aspects of IT. Instead of introducing the full set of ITIL references together, it is imperative for an organization to pinpoint what needs to be addressed with immediate effect and begin there.

ITIL provides guidance that can be reviewed to suit the needs of a certain organization – not as a rigid book of rules. Here are three common methodologies for establishments implementing ITIL:

Providing Better Support - focused on IT offering better support to users

Enabling Business Change - providing a governance and reassurance role

Providing Better Services -provide data for CSI initiatives of an organization, as well as warranting that relevant service level targets are achieved actively.


The story of ITIL – The ITSM framework

Developed by the British government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) during the 1980s, the ITIL primarily consisted of over 30 books outlining the best practices in information technology gathered from a lot of sources. ITIL's reliability and utility augmented over the years, and in 2005 its practices contributed to and associated with the ISO/IEC 20000 Service Management standard - the first international standard for IT service management.

Since 2013, ITIL is owned by Axelos — a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Capita. Axelos permits businesses the license to use the ITIL framework while handling ITIL process changes and updates.

Several amendments have been made to the ITIL – In 2000, the original 30 books of the ITIL were first abridged to seven books, and later combined to five volumes containing 26 ITIL processes and functions. In 2011, another update — dubbed ITIL 2011 — was published under the Cabinet Office. ITIL 4, which was released in 2019, focuses on automating ITIL processes, refining service management and integrating the IT department into the business. It accommodates and responds appropriately to modern technology tools and software. With ITIL processes and framework, the IT unit has developed to become essential to every business, helping them to be more agile, collective and flexible.

ITIL consists of nine directorial principles for organizational change management, communication and measurement & metrics. These principles embrace:

ITIL processes boost teamwork between IT and other departments, mainly as other business units increasingly rely on technology to complete tasks. ITIL also highlights customer feedback, as it is easier than ever for companies to comprehend their public insight, contentment or discontent.

ITIL framework ideas include the delivery of valued service offerings, as well as catering to customer needs, and accomplishing business goals of the said organization. Regardless of the individuality of each organization, ITIL offers guidelines for achieving these goals and measuring success with KPIs.


Implement the right ITIL Process

IT processes that are defined below par have often resulted in a rift between traditional IT organizations and its frontrunners. However, there is no common approach or one impeccable solution to outline and implement IT service management processes. Businesses need to gauge business goals and costs, resource limits, and organizational principles to decide the right processes that are most hands-on to adopt.

ITIL guidelines and applying ITIL processes that suit the trade needs enables a bridge between business and technology. ITIL consists of five basic publications with best practices for every phase of the IT service lifecycle:

1. ITIL Service Strategy—plans business goals and customer requirements
2. ITIL Service Design—transitioning plans into action items to help the business
3. ITIL Service Transition—applying services within the business ecosystem
4. ITIL Service Operation—describes key processes associated with the IT service management
5. ITIL Continual Service Improvement—helps ITIL users apprise and bring in IT service enhancements


ITIL’s acceptance is part of the reason why it gets mixed up with ITSM. ITIL is the existing ITSM framework. ITIL represents everything in the ITSM description above. However, ITSM explains the “what”, while ITIL explains the “how”. Implementing ITIL processes and gaining ITIL certification offers substantial business benefits. These benefits include managing service disruptions, building contented customer relationships by delivering services that meet customer demand, and augmenting service efficiency, employee efficiency, and business value while decreasing service overheads.

ITIL is the ITSM framework used by organizations of all sizes, across several industry verticals, and in nations across the world. While it is most common to see ITIL as the most implemented frequently ITSM framework among large enterprises, ITIL as an ITSM framework brings value to small and mid-sized organizations. Smaller companies often implement only a subcategory of ITIL processes that are observed to offer the most substantial or perceptible return on effort. According to a study by Macquarie University, the three ITIL processes with the maximum adoption rates amongst those organizations that have incorporated ITIL were Incident Management (95% of respondents), Change Management (88%) and Problem Management (71 percent).