Category Archives: Information Technology Infrastructure Library

How AI will Transform IT Service Management

Remember ‘Jarvis’ from Iron Man or ‘Irona,’ the Robot Maid from Richie Rich? Well, if you do, then you already had a glimpse of the shrewd adroitness of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Artificial Intelligence or, what we call machine intelligence is all set to create an unprecedented phenomenon shortly. The rate of its progression has been swift, dramatic and very real, and as Elon Musk said: “It is capable of vastly more than anyone knows and the rate of improvement is exponential.” Artificial Intelligence in the realm of IT, has a vast potential in developing and transforming the IT Service Management (ITSM).

How ITSM works

ITSM, in itself, is a broad spectrum connecting the dots between IT services and the end-users. It encompasses all the activities performed by an organization to design, create, implement, deliver, and manage IT services provided to its customers. ITSM employs several frameworks to meet its ends, ITIL being the most popular and preferred. ITIL CSI has come to be mainly in use for improving business. To understand ITIL, let’s look at its definition by Wikipedia.

ITIL an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business.

ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are not organization-specific nor technology-specific, but can be applied by an organization for establishing integration with the organization’s strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency.”

See, easy to define but hard to understand. Not everyone is a Tony Stark after all. So, we have tried putting this into an explanation for the many Steve Rogers, who only understand ‘English.’

Let’s, for example, take a restaurant. If the food and ambiance provided by the restaurant are equivalent to IT services offered by a company and employees catering to the customers are similar to ITSM, ITIL is the approach adopted by the restaurant in situations provoking customer dissatisfaction. To learn more about IT trends click here

Reactive vs. Proactive

The very first book written on ITIL was the service desk, a modified version of the help desk that was created to resolve issues and support its end users. The take was on Incident Management. The initial idea of a help desk or service desk was responding to a call from a customer detailing out the issue, the mere goal being user back up and getting the program somehow running. Moreover, it called for a reactive response, which means that one had to wait until the issues showed up.

As certain issues started appearing over and over again, a proactive response was called for. A dynamic reaction contemplated identifying the problem area and fixing it even before it occurred. Prevention is better than cure after all!

Thus emerged ITIL Problem Management on the screen. With automation and advancements like pattern recognition in technology, problems could be traced and fixed way before they have planned. So, we had technology that could foresee what is coming and report it to the human analyst for preventing it. What we intend on discussing in this article is what if it never had to be reported? What if technology could make it vanish?

Predictive analytics

Have you ever wondered how Amazon, Google, or Facebook know you better than your closest friend? From recalling the person, you stalked last year to remembering your sizes. They come up with word suggestions and content recommendations even before you have typed or searched for the information. 

This Predictive Analytics, in the last few years, has been seen detonating under the name of ‘Big Data.’ Artificial Intelligence had already made its mark in the e-commerce and automobile sectors, much before IT embraced it. Can you imagine its scope in IT?

How AI will transform service management

Not long ago, did we even dream of automated cars, yet today we have them in reality. Artificial Intelligence escalated real quick optimizing itself and empowering others, along with its partners- Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Their efficiency is immeasurable. AI in ITSM will renovate the system in whole. Let’s look at some of the possible fields for its growth.

