IT Service Management
Within the context of the ITIL framework, IT Service Management is defined as the implementation and management of refined IT Services that meet the desired business needs. IT services are provided by a combination of people, processes and IT. To elaborate on this definition, IT Service Management includes your systems and infrastructure, a subset of services used by business units accounted for as an expense, a subset of assets utilized in service delivery regarded as investments as well as an organization with its own resources, capabilities, and personnel.
To deliver your services to your customers, all IT groups should act as Service Providers to the larger organization. In this way, IT organizations enable the organization to deliver services to their external customers. As a result, managing IT services from the larger business perspective is paramount to a successful IT organization.
To begin your understanding of effective IT Service Management, it’s imperative to understand who the stakeholders involved are. Stakeholders in Service Management can either be internal or external. Internal Stakeholders comprise your teams, functions, and groups delivering services within the organization. External Stakeholders are further segmented into three categories: Customers, Users, and Suppliers. Your customers are the folks who buy goods/services, and these are the people who help define and agree to your service level targets when creating your SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Users are the people who are using your IT Services daily.
It’s not uncommon for users to also be customers utilizing the IT Services. The final category, Suppliers, are third-party organizations/individuals that are responsible for supplying the goods/services necessary for delivering your services to your customers. Understanding the key stakeholders within the context of IT Service Management helps delineate the responsibilities of everyone involved.
For organizations just beginning their foray into effective IT Service Management, the ITIL framework provides an excellent starting point for organizations to look toward. One of the driving factors behind the creation of ITIL was to create a common lexicon for IT organizations to clearly communicate their needs, objectives, and processes. By standardizing the language we use to describe concepts and best practices, ITIL can be generalized to any IT organization while maintaining a concise, descriptive discourse that can be universally understood.