What Is The Difference Between IT Governance And IT Service Management?

n the current dynamic period, there are many systematic approaches for organizations through which they use to run their daily service operations. Sometimes, some of these approaches seem so alike that it became difficult to differentiate them. The real problem is how we can implement these approaches if we do not know whether they are the same or their playing field is different. It is crucial to determine that because, through this way, you can decide whether these approaches could work together or not.

IT Governance and IT service management are enlightened examples of the above-mentioned problem of organizations. They are so similar that it became difficult to differentiate these two. But the real issue is both approaches have keen importance in an organization’s infrastructure. That’s why it becomes necessary to know the differences between these two. We have written several articles on both concepts; they can benefit you if you want to overview them in detail. In this article, we have specifically focused on the difference between IT Governance and IT service management. Before overviewing the differences between the two, we should first know the basic concept of these approaches.

What Is IT Governance?

IT Governance is a crucial concept in the daily routine business of organizations. In his IT governance guide, Alan Calder defines IT governance as; “IT governance is an element of corporate governance, aimed at improving the overall management of IT and deriving improved value from investment in information and technology.” Joseph Mathenge defines it as follows; “Governance refers to the means by which an organization is directed and controlled. In service management, Governance defines the common directions, policies, and rules that the organization uses to deliver and maintain its services.” In ISO 38500, IT Governance has been stated as; “IT governance frameworks enable organizations to manage their IT risks effectively and ensure that the activities associated with information and technology are aligned with their overall business objectives.”

What Is IT Service Management (ITSM)?

Information technology service management is commonly said as ITSM. It is the most important process for organizations in their daily routine. Moreover, its importance has been growing as the importance of IT is increasing. Many people take it as a type of simple IT support. It is a misconception, it is IT support, but it has much wider ranges other than that. Like Agile, ITSM has no specific date of its origination. According to Stephen J. Bigelow,

“IT service management (ITSM) is a general term that describes a strategic approach to design, deliver, manage and improve the way businesses use information technology (IT). ITSM includes all the discrete activities and processes that support service throughout its lifecycle, from service management to change management, problem and incident management, asset management, and knowledge management.”

Difference Between IT Governance And IT Service Management

In far oversight, these two concepts seem alike, and they truly have many similarities, but there are several differences between them. Here another thing is worthful that they are different, but they are not opposite concepts that could not work together. Their perfect combination could provide you with more returns and benefits. Following are some differences between IT Governance and IT service management.


IT Governance works at the top hierarchical level of an organization, whereas IT service management works under the governing body.


IT Governance sets the direction by reviewing or formulating the policies and operational frameworks. On the other hand, IT service management designs and implements services per the governing body’s direction and operational framework.


IT governance delegates authority by making formal structures and operational frameworks. It makes sure that all responsibilities and roles are defined and allocated. IT service management assumes authority given by the governing body and accomplishes the service management duties.


IT Governance establishes the enterprise goals in alignment with the business goals. In comparison, IT service management establishes the management goals with the enterprise vision.


IT Governance benefits an organization by formulating, reviewing, and approving the different policies, frameworks, projects, or portfolios. In contrast, IT service management could be beneficial for an organization by providing efficient services to consumers.

Risk Management

IT Governance optimizes the risks by approving the reasonable, effective, and acceptable risk management frameworks and methodologies within an organization. IT service management identifies and encounters the risk by using the organization’s provided guidelines, techniques, or tools.


IT Governance does not look so productive itself, but it could increase the productivity of other productive aspects by keen performance monitoring. Whereas IT service management could be more productive than IT Governance. It can formulate services and implement them using all the available resources. In this sense, it could be more productive under the performance monitoring of IT governance.


IT Governance has been accountable to the executive stakeholders of an organization. In contrast, IT service management is accountable to governing body (IT Governance).


Organizations always try to design the structure of IT Governance as per their needs. On the other hand, IT service management is always structured according to the consumer’s requirements.


COBIT 2019 is the ideal framework of IT Governance. ITIL also provides directions for designing it. On the other hand, IT service management largely relies on ITIL 4 and ISO 20000 as its frameworks.


It is the largest difference between these two. Their scope is completely different from each other. IT Governance deals with making policies and frameworks, whereas IT service management deals with the formulation and implementation of the service as per the guidance of governing body.


We have discussed these two concepts so that we can find that what is the difference between the two. It is necessary because this is the only way to find out whether they are the same concepts or different. And whether they could work together or not. We learned from the above discussions that they are two different concepts. But it’s important to mention here that they are only different, not opposite. It means if they are not opposed to each other, then they both could work together. From all the above discussion, we have concluded that IT Governance and IT service management are two different approaches. But their perfect combination could take your organization to new heights of success and glory. In fact, the working of both approaches is incomplete without their interaction with one another.

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