  • Incident management. A report by Pink Elephant states that 96% of the IT incidents are caused by changes made by IT, which means incidents are inevitable. That calls for rapid human action after every alteration. Lean defines incidents and incident management as ‘waste,’ dissipating time, energy, and resources. Wouldn’t it be great they were resolved automatically? Deploying AI in such locus can save IT employees from such routine tasks, not to mention its efficacy.
  • Problem management. The key to problem management is pattern recognition. Most of the AI systems, depend on sophisticated pattern learning to identify specific issues. With such advanced pattern recognition in ITSM, problems can be fixed by machines themselves way before they even surface.
  • Machine Learning. True Machine Learning, according to George Spalding, the Executive VP at Pink Elephant, is ‘still in its infancy.’ Even True Machine Learning neural network creators aren’t sure how it works, adds Spalding. ML bears the potential to optimize ITSM in unimaginable ways. The future of ITSM is brighter than the sun with its real advent.
  • Intelligent Chatbox for ITSM. “By 2020, the average person will have conversations with bots more frequently than their spouse”, according to Gartner. With Siri and Google Assistant in your hand, you already have a general idea about its capabilities. AI implementation in ITSM chatbots will have more natural automated support provided with a conversational user interface, while natural Language Processing (NLP) assists it to converse in several languages. Machine Learning will enable such bots to deliver real-time answers.
  • Increasing Productivity. A comparatively large number of companies, over the last few years, have adopted ITIL for enhancing their business. ITIL powered by AI will offer self-help as a smart option for its end-users, reducing Incident Management a.k.a. Ticketing, increasing customer satisfaction, accelerating business performance, and adding to the company’s productivity.

The advent of Artificial Intelligence is just about to cause global and phenomenal changes but has also put an end to limitations with the sprouting of vast and imminent possibilities. Not far from where we stand today, we can imagine a future shaped by machines.

Why You Need CSI in Your Business

If you have been following our blog for a while then you might have come across a term called ITIL. If you haven’t, then it’s fine as well. We’ll explain it to you in a moment. But first, let’s focus on CSI. CSI stands for Continual Service Improvement and you might have heard this term a lot in connection with ITIL. If you’re confused right now, or never really understood what this term means that you have come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to talk about CSI and why it is necessary for you to enforce it if you’re using ITIL to grow your business. But before we go there, let’s recap ITIL.

What is ITIL?

ITIL stands for IT Infrastructure Library and it is basically a framework used to help enforce the best practices you’ll need to successfully deliver quality IT services. This generally covers a broad area. It can be system maintenance, customer experience and so much more. Naturally, a lot of people confuse the different things that come up under the umbrella of ITIL so don’t be sad if you happen to find yourself in those shoes. That’s why we’re here- to help you understand exactly what ITIL is.

As you can imagine, due to the sheer amount of information that comes under ITIL, it is a very broad subject to cover and we’ll do that in future posts. For now, we’re going to focus on CSI.

What is CSI?

CSI, as mentioned, stands for Continual Service Improvement. Once you’ve started using ITIL to impact the performance of your team, you’ll be looking for a way to maintain the kind of bar you’ve set. The last thing you need is to start using ITIL for a while, get your business organized, maybe grow it and then be slumped with deadlines because you can’t put them through.

Believe it or not, but businesses who begin using the ITIL model but then leave it halfway and fail to continuously implement them fail horribly. And you don’t want that. So, in order to make sure that you continue using ITIL services and maintain the quality of your services, it is very important that you use CSI.

CSI allows you to process useful methods that will ensure that you maintain the quality of your work. This includes management quality as well. It keeps managers on their feet so that the entire team does not fall apart.

The ITIL CSI cycle- as it is known- combined will help you continue to maintain the quality of your processes as well as improve effectiveness, efficiency, and output of all the IT services that your company has to offer.

Why Businesses Should Use ITIL CSI?

Now that you know what ITIL CSI is used for, let’s talk about why businesses need them. Several companies delude themselves into thinking that just because they’ve made improvements once, they don’t need to do it again. However, in order to stay on top of things, you need to continuously employ methods to improve your business. Below, we’ll give you a list of reasons why your business should apply CSI.

Improving Quality of Operations

CSI helps you look at your business as a whole so that you have a better understanding of how your business operates. You will be able to look at the whole functioning process of your business, providing you with the bigger picture. This gives you the advantage of knowing how each and every service operates, the various work cycle levels, delivering services and more, making it easier for both you and your team.

