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In many aspects of IT, compliance is table stakes, and it can be hard to know which certifications to intentionally work toward as major competitive differentiators. In the alphabet soup of IT compliance certifications, there is one that you should absolutely start caring about, as it can act as a springboard for your organization’s change management and  growth: ISO 20000-1.

ISO 20000-1’s internationally recognized compliance standards will give your organization the tools and resources to effectively manage your IT infrastructure in a way that guarantees the efficacy of processes, which by the nature of those processes, can make your organization more secure. It may be tempting to work through this process on your own or to disregard it as an impossible standard, but today’s blog will walk you through why it matters and how your IT services provider can help you get there. 

The Problem with DIY Change Management

Your IT is often a key differentiator between you and the other guys. You use it to reach larger audiences, you depend on it for productivity and cost reduction and at the end of the day, it supports the customer experience, which protects your reputation. IT teams all over the world are working diligently to make sure they get the most from their IT investments, keeping all IT services meticulously planned and managed, with little room for interruptions.

Your IT budget can quickly become a point of contention, as they are hard to manage. IT projects can often failor far exceed the projected costs, which can lead organizations to fail before seeing any return on their investment. It can be hard to know how to keep your IT management aligned with your organization’s goals for growth.

How Does ISO 20000-1 Work?

ISO 20000 compliance guarantees high-quality IT service management standards that are fundamental to your business’s success. ISO 20000-1 is a global standard for IT service management systems. It was developed to mirror IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices and to support other IT service management approaches. Any organization in compliance with ISO 20000-1 has a significant advantage when it comes to their IT. The certification process includes an intensive audit process, followed by annual surveillance reviews completed by an accredited certifying body.

ISO 20000-1 ensures success by consistently monitoring and documenting the management of:

  • Change
  • Inventory and Configuration
  • Relationships
  • Incidents
  • Capacity
  • Service Continuity and Availability
  • Service Deployment and Development

How ISO 20000-1 Will Benefit Your Organization

Any organization who attains ISO 20000-1 compliance will receive a host of benefits, including reduced stress around IT changes. But if you’re looking to get more specific, here are a few other reasons you may want to make moves toward compliance.

Mitigated Risk of Human Error and Outages

This is easily the biggest advantage of an ISO 20000-1 facility. Human error and network downtime are the top two reasons for outages and ISO 20000-1 prevents them both through its unique change management processes.  Here are a few ways it does this:

  • Documenting processes for proposed changes. This includes dates of changes, an identified risk level, failback plans, etc.
  • All parties must approve processes for proposed changes. Executives, subject matter experts and other relevant parties must sign off before moving forward with any changes. This also allows for any adjustments for date or risk, depending on the customers’ needs.
  • Root cause analysis is carried out if a change fails or an outage occurs to document the reason for the issue and how it can be prevented in the future. This RCA will be distributed to any impacted customer.

Given this rigorous process for documentation, communication and backup requirements, compliant parties see a massive reduction in human error. Because this certification mainly focuses on change management so when a change is made to an IT environment, that change is assessed for risk level, peer reviewed, and a failback plan is set into place and all this is communicated with any impacted customer with plenty of time to make adjustments to the plans or backups to account for other operations. If a change doesn’t go as planned, it’s easy to refer to the rollback plan for this specific change to ensure there is minimal, if no, downtime for end users. Additionally, the backup plan for every change makes disruption significantly less likely.

Boosted Productivity

At the end of the day, your IT is there to support your organization, not the other way around. The more efficient and effective you can make your IT infrastructure, the more reliable your services will be. A brilliant side-effect of ISO 20000-1 is that everyone is in lockstep and knows which levers to pull and when, reducing the number of incidents and  increasing your ability to handle them.

Improved Credibility

If you attain ISO 20000-1 compliance, you’ve attained the ONLY internationally-recognized standard for IT service management. Given that this is a notoriously difficult standard to reach, your customers will know they are in good hands. Your ability to deliver improved IT services while protecting your company and its  investors will help secure your reputation in your industry.

Fully Integrated Processes

Your organization knows how critical it is for sales and marketing to be aligned, but the same is true for your IT infrastructure and your organization’s larger goals for the future. If your IT isn’t actively propelling your organization forward, it’s time to look for a new option that suits you better. Partnering with an IT service provider audited for ISO 20000-1 compliance can help future-proof your organization by supporting most goals that involve customer retention, security and scalability.

Increased Agility

At its core, ISO 20000-1 compliance enables organizations to respond to changes faster and better. IT creates a solid framework of best practices for all sorts of environment changes from the inside out, giving you the power to stop risks in their tracks before they become devastating events.

Competitive Advantage

If the above reasons weren’t enough to get you on board, through highly effective and efficient delivery of IT services, your organization has a tangible edge over your competitors. You will be able to reduce IT issues and respond to them faster than before, freeing up more time for innovative, strategic organizational IT development.

How Can Your IT Service Provider Help You Get There?

ISO 20000-1 is a certification that everyone wants but few can prove that they deserve, which is why it’s critical that your provider should be well on the road to an ISO 20000-1 certification if they don’t already have one. IT services management is something that your cloud or colocation provider should be able to execute at a high level, but only the best can boast ISO 20000-1 compliance. If they’re compliant, every bit of your IT held with them is compliant too.

By choosing a compliant provider, you can offload a lot of the legwork of gaining the certification without losing any of the benefits. In fact, the extension of compliance management staff gives you an added benefit of not having to constantly track and trace the compliance progress of your IT infrastructure.

The right IT services provider will take the reins on monitoring and documentation of compliance metrics, saving you countless headaches and sleepless nights worrying about whether or not it was done correctly.

Trust LightEdge for the Gold Standard of Change Management

Consistency in IT governance between you and your cloud provider can be difficult to find and maintain. LightEdge’s ISO 20000-1 certification demonstrates our ongoing commitment to excellence within IT service management since our initial certification in 2014. Partnering with an ISO 20000-1 certified cloud provider, like LightEdge, ensures your IT infrastructure or cloud hosting is managed consistently with a globally-recognized standard of excellence. Our ISO 20000-1 certification requires evidence-based benchmarks, so you can be confident in our commitment to serving you.

Our mutual goal is to protect the integrity, availability and confidentiality of your critical data. The ISIMS supporting our colocation, managed, and hosted services are ISO 20000-1 certified by Schellman & Company, LLC, so you can rest easy that LightEdge upholds the highest standards in security.

Would we be crazy to think you’re ready to hear about ISO 20000-1 and how it can help your business? Let’s grab fifteen minutes to chat so you can get a leg up on your competition’s IT strategy.

 


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director of compliance
Michael Hannan

Michael has eleven years of information systems, IT, consulting, and compliance experience. His expertise includes identifying and implementing general IT systems, applications, and business controls in conjunction with external compliance audits.

Michael is currently the Director of Compliance at LightEdge, helping to establish, maintain and, enforce the information security policies and procedures that keep LightEdge customers protected at all times.

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