Your IT Services are composed of IT, people and processes according to the ITIL framework. These services can be internal or external and anyone who provides these services is an IT Service Provider. Internal services are provided between departments or business units within a single organization. External services are delivered to external customers. Organizations should differentiate these services to gain a clear view of those services that support internal functions and those that achieve business outcomes.
To further differentiate IT services, the ITIL framework classifies service into three categories: Core Services, Enabling Services, and Enhancing Services. Core Services constitute the value that customers need and are willing to pay the business for. These core services deliver the basic outcomes needed by your customers and are the basis for developing value within an organization. These are the services that provide the base for your customers to utilize satisfactorily justifying their need to continue to do business with you. We’ll use word processing as our example of a core service.
Enabling services are the services required to deliver your core services. These services support core services as the mechanism by which that core service is delivered to your customers. Since these services support the delivery of core services, your customers may not be aware that these services are being provided to them due to the lack of visibility. Most customers only think of the core service when the reality is that there several enabling services being performed to support the delivery of core services. Referring to our word processor example, the word processor is the core service that customers are willing to pay for to achieve their desired outcomes. The update and patching of the word processor software would be an enabling service. Without patching, the core service would quickly become dysfunctional and undeliverable as a result.
Enhancing services constitute the final category of services and the primary differentiator between enhancing services as opposed to enabling/core services is that enhancing services are not integral to the delivery of core services. Enhancing services are added to core services to attract customers to buy the service. Since they aren’t crucial to service delivery, these services can be regarded as perks or excitement factors. Enhancing services are meant to drive customer interest/purchases and as a result are essential in the competitive marketplace. To pick our word processor example back up, an example of an enhancing service would be advanced grammar check tools. It’s not imperative for the word processor (core service) to check the user’s grammar. If the word processor didn’t have this function, it would still be able to provide the core functionality of creating documents. Instead, the grammar tools are a differentiator that can help set your service apart from your competitors.
When operating in an industry in which there isn’t a lot of variation between services delivered by market players, enhancing services are the driving force of customer product selection. In this way, you can see that although enhancing services aren’t integral to the delivery of services but they are intimately involved in attracting customers to your services demonstrating their value to the organization.