Improves Staff Productivity

Since by using CSI practices, you are learning about the entire service lifecycle of your company, it will become so much easier for you to identify staff performances as well as practices which will make your staff more effective. Additionally, it will also help you learn more about the more easily disposable applications and services that are rendering your business ineffective. Sometimes, you need the bigger picture to show you how one or more extra components of your business are affecting others and so you can make sure that all of your business processes are helping you grow your business and not harm it. With this knowledge, you can also look at your workforce and regroup them in ways that will benefit your business.

Keeping Things In Check

One of the biggest advantages of using the ITIL CSI system for your IT services is that you can keep an eye on everything- from accounts to processes to the eventual output and delivery of service. This helps you keep in check with your budget so that you’re on top of your deadlines and can help your staff with issues they may be facing. CSI helps to fix the server errors and issues you may be facing in some IT services so that you can maintain your services accordingly and deliver quality problem.


As you can see, you need ITIL CSI to help you manage and maintain your business. It additionally helps you improve efficiency and make sure that you don’t fall behind the competition. With these practices, you will be able to keep your balances in check, so that you can continue to grow your business and satisfy your customers. We hope you found this article useful! Let us know what you think about this.

What is ITIL CSI?

If you’ve heard about ITIL CSI and have been wondering what it’s good for, or alternatively, if you’ve been looking at all these professionals recommending CSI and stressing on its importance without ever knowing what it is for sure, then you’re in luck. In this blog post, we’re going to talk about ITIL CSI and what it is. So if you’re a bit confused about what its functions really are or if you’re not sure if you should implement it, then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we’re going to tell you exactly what ITIL CSI is and what you can hope to achieve from it.

So, What Is It?

ITIL CSI or Continual Service Improvement is a module that provides guidance in creating and maintaining value for customers through better strategy planning, design and operation, and presentation of services. It is basically combing the principles of the firm, practices of the firm and the methods it uses from quality management, change management, and capability improvement. ITIL refers to the management of the firm’s IT services. Whereas, CSI has two main stages. These are

  • service review and
  • process objective.

Service review refers to the reviewing of business services and infrastructure on a regular basis. Whereas, process objective refers to the reviewing of the processes used by the firm on a regular basis. This includes identifying areas where the targeted process metrics are not reached and holding regular benchmarking, audits, maturity assessments and reviews.

Many business analysts believe that ITIL CSI is best practices for a smaller firm. It best fits the practice framework of most small firms and should be used by all. Small firms have smaller resources than larger firms. Due to these small firms often believe that they cannot reach out to the best practices that are otherwise used by larger firms.

Large firms have a lot of resources. They have the capacity to deal with risks and try on newer firm practices. They can use ITIL and CSI as this framework needs resources and its implementation is complex. However, this is not the case. Smaller firms are flexible, adaptable and have improved relationships with their customers. This provides them an edge in implementing the ITIL CSI.

ITIL CSI as a Tool for Small Businesses

Through ITIL CSI, small firms can easily find out where they are lagging behind as compared to larger firms. They can manage and optimize on their IT department much more efficiently using ITIL. It is much easier to detect an online bug found in the company’s server. It is also much easier to mitigate the risk and improve on the performance of their IT services. Small services often search for a steady IT service and they aim towards delivering services to customers. It is true that since smaller firms have lesser resources, ITIL CSI can be implemented more efficiently as smaller firms need to check out the challenges that they need to overcome or face.

Apart from this, ITIL CSI can help small businesses to expand. For smaller firms to expand successfully a clear-cut strategy is often needed. In order to do this, the resources of the firm need to be accounted for, stakeholders need to consult for any concerns assuaged and quantifiable goals need to be set in. The ITIL Service Cycle helps firms achieve this aim. Once the initial goals have been set or reached by smaller firms, the ITIL CSI helps it expand since each new strategy is introduced, experimented and then implemented,

The Framework

The ITIL CSI is a tailorable framework. It is often referred to as the silver bullet solution. This leads to the organization implementing the ITIL as a whole. ITIL causes hindrance in larger firms. However, with smaller firms, they are able to prioritize what is most pressing. The ITIL not only helps them identify the problem that is there within a firm but it also, helps them improve upon it effectively and efficiently. The ITIL CSI also condenses the roles in a firm. For instance, the roles of the incident manager and problem manager can be taken on by one individual. They can take responsibility for minimizing issues before they escalate.

