Businesses that excel and stand apart are ones that understand how they provide value to their customers. They have defined their core services, and the entire focus of everything the company does ultimately can be tied back to delivering their core services with the quality, reliability, and value that their customers remain loyal to them for. Competent service management is a prerequisite for success and for business to be excellent, its service management must be as well. At the heart of ITSM is the concept of service. Unless it is clearly understood what services are being provided and used, service management becomes impossible. In business and in ITSM we have to understand what we intend to manage.
In this chapter, we look at the basic ingredients of services and service practices. We will also learn the basics of ITSM terminology to help shape our understanding of dialogue we need to have with IT Service Providers (ITSPs) to ensure service assets are exploited to the benefit of the business bottom line.
The Anatomy of a Service—Building the Services You Want
In the last chapter, we touched upon the concept of the service portfolio as an ingredient in service strategy with the intent of focusing on service investments. The service portfolio is the means to identify for the ITSP what you need now and will want in the future. There is a logical flow from here toward deeper detail and refined service needs that will shed light on what type(s) of ITSPs you should be engaging with for service provision and management. You need to fill in the list of ingredients you must have to build on in order to bring the portfolio to life.
We'll start with the basics and then develop an understanding that you can build effective service management on. Within the anatomy of a service we'll examine how a service delivers value, the kinds of relationships to seek with ITSPs for particular circumstances.
Along the way, we'll be using some ITSM terminology that will be helpful in having a dialog with ITSPs and useful during negotiations.