An Extensive Review of IT Service Design in Seven International ITSM Processes Frameworks: Part I

An Extensive Review of IT Service Design in Seven International ITSM Processes Frameworks: Part I

Manuel Mora (Information Systems Department, Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico), Mahesh Raisinghani (School of Management, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX, USA), Rory V. O'Connor (School of Computing, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland), Jorge Marx Gomez (Department of Computing Science, Oldenburg University, Oldenburg, Germany) and Ovsei Gelman (CCADET, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/ijitsa.2014070105
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An IT service design process is considered to be a fundamental piece of the seven key international IT Service Management (ITSM) processes frameworks (ITIL v2, ITIL v3 (and ITIL v2011), ISO 20000-4, CobIT 4.0, CMMI-SVC, MOF 4.0, and ITUP). Nevertheless the availability of IT service design processes, few –if any- descriptive-comparative studies among them have been reported. Thus, in this paper (Part I), we address this knowledge gap. An extensive descriptive-comparative review of seven IT service design processes in aforementioned frameworks is reported. Fundamental concepts (viz., design as noun, design as verb, service, service system, IT service, IT service system, and IT service architecture design) are analyzed by using a Systems Approach. Our findings indicate that the frameworks ITIL v2, ISO/IEC 20000 and Cobit 4.0 are using weak systemic concepts, while the frameworks ITIL v3, CMMI-SVC, ITUP and MOF 4.0 are more foundationally congruent with the new service systems view. Implications for ITSM theory and practice are discussed.
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IT Service Management (ITSM) can be defined as a management system of organizational resources and capabilities for providing value to organizational customers through IT services (van Bon et al., 2007). IT Service Management has become a relevant organizational theme for IT areas in large and mid-sized organizations because it is expected that its utilization, jointly with other IT schemes of processes, deliver a more efficient and effective IT management, and ultimately a better organizational value (Johnson et al., 2007; Gallup et al., 2009).

While studies on ITSM impacts are relatively scarce (Hochstein et al., 2005; Cater-Steel & Toleman, 2006; Potgetier et al., 2006; Cater-Steel et al., 2009), the few available studies share evidences of benefits. In Hochstein et al. (2005) the findings of six cases conducted in large European companies (5) and a governmental setting (1) are reported. In all of them, the overall assessment is of positive impacts categorized as follows: a better client/service orientation with positive impacts on the quality of IT services respectively, a better efficiency of IT processes, and a better visibility of IT processes (transparency and comparability documentary issues). Cater-Steel and Toleman (2006) also reports the following positive impacts of ITSM (found in 5 cases of Australian companies): a more consistent and documented service management process (less negative surprises or omissions), less conflictive SLAs negotiations (smoother), more precise predictions of IT infrastructure warranty issues, and a better manager of incidents, changes and testing tasks. Potgetier et al. (2006) also support the notion of ITSM implementation benefits from a single case. In Cater-Steel et al.’s (2009) survey of 65 Australian corporations identified the following key benefits: an improved customer satisfaction, an improved response and resolution time, an improved IT service continuity, a clear identification of roles/responsibilities, a reduction in cost/incident, and an improved IT employee productivity.

However, in order to be realized such benefits, IT practitioners – and organizations- must first select, learn, and deploy correctly an ITSM processes framework (Pollard & Cater-Steel, 2009). At present, the main seven ITMS processes frameworks are: ISO/IEC 20000 (ISO, 2005; 2010), ITIL v2 (van Bon et al., 2005), ITIL v3 (Cartlidge, 2007; van Von et al., 2007), CobIT 4.0 (ITGI, 2005), CMMI-SVC (SEI, 2010), ITUP® (EMA, 2006; Ganek & Kloeckner, 2007; IBM, 2010), and MOF® 4.0 (Microsoft, 2008). However, no single approach has achieved a generalized acceptance, which is not surprising, as there are a multitude of other contextual and situational factors that influence the choice of process and process management decisions (Clarke & O’Connor, 2012). Furthermore there have been attempts to develop a mechanism for relating process decisions and industrial contexts contexts (Jeners et al., 2013).

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