Moreover, the ITIL is not just about processes it’s about people. A company’s good service depends on the dedication of staff who take ownership of their role. ITIL helps promote a culture of responsibility as each staff is assigned a task which they must fulfill at a particular time. The ITIL soon becomes a part of a company’s culture.

Despite improved and increased efficiency, the ITIL CSI has many other benefits which can be very useful for smaller firms. The use of ITIL CSI reduces costs for a firm. The firm no longer has to spend huge sums of money on hiring Professional advisors. It can help develop a strategy without having to hire a great number of Professionals. It also condenses the roles of individuals in the firm which means that less number of workers are hired. It even increases the productivity of workers as roles are condensed making each and every worker of the firm to work effectively. There is high interdependence between workers which again contributes to the productivity of the firm. ITIL CSI also increases customer satisfaction. Since the ITIL provides predictable processes and a set framework, it is easier to meet customer satisfaction, as well as monitor and measure incidents.

As a result, smaller firms should make use of the ITIL CSI in order to function effectively and efficiently.


As you can see, regardless of the kind of business you run, you will find that ITIL CSI is very important for businesses everywhere. Not only can help you understand how to use your resources effectively within a given budget, but it also helps you understand the need for diverting resources or restructuring your business model. A lot of business owners today depend on this to take care of various departments such as logistics and customer service. Given the competition, you should not fall behind and use this opportunity provided to you and implement this method to further your business.


Continuing our discussion about ITIL Service Strategy, lets start talking about Sourcing.  Sourcing is about analysing how to most effectively source and deploy the resources and capabilities required to deliver outcomes to customers. A sourcing decision is key in determining the best combination of suppliers (internal vs. external) to provide the most cost effective and efficient delivery of services.


I’ve spoken about outsourcing at some length in the past (here, here and here), but those posts were focused more on whether or not you should outsource.  Lets talk here about what outsourcing is and why some businesses utilize it.
In a nutshell Outsourcing is using another company/organization to perform services on your behalf for your customers.  Now you could outsource lots of different things – HR Functions for your own internal team, IT Support for your customers etc… – what makes the decision on whether or not you should outsource is the question of value.  Are you able to provide more value to your customers and shareholders by outsourcing vs. doing the activity in house?  Generally speaking this question of value has been driven by financial considerations, unfortunately, most financial analyses do not include all the costs related to sourcing options, leading to difficult relationships with service providers, involving unexpected costs and service issues.  

What should you outsource?

Generally speaking you should outsource anything that is non-critical to your business.  By focusing on your core strengths you can be more successful and removing tasks that are only peripherally related (if that) to your business will allow your organization to focus even more on the things that make you successful.
Once candidates for sourcing are identified, the following questions can be used to clarify matters: 
  • Do the candidate services improve the business’s resources and capabilities? 
  • How closely are the candidate services connected to the business’s competitive and strategic resources and capabilities?
  • Do the candidate services require extensive interactions between the service providers and the business’s competitive and strategic resources and capabilities?

Dependent upon the answers to those questions a decision needs to be made on whether or not to outsource some or all of a service.  If the responses uncover minimal dependencies and infrequent interactions between the sourced services and the business’s competitive and strategic positioning, then the candidates are strong contenders – conversely however if the answers show a strong relationship with the business’ competitive or strategic position, then care must be taken.

