The Different Types of Service

In the Strategy stage of the Service Lifecycle there are several questions an IT service provider must ask in order to determine the services they should be delivering, whom they should be delivering them to and is value creation and capture possible.  They are:  What is our business? Who is our customer? What does the customer value? Who depends on our services? How do they use our services Why are they valuable to them?  Given the answer to those questions, the service provider can then determine the types of services to be delivered, resources needed and what risks and constraints need to be identified and managed.  

There are three types of services the provider will have to consider, supporting services, internal customer facing and external customer facing services.  Services whether internal or external are further broken down as core, enabling or enhancing.  

Here we will be looking at supporting, internal and external facing services.
  • Supporting Services:  A service that is not directly used by business, but are required by the IT service provider to provide and support other IT services.  They allow the IT support teams to identify and document the interdependencies between IT components or CIs.  Supporting services enable IT processes and services but are not usually visible to the customer.  Often supporting service are combined together in order to make the delivery of customer facing services possible.  Supporting services are usually managed by Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) which underpin SLAs.
  • Internal customer facing services: An IT service that directly supports a business process.  An Internal customer facing service is identified and defined by the business. They rely on an integrated set of supporting services which in most cases are not seen or understood by the customer.  Examples of this type of service may be sales reporting service or an enterprise resource management service.  These types of services are managed according to a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
  • External customer facing services: An IT service directly provided by IT to an external customer and is offered to meet specific business objectives defined in the organization’s strategy.  These maybe business services in their own right as they are utilized to conduct the business of the organization directly with external customers.  Depending on the organizational strategy these services can be offered free of charge or can be billed directly to the person or organization utilizing service.  These services can be offered for free to the customer, but are paid for by a third party such as a sponsor or advertiser. An example maybe free internet access at an airport.  These services are managed by a contract with terms and conditions that must be met by both parties.

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