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PRESS RELEASE

ECB receives ISO/IEC 20000 certification and wins IT Service Management Forum “Project of the Year” award

5 June 2009

The European Central Bank (ECB) has been awarded ISO/IEC 20000 certification for excellence in IT service management (ITSM). The ECB’s Directorate General Information Systems (DG-IS) underwent comprehensive auditing and assessment by an independent auditor, TÜV SÜD, before being awarded the certification. The ECB’s IT service improvement programme also received the itSMF UK “Project of the Year” award in recognition of the institution’s efforts in attaining ISO/IEC 20000 certification.

ISO/IEC 20000 is the first worldwide standard specifically aimed at ITSM. It describes an integrated set of management processes for the effective delivery of IT services to the business and its customers. The ECB is the world’s first central bank to receive certification of compliance with ISO/IEC 20000. That certification is a milestone in the ECB’s service improvement programme and has already contributed positively to realising direct cost benefits.

ISO/IEC 20000 comprises two parts: Part 1, the specification, focuses on the requirements for successful IT service management. It primarily addresses IT staff in charge of ITSM. This part of the standard must be implemented completely if a company wishes to be certified as compliant with ISO/IEC 20000. Part 2 of the standard assists auditors and IT service providers in the improvement of process and service quality.

All IT processes at the ECB are documented and monitored. This permits the rapid identification and immediate correction of any technical malfunctions. The system’s transparency ensures maximum availability and reduces failure of individual system components. The systematic annual quality audits performed within the scope of certification ensure a continuous monitoring and improvement of processes and structures.

Peter Klein, Chief Finance Officer of TÜV SÜD AG, presented the certificate to Jürgen Stark, member of the ECB’s Executive Board on 4 June 2009. At the presentation, Peter Klein commended the ECB for its detailed approach to the introduction of new services and its excellent management of IT operations: “When I look at the business processes at a central bank – the collation, preparation and communication of data related to national economies – I notice particularly that these processes are hardly feasible without efficient and effective IT support. Certification in this context is not a one-off event, but triggers a continuous improvement process through which the ECB gains a competitive edge.”

Commenting on the certification, Hans-Gert Penzel, Director General Information Systems at the ECB, said that it signifies to internal and external stakeholders that DG-IS is able to deliver efficient and effective IT services using industry best practices.

Underlining this major achievement, the ECB’s certification project received the “Project of the Year” award at the itSMF UK, a forum for ITSM professionals throughout the world. This award goes to the organisation that, in the view of the panel of judges, has implemented the most challenging and successful ITSM project in the preceding year. The ECB’s submission was selected unanimously by the judges, who acknowledged, in particular, the approach followed by the ECB in implementing ISO/IEC 20000 processes.

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