Sourcing vulnerabilities

When outsourcing – especially in the instances where outsourcing a key service, care must be taken to ensure that businesses do not get impacted negatively.  Some of the key vulnerabilities that might be experienced are:
  • Substitution:  ‘Why do I need the service provider when its supplier can offer the same services?’ The sourced vendor develops competing capabilities and replaces the sourcing organization
  • Disruption:  The sourced vendor has a direct impact on quality or reputation of the sourcing organization.  This is of significant concern for those organizations that have outsourced their support or engineering and design organizations.
  • Distinctiveness:  The sourced vendor is the source of distinctiveness for the sourcing organization. The sourcing organization then becomes particularly dependent on the continued development and success of the second organization  

One key concern/issue with outsourcing is responsibility.  Outsourcing does not mean that a service or its performance are no longer important. In most cases, it often means that the service is so important that it should be provided by a service provider that can do a better (or more cost-effective) job. Just because a service has been outsourced does not remove the responsibility from the vendor. While a 3rd party could be providing technical support on a product or service, the customer always has recourse to organization that they purchased the original product/service from..

Other types of Sourcing

While most people consider Outsourcing (& Insourcing) as the only two options, there are in actuality a variety of different ways that services can be sourced.
  • Insourcing – internal parts of the organization do the work.  Clearly defined departments with specific responsibilities.
  • Outsourcing – a 3rd party that specializes in a specific role, provides that service to an organization through a well defined plan with specific deliverable’s, KPIs and SLAs.
  • Partnership – a formal arrangement between 2 or more parties to work together on a specific role or responsibility.  The focus here tends to be on strategic partnerships that leverage critical expertise or market opportunities.
  • Co-sourcing or multi-sourcing – a mix of insourcing and outsourcing where a number of external organizations work together to design, develop, transition, maintain, operate and/or support a portion of a service.
  • Business process outsourcing (BPO) – a growing trend (especially among the larger multinationals) where an entire business function (customer service, technical support, accounting, HR etc…) is provided by a 3rd party.
There are a host of other common (Application Services, Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), Cloud etc…) and uncommon ways of sourcing services, in fact the only real distinction is that businesses will do what makes sense for the business!


The Service Portfolio describes the commitments and investments made by a service provider to its customers across all market spaces.  In a nutshell, it states what the company is able to do and how it will do it while also accounting for previously agreed upon commitments.  The Service Portfolio also talks about new products and services as well as ongoing service improvement projects and other third-party services which are utilized by the business in providing their service.  The Service Portfolio is the defacto guide to what the business can and cannot do.

Ensuring that the Service Portfolio is accurate is one of the important roles of Service Portfolio Management (SPM).  This role ensures that new services are added only after funding has been approved an appropriate financial plan is in place for recovering costs and/or showing a profit.  This is sometimes called a rally point process or other similar names but in essence its a way of ensuring that the business always has a pipeline of new products and services available to meet current and future demand.  The service portfolio should have the right mix of services in the pipeline and catalog to secure the financial viability of the service provider since the service catalog is the only part of the portfolio that lists services that recover costs or earn profits.  You can find a lot more detail on Service Catalogs at either of the links provided below.

The service pipeline, similar to a sales pipeline, list perspective, and future projects and services – i.e. those products that are currently being considered or thought about, but are not yet available to the consumer.  The service pipeline is a future looking document that provides guidance to senior leaders and while elements of this might be made available to the customer (for future prospects generally), it is not normally published as that tends to give the competition too much of an insight into the organization’s future plans and strategies.

The service catalog, however, is different … this document is generally published (& publicized) quite widely as it is the single place where all information about products, prices, ordering and request processes are documented.  It defines and communicates the policies, guidelines, and accountability required for the service provider to deliver and support services to its customers. The service catalog details each service and shows the service components that make up each one. It also provides an overview of the assets, processes, and systems involved in each service.

While you might consider the service catalog to be just that … a catalog of services, it can also be used to identify gaps in services and linkages between services.  This information can be used to realize new services and products for future exploration and exploitation by the business.

