ISO/IEC 20000, the international standard for IT Service Management, should provide some comfort and re-assurance to any organization that is considering outsourcing some or all of its services to a third party supplier. Following a successful independent audit the third party supplier organization can be awarded the ISO 20000 certification, but be warned the certification can refer to an organization, or a defined functional or geographical part of that organization.
Recent involvement in a tendering exercise to outsource the provision and support for a Wide Area Network (WAN), exposed the potential pitfall with organizations claiming to be ISO 20000 accredited. Only one of the five or so third parties that responded to the Statement of Service Requirements (SSR) claimed to be ISO 20000 accredited. Upon further investigation it was found that the accreditation was awarded to a 'ring-fenced' service that was to another customer. The accreditation had no value or bearing upon the proposed service offering in response to the Statement of Service Requirements.
In hindsight the Statement of Service Requirements should have stated what elements of the service to be provided by the third party supplier will be ISO/IEC 20000 accredited.
Take the opportunity to request a copy of the ISO/IEC 20000 certificate and clarify exactly what the accreditation applies to and the relevance it will have to your organization.
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