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New initiative by AXELOS: ITIL® for non-IT service providers

  May 3, 2015      By Stefan Kempter      ITIL  

YaSM Service-Management Blog | AXELOS Initiative: ITIL for service providers in non-IT environments

In a recent press release ("AXELOS launches initiative to leverage ITIL®") AXELOS announced a new initiative, aimed at encouraging more widespread use of ITIL "beyond the framework’s traditional use in IT".

Even AXELOS admit that the idea of applying ITIL best practice outside the domain of IT service management is not new, and if we look around a bit we will find that other frameworks already target the wider service management industry. CMMI-SVC® for example, although developed by the Software Engineering Institute, is meant to "provide guidance on how all types of service providers can establish, manage and improve services" [1]. The same is true of USMBOK™.

Providers of service management systems also started offering solutions for providers of non-IT services some time ago. ServiceNow, for instance, these days offers solutions for IT service management, but also for HR, facilities, legal, financial and marketing service management.

So as we can see the idea of making more widespread use of ITIL or other service management frameworks is indeed not new. The question is: Why is the guidance provided by ITIL not used on a bigger scale outside the world of IT organizations?

I don't know if I have all the answers to this question, but from numerous conversations with prospects and customers I know that many find ITIL too big and too complex for their purposes. And it also contains a lot of guidance specifically for providers of IT services, which makes everyone else wonder if ITIL is right for them.

To us this means that in order to become more acceptable to non-IT service providers, ITIL and similar frameworks need to shed weight and use a kind of language that is better understood outside the world of IT - which takes us right to the origins of YaSM:

When creating YaSM, we wanted to build a framework that is simpler and easier to understand, and thus more appealing to all sorts of organizations providing services organizations providing services in the fields of enterprise service management resp. ITSM.

One of the most important decisions we took in this respect was to split up the service management processes into five service lifecycle processes (taking a leaf from ITIL's book) and a number of supporting processes.

This allows YaSM to describe a set of core activities that are likely to be beneficial for most service providers: Obviously, it makes a lot of sense to

As for the supporting processes, these will not be needed to the same extent by all types of service providers. We can imagine that, say, providers of restaurant or legal services will not put the same emphasis on managing technical configuration items as a provider of IT services. Here, YaSM's simpler structure makes it easy to leave away those supporting processes that are not needed - or to introduce modifications where required.

We welcome the new initiative by AXELOS and we hope it will lead to more widespread use of ITIL in the wider service management community.

In the meantime, we would like to invite non-IT service providers that want to benefit from service management best practice today to explore the streamlined YaSM model.

YaSM, after all, is based on service management best practice as it evolved over the past 30 years, and whatever guidance AXELOS is going to produce in the future will be in line with these principles.

Resources and further reading


[1] Forrester, Eileen C., Buteau, Brandon L. & Sandy Shrum: CMMI for Services: Guidelines for Superior Services. - 2nd edition. Pearson Education, Inc.; River, NJ, USA, December 2011.

Related pages



Author: Stefan Kempter


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