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Regulatory compliance and ITSM industry standards: What you need to know

Navigating the intricate landscape of regulatory compliance and aligning with IT Service Management (ITSM) industry standards can be daunting for organisations. However, understanding and implementing regulatory compliance in conjunction with ITSM industry standards is not just about legal adherence—it's a strategic tool that enhances operational efficiency, boosts customer trust, and mitigates risks.

By adhering to industry standards and complying with regulatory bodies, companies not only protect themselves from legal repercussions but also gain a competitive advantage through improved efficiency and customer satisfaction. So, what do organisations need to do to ensure compliance is at the heart of their ITSM?

How can you ensure your organisation is compliant with ITSM regulation and industry standards?

1. Identify relevant regulations

Start by identifying which legal and regulatory standards apply to your organisation based on your geographic location, industry, and the nature of the data you handle.  Some regulations that may be applicable include:

  • Data Protection and Privacy: The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 are pivotal in regulating how businesses handle personal data
  • Cybersecurity: The Network and Information Systems (NIS) Regulations 2018 aim to boost the overall level of cybersecurity across network and information systems
  • Financial Services: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sets specific compliance guidelines for financial operations, impacting how IT services are managed within the sector

2. Implement ITSM frameworks and standards

Several ITSM frameworks can guide how to comply and follow industry best practice. Some of the common frameworks for ITSM include:

  • ITIL® 4: Widely adopted in the UK, ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) provides a comprehensive set of best practices for IT service management
  • ISO/IEC 20000: This international standard for IT service management is also pertinent for UK companies seeking to standardise their service management processes
  • COBIT: COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies) helps integrate regulatory compliance into IT governance frameworks

After selecting the preferred framework, it is important to certify your team in the standard to show commitment to ITSM best practice.

Learn more about our ITIL 4 training courses.

4. Develop a compliance-first ITSM strategy

To ensure compliance across the organisation, it is important to have clear and accessible policies and procedures that employees can follow. To ensure compliance with regulations and standards, it may be necessary to develop IT policies that align with ITSM best practices while being tailored to the specific needs of the organisation.

This can also help create an ITSM risk management framework that provides a proactive approach to managing regulatory issues or concerns.

Making regulatory compliance a non-negotiable

Ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and adhering to ITSM industry standards requires a proactive approach and a commitment to continuous improvement. Unfortunately, regulatory compliance is not a set-it-and-forget-it approach; it needs regular review and refinement. However, setting a strong foundation by following these four steps can be a great place to start.