The Ultimate ITSM Glossary

Aug 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM | IT Service Management The Ultimate ITSM Glossary

There are many words, phrases, and acronyms that are either unique to the ITIL / IT service management world or have a specific meaning within those contexts.

There are many words, phrases, and acronyms that are either unique to the ITIL / IT service management world or have a specific meaning within those contexts.

To help clarify these terms and concepts, Kinetic Data has compiled definitions for almost 60 items in our IT service management glossary.

ITSM GlossaryHere are a few sample definitions from the glossary of ITSM terms.

Agile Service Management

A methodology for providing users with the ability to order and obtain physical items or resolution of issues in a manner that permits new offerings to be defined and added to the system quickly; that makes it easy to change existing items; and that allows new items to be added iteratively, starting with one or a small set of offerings and scaling to large numbers of varied items. With an agile approach to service request management, new service items can be defined an added to the system iteratively, allowing for “quick wins,” rather than requiring an extended effort followed by a “big bang” release of a large, complex catalog of business services all at once. Agile service request management also provides the flexibility to easily accommodate changing user needs, such as modifying or expanding existing service offerings to support mobile users.

Business Service Catalog

Extending the concept of providing a portal interface in which physical items or issue-resolution processes are defined and can be requested by users, from IT-related items only to all functional departments across an organization. Though the concept of service catalogs began in IT as a recommendation of ITIL, these are now evolving into enterprise or business service catalogs per Forrester Research. Accordingly, the architecture of enterprise service catalogs is evolving to accommodate a wider range of service offerings than just IT services; to enable non-technical business function managers to define and optimize their own service fulfillment task workflow processes; and to scale to the enterprise level. This evolution extends the benefits of service catalogs across the business.


Acronym for “bring your own device,” this is one manifestation of the consumerization of IT, the trend for users to prefer their own smartphones and tablets over company-issued phones and bulky laptops, and to use a single device for both work and personal purposes rather than managing applications and data sharing between multiple pieces of hardware. Enterprises are adapting to the BYOD phenomenon by creating policies and procedures that provide employees with flexibility while protecting corporate data and application access, and shifting to schedule-based rather than queue-based support services to better accommodate mobile workers. By adopting processes such as simple BYOD device registration and remote installation of required software, organizations can benefit from both lower overall support costs and happier employees.

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

Variously defined as an integrated set of IT best practices recommendations, a framework for accepted IT service management best practices, and a set of documents designed to improve IT service delivery. ITIL provides an extensive set of IT management procedures designed to improve the efficiency, timeliness and quality of IT services delivery. The library was first developed by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), a U.K. government agency. It is now managed by the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC). ITIL V3 consists of five core documents: IT Service Design, IT Service Introduction, IT Service Operations, IT Service Improvement and IT Service Strategies. One key element of ITIL service delivery recommendations is the establishment of an easy-to-use, dynamic IT service catalog; Kinetic Request service catalog software supports implementation of an enterprise-wide service catalog by providing service request management functionality coupled with backend process automation via Kinetic Task.

IT Service Management (ITSM)

An approach to managing large-scale IT systems and processes focusing on the customer perspective of service delivery (as opposed to technology-centric), and promoted by ITIL best practices. ITSM is a framework for continual improvement in the IT services delivery process, much as CMM is focused on application development. Effective IT service management integrates technology with people and processes in a manner that supports industry best practices, such as implementation of a service catalog.

Check out the ITSM glossary for the full set of definitions.

Tom Pick

Written By: Tom Pick