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What Is A Service Offering?

The ITIL4 Best Practice Guidance defines a “Service Offering” as a description of one or more services designed to address the needs of a target customer or group.  As a service provider, we can’t stop there!  We must know what the contracts of our service offering are and be able to put them into context as required by the customer.   

Let’s explore the three elements that comprise a Service Offering.

A “Service Offering” may include:   Goods, Access to Resources, and Service Actions

Goods – When we think of “Goods” within a service offering these are the items where ownership is transferred to the consumer and the consumer takes responsibility for the future use of these goods. 
Example of goods that are being provided in the offering – If this is a hotel service than toiletries or chocolates are yours to take with you.  You the consumer own these and they are yours to take with you.
              Note: Goods may not always be provided for every Service Offering.
Example of no goods in offering - When a consumer is using a cloud-based service using their own technology vs. technology provided by the service provider.

Access to Resources – This is very different from “Goods”.   With this element of a Service Offering the ownership is not transferred to the consumer.  Access and usage is granted or licensed under agreed terms or conditions.

Example of Access to Resources:  If we use the hotel service as an example, let’s say that a robe is provided.  It is typically provided for you to use as a part of the service offering.  You use it and leave it there when you leave. This is “Access to Resources”.  

Example of Goods: If you take that very same robe with you, you will be charged according to agreed terms or conditions and then this is considered ownership of Goods!

Service Actions –Are Performed by the provider to address a consumer need and are performed according to agreements with the customer.
Example of Service Actions in our hotel service might be the processing of your bill or customer support at the front desk.

Simply put, Service Offerings are a way for providers to offer options to consumers.  Organizations need to thoroughly understand which components, and elements of Goods, Access to Resources and Service Actions are and then be able to tailor them to suit their target consumer groups!


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