ITIL Practitioner - Components of a Service

At the core of ITSM is the idea of delivering services to customers, how these services will be engaged to deliver some form of value to the customer and the customer’s organization, and the value captured by the service provider.  For this to be accomplished we must first understand the key elements of an IT service and how, as a service provider, we deliver the correct set of services effectively and efficiently. 

 “A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks”.  This allows the customer to create the desired business outcome without having to invest in specialized tools or skills.  By linking activities performed by the service provider to the desired business outcomes the provider can be seen as contributing value, not just as a cost to the business.

The value of a service is derived from what it enables someone to accomplish or what outcomes it enables them to realize.  The service provider must have a clear understanding of the types and levels of service that will make its customers successful and then be able to organize themselves in a way which allow the optimal delivery and support of those services by defining a consistent and repeatable approach to developing, delivering and supporting services throughout their entire lifecycle.

Cost is the amount of money spent on a specific activity, IT service or business unit.  Costs consist of real costs (money) and notional cost (time) and depreciation.  Risk is uncertainty of outcome.  It may be an event that could possibly cause harm, loss or impact negatively the ability to deliver desired outcomes.  Customers will be concerned with costs and the reliability of the services delivered to them.  However they will not need to know in detail every expenditure item or risk mitigation measure engaged by the service provider.

A successful relationship between the customer and the service provider ensures that the customer receives a service that delivers the correct levels of utility and warranty for the right price and that the service provider is able to achieve this balance and communicate it in a way that would allow the customer to make changes to this balance in a way that will meet their changing requirements.

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