Retiring Services

While the common thought is that the latest and greatest is always the best (look at the mobile phone market if you don’t believe me or understand what I’m saying) the service catalog should maintain a place for retired services also.  These are services that while no longer as “popular” (in call center and tech support worlds that would translate to “getting fewer calls”) still have value to the business for a variety of different reasons including:
  • The replacement service might not meet all requirements, and it is important to be able to fall back to the previous service 
  • There is a significant portion of the market made up of the planned to retire service which will still need future support and/or maintenance
  • When defining a new service, service portfolio management might discover that some functionality is available from a retired service. This might result in the service being reinstated as part of a new service 
  • There might be regulatory requirements to maintain archived data that can only be accessed using the previous service, in which case information is exported to a read-only database for future use
It is the job of Service Portfolio management to determine how long a service should remain in the Service portfolio – and while this is often determined based on time, in many cases other reasons are utilized to make this decision.

Service Portfolio Launch

Service portfolio management is guided from strategy management for IT services via strategic plans which provide details of new business opportunities and which services are required to fulfill those opportunities.  SPM is responsible for reviewing each opportunity and determining the required investment level and also whether or not the opportunity is achievable (regardless of the potential profit that “might” be realized).

The role of Improvement in determining a Portfolio

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) has some input into SPM also, specifically:

  • Opportunities to improve the performance or service level achievements of services in the portfolio
  • New opportunities within the current strategy, or gaps in the current portfolio of services
  • Opportunities for overall improvements in cost, mitigation of risks etc.  
By taking into account perceived deficiencies in the Service Portfolio, CSI is able to make recommendations for improvement, however, it is still the responsibility of SPM to evaluate these suggestions and determine whether or not the potential improvement warrants the investment.


The creation of a Service Portfolio follows several clearly defined (no pun intended) steps as shown in the diagram to the right.  The Define step talks about desired business outcomes and opportunities as well as what services are needed to realize these opportunities and the investment required.

Any new strategy or change to an existing strategy should be submitted to Service Portfolio Management. This will be in the form of strategic plans, identified market spaces and outcomes, priorities and policies. These will be used to identify specific service opportunities and the stakeholders that will be consulted in defining the services.

The role of SPM at this stage is to define the service based on the information provided:

  • The purpose of the service (what it must achieve)
  • The customers and consumers of the service
  • The major inputs and outputs of the service
  • High-level performance requirements (for example, when it needs to be available)
  • What business activity will it support, and is that activity stable or dynamic?
  • Does the service need to comply with (or enable the business to comply with) any regulatory or legal requirements?
  • Are there any standards that need to be applied to the service?
  • What are the actual business outcomes that the service will be supporting, and who is responsible for these outcomes?  
  • Are there any other stakeholders that need to be involved in defining and evaluating this service? 
  • The anticipated level of investments and returns. Although these will not be known, the customer will know what type of return they need, and how much they are prepared to spend to achieve it 
  • Are there any constraints that need to be considered (e.g. budget, resources)?
The role of SPM is to understand how all of the different components fit together and complement each other and also to define the boundaries of the service as well as the technical stakeholders.  Based on this analysis, the impact on the Service Portfolio can be determined and this will provide information on the following areas:

  • The current business outcomes 
  • Investment levels 
  • Service Level Agreements and contractual obligations 
  • Warranty levels 
  • Existing required Utility (for example, changing an existing service may benefit one customer, but it might negatively impact another) 
  • Is there another existing service that can be combined with this service to deliver the required Utility or Warranty? 
  • Patterns of business activity, and levels of demand on the service


The analysis of each service moving through the Service Portfolio Management process is performed by linking each one to the Service Strategy. For external service providers, this will be a linkage to the organization’s overall strategy. For internal service providers, it will mean linking to the IT strategy and the strategies of the other business units.


