Good and professional practice with respect to computing, particularly if you are providing a service, is always a good idea. However, defining this is not straight forward and simple. Some questions are: What is it? How is it measured? How can I achieve it?
ITIL and ISO 20000 are, at least in part, designed to address this. They provide a framework for 'best practice' for what is loosely described as IT service management. They are becoming, or it could be argued have become, the de facto method for managing IT. But what are they?
ITIL stands for the 'IT Infrastructure Library'. It is essentially a set of volumes which describes a management framework for pretty much every aspect of managing IT: problem management, service desk, incident management, change management, release management, availability management, financial management and so on.
It was originally developed by the CCTA, part of the UK government, which is now known as OGC. However, it quickly spread throughout industry and commerce, and of course internationally.
Supporting it is an examination and certification system. This comprises three levels of qualification: ITIL Foundation, ITIL Practitioner and ITIL Manager. The certification process is managed by two official bodies: EXIN and ISEB.
Certainly, this is not one which is going to disappear.
ITIL & ISO 20000 News
This is an official standard for IT service management, published by ISO (International Standards Organization). It was built on an earlier standard, called BS15000, by the BSI, and fully supports the ITIL approach.
BS15000 actually comprises two distinct parts:
BS15000-1: IT service management - Specification for service management
BS15000-2: IT service management - A Code of practice for service management
On a certification level, the key issue to bear in mind is that ITIL is an individual qualification, whereas ISO 20000 / BS15000 is a corporate / organizational certificate. This of course frames many people's approaches to both. It should be emphasized however that they are intended to compliment each other.
ISO 20000 & ITIL UG