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ISO/IEC 20000 Part 9 – Guidance on the Application of ISO/IEC 20000-1 to Cloud Services

Word Cloud Quality ManagementIntroduction

ISO/IEC 20000-9, Guidance on the application of ISO/IEC 20000-1 to cloud services was published in March 2015. This is a valuable addition to the ISO/IEC 20000 series confirming that ISO/IEC 20000 is applicable in many and varied scenarios including for cloud services.

What is Part 9?

As indicated, Part 9 must be used with Part 1 of ISO/IEC 20000. This document provides ‘guidance on the use of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 for service providers delivering cloud services. It is applicable to different categories of cloud service, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. a) infrastructure as a service (IaaS);
  2. b) platform as a service (PaaS);
  3. c) software as a service (SaaS).

It is also applicable to public, private, community, and hybrid cloud deployment models. The applicability of ISO/IEC 20000-1 is independent of the type of technology or service model used to deliver the services. All requirements in ISO/IEC 20000-1 can be applicable to cloud service providers.’

Contents of Part 9

It is 41 pages long so not too long to be read and be used. After the usual introductory and mandatory clauses, clause 4 gives an introduction to cloud services and the use of scenarios in the part.  Clause 5 is a set of scenarios following a service lifecycle using terminology familiar to cloud service providers. Each scenario has a description, outcomes, a list of applicable clauses from ISO/IEC 20000-1, guidance on the application to cloud services and examples. The scenarios are:

  1. Identify the context for service management of cloud services
  2. Establish strategy and plan for management of cloud services
  3. Provide a catalogue of cloud services
  4. Identify and manage service requirements for cloud services
  5. Design and develop a new cloud service
  6. Establish a service relationship with the cloud customer
  7. Establish a cloud service agreement
  8. Onboarding the customer
  9. Deliver and operate the cloud services
  10. Monitor and report cloud services
  11. Manage resources for cloud services
  12. Check and improve the SMS and cloud services
  13. Terminate a cloud service contract
  14. Transfer a cloud service
  15. Remove a cloud service

Example – Provide a catalogue of cloud services

This scenario maps onto ISO/IEC 20000-1 clauses 4.3 (Documentation management), 6.1 (Service level management) and 7.1 (Business relationship management).  The guidance calls for a catalogue to describe cloud and any other services. The example gives a useful list of content for a cloud service catalogue.

Other related standards

Other standards are being developed for cloud and these are referenced from Part 9.  These are:

ISO/IEC 17788/ITU-TY.3500, Information technology – Cloud Computing – Overview and vocabulary

ISO/IEC 17789/ITU-TY.3502, Information technology – Cloud computing – Reference architecture.

Other standards are being prepared outside of the ISO/IEC 20000 series e.g. a sample SLA for cloud services.

Further information

ISO/IEC 20000 part 9 can be obtained from the ISO web site or your country standards body e.g. BSI in the UK.

ITIL Master, ISO/IEC 20000-1 project editor, consultant and trainer

Permission to reproduce extracts from BSI ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 is granted by BSI.  British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hardcopies only: Tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, Email:

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