English: A business ideally is continually seeking feedback from customers: are the products helpful? are their needs being met? Constructive criticism helps marketers adjust offerings to meet customer needs. Source of diagram: here (see public domain declaration at top). Questions: write me at my Wikipedia talk page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once again like in most things, ITIL helps to explain the common sense.  In this case it is the definition of “value” – basically while their definition is somewhat wordy, it gets the point across that Value is defined by the consumer.  What you might consider to be valuable, actually might not be … the person purchasing it from you will actually make that decision and will base it on whether or not the service meets their demands at the price they are willing to pay for it.

ITIL however does go on to define value a bit further instead of just leaving it up to the customers decision.  They have indicated that value consists of two basic elements:

  • Utility – what does the product or service do?  Does it meet the needs of the customer?
  • Warranty – does the product or service meet the agreed upon requirements, specifically in regards to availability, capacity, continuity and security.  Warranty reduces fluctuations in the service and can to some extent be considered in the light of SLA conversations.
Both elements – Utility and Warranty – are imperative and have to be taken into account and ensured to equal extent when designing and providing a service.  Remember:
Utility = what the service does

Warranty = how is that service delivered

By working with other parts of the organization to improve the utility of a service, businesses are able to improve the functionality of service and what it is able to do for a customer.  However it bears pointing out that improving the Utility of a service does not have an automatic improvement on its Warranty – in fact, care must be taken to ensure that slippages do not occur in this area to the detriment of the service overall!
Improving the warranty of a service however has a very powerful effect allowing you to do the same things (the Utility) but more reliably, faster, cheaper and with a decreased risk to the customer that they will suffer losses due to variations in service performance.
By increasing both Utility and Warranty, organizations are able to do more and do it better.


I think you all know that I’m a big fan of ITIL but sometimes I think it does get overly complicated (despite what I’ve said in previous posts).  Take the definition of services for example:

Internal vs. External

OK now, I know its not rocket science by any means, but Internal services are those delivered within a business (for example IT services to a specific business unit) whereas External services are those delivered to external organizations (hence the name) … I’m assuming you’re with me so far, as this is not the overly complicated part (although it is important to recognize that internal services have to be linked to external services before their contribution to business outcomes can be understood and measured).
Where I think it goes into too much detail is in its definition of Core, Enabling and Enhancing services.
ITIL’s definition of each is as follows:
  • Core Services – deliver basic outcomes that represent something a customer is willing to pay for (basically the bread and butter of the service).
  • Enabling Services – these are the nuts and bolts that let you deliver the core service (support, administration, operations etc…)
  • Enhancing Services –  not needed to deliver the core service … this is something that can give the core service a “wow” factor but is not necessary.  The problem with enhancing services however is that over time they become core and/or enabling services as they become the expected norm.
Now I don’t necessarily have a problem with how they’ve defined each of these … in itself they each make sense … my question however is more couldn’t you combine enabling and core?  Enabling by itself simply doesn’t do anything as there is no service for it to enable and core by itself similarly cannot be successful as it needs the other groups/services for it to actually work.  Personally I think Enabling Services ARE Core Services and should be included in the same list.  If they were – IT services might be looked at differently from a budgeting perspective that’s for sure!

Service Definition Process

Continuing this discussion, the next step is determining how you define a service.  There are five key questions that you can use to help you with this:

  1. What is the service, and how do I get it? (Service Description) 
  2. How do I get help? How do I use the service? (Help and Self-Service) 
  3. What Does It Cost? (Service Cost and Pricing) 
  4. How is the service supported? (Service Support) 
  5. How is the service delivered? (Service Delivery)

The role of the Service Owner

One thing that I do 100% agree with however is the definition of a Service Owner.  I have seen too often businesses role out fabulous new ideas and plans, and not have any idea who is actually responsible for ensuring that it is done correctly and responsibly.
The Service Owner is responsible for the service REGARDLESS of where the underpinning technology components, processes or professional capabilities reside.  Basically the Service Owner is the SPOC (Single Point of Contact) for that Service and owns it.  The Service Owner is responsible to the customer for the initiation, transition and ongoing maintenance and support of a particular service and accountable to the IT director or service management director for the delivery of the service.