9 min read

What is an ITSM Framework and What are the 4 Most Common?

March 15, 2022

4 Common ITSM Frameworks: ITIL, ITOM, ITBM and IT Service Automation

ITSM (IT Service Management) remains a necessary fixture in nearly every business. The ITSM approach delivers IT service efficiently, both to end-users and internal teams. However, ITSM can cover lots of moving parts, and its complex nature requires it to work with several complementary frameworks to ensure optimal process, delivery, and efficiency in IT.  

Read on to learn about what ITSM frameworks are, why they’re needed, and various frameworks that help support ITSM. 

ITSM blog

What is an ITSM Framework? Definition & Use Cases 

An ITSM framework is a set of policies, processes, and procedures that organizations use to manage and deliver quality IT services to their customers. It ensures that IT services are aligned with the needs of the business, emphasizing continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. These ITSM methodologies provide structured approaches for managing IT services, covering areas and use cases such as: 

  • Incident and problem management 
  • Knowledge management 
  • Change management 
  • Service strategy, design, transition, and operation 
  • Continual service improvement 

Why Do You Need ITSM Framework? Benefits & Challenges 

Implementing an ITSM framework is crucial for organizations seeking to optimize their IT service delivery and support. It provides a structured approach to managing IT services, ensuring they are delivered efficiently and effectively, meeting both customer and business requirements. The benefits of an ITSM framework include standardized processes, improved service quality, cost reduction, and enhanced productivity. It also promotes a proactive approach to problem-solving and service improvement, leading to higher customer satisfaction and better alignment of IT services with business goals. 

Organizations may face challenges such as the initial cost of implementation, the need for cultural change, and ongoing maintenance of the framework. Despite these challenges, the long-term advantages of properly planning for and adopting an ITSM framework make it a valuable investment for consistent, reliable, and high-quality IT service delivery. 

4 Popular ITSM Framework Examples 

ITSM Framework #1: ITIL 

You may have heard the terms ITIL and ITSM used together pretty often. However, they serve different functions. IT service management is how IT teams manage service delivery. On the other hand, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for ITSM, making it the what. Typically, businesses that use an ITIL framework enjoy smoother service management. 

The history of the IT Infrastructure Library dates back to the 1980s when the British government created it in an effort to improve IT performance. ITIL practice standards focus on the core areas of change management, problem management, and incident management. 

Over the years, ITIL has evolved with the times and technology. The most recent version released in 2019 is known as ITIL 4. This iteration was developed to respond to modern methodologies like Agile and DevOps. 

ITIL was created as a standard to guide ITSM in practice. They necessitate each other, and successful IT teams should rely on both to achieve their goals. 

ITSM Framework #2:ITOM 

ITOM  stands for IT operations management. Service management focuses on service delivery, and ITIL defines the standard for ITSM. However, ITOM is a framework made up of processes that focus on tools, infrastructure, and how to implement and operate technology.  

The IT operations framework is directed more at the actual tech being used, the environment, and operating procedures. It includes things like capacity, performance, and storage. The reason that ITOM is so critical for service management is that effective IT operations can mean less downtime, optimal service delivery, and better user experiences.  

ITSM Framework #3:ITBM 

ITBM (IT Business Management) encompasses company information, IT ops, business services, and technology. Essentially, it connects IT with essential business practices and information.  

ITSM combined with ITBM produces a technology environment that supports business goals, growth strategy, and overall company needs. ITBM contributes in helpful areas like finance, business data analytics, Agile, and project management. It can also provide better insight and visibility, simplify workflows and create optimal business-technology alignment. 

ITSM Framework #4:IT Service Automation  

IT service automation refers to the tool that automates ITSM tasks and workflows. ITSM-conscious teams use this software to resolve incidents, create SOPs and move tickets through automated workflows. 

IT service automation helps improve customer and end-user relationships by speeding up resolution times and giving IT teams breathing room to focus on providing consistent support. It also can enhance employee productivity by supporting faster resolutions for technical issues. 

The best performing ITSM and complementary frameworks operate with IT service automation or ITSM software. Since there are many solutions on the market, be sure to consider your company’s unique needs and analyze each platform carefully before making your decision. 


Beyond optimized service management and operations, ITSM and helpful frameworks can also support digital transformation. The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation globally, and IT teams have had to get their organizations up to speed with new technology that ensures teams work digitally in remote and hybrid working environments. ITSM helps keep procedures organized, and an ITSM software platform helps alleviate workload and streamline efficiency. 

If you’d like to discover how ITSM software can take your IT service management to the next level, try DeskDirector for free. 


Author's Bio

warwickWarwick Eade

Warwick Eade is the founder of DeskDirector and Lancom Technology, two pioneering companies that have redefined the landscape of IT automation and ticketing systems. As a distinguished member of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals, the IEEE Computer Society, and the NZ Software Association, Warwick brings many decades of transformative leadership and innovation to the technology sector.

Warwick’s groundbreaking journey began with a simple, yet powerful idea sketched on a whiteboard at Lancom, where he envisioned more streamlined and efficient IT systems. This vision materialized into DeskDirector, a revolutionary all-in-one ticketing automation platform that enhances organizational workflows, process management, and client relationships, benefiting everyone from IT to HR.



4 Challenges with an Automated Ticketing System – DeskDirector
Ticketing automation is “low hanging fruit” for most IT organizations: with the potential to ...
Read More
Microsoft Operations Framework: An In-Depth Overview – DeskDirector
IT service management (ITSM) can feel like solving a rubix cube: only the exact right combination ...
Read More
What Is Enterprise Service Management? All the Answers Inside – DeskDirector
Gartner expects business spending on IT to increase 6.8% in 2024, reaching $1.5 trillion by the end ...
Read More