What is Service Management?

To understand what service management is, we need to understand what is the meaning of service.

General definiton says:

A service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating the outcomes that customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.”

If we explain more simple, in the past, IT was defined by products.But it is not enoug now. Today’s customers want to and should concentrate on their business and should not have to care about the details of service delivery.To deal with the risks and costs of service creation and delivery are service provider’s job.



Service Management is set of specialized capabilities for delivering value to customers in the form of services.Each service, process or infrastructure component has a lifecycle, and service management considers the entire lifecycle from strategy through design and transition to operation and continual improvement.

IT Service Management objectives are ;

-To align IT Services with the current and future needs of the Business and its Customers.
-To improve the quality of the IT services delivered.
-To reduce the long term cost of service provision.

There is some key elements about IT Service Management as follows:

  • People : Skills, Training, Communication
  • Processes : Actions, Activities, Changes, Goals
  • Products : Tools, Monitor, Measure, Improve
  • Partners : Specialist, Supplier

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)

ITIL is systematic approach to high quality IT service delivery and a public framework that describes best practice in IT service management. But what are best practices mean?

-Practices widely accepted and adopted,
-Tested plenty of times,
– May come from a number of source including: standards, public frameworks, academic research, proprietary knowledge.

 “ Think of ITIL not as a destination, but as a vehicle you can use to help you travel more quickly and efficiently on your ongoing journey of continuously improving service levels

ITIL developed in the 1980s in responding to growing dependence on IT by the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) .  At first there was 40 publications. In 1990s, ITIL had started to used in The Netherlands. The Service Support and Service Delivery Books were redeveloped and version 2 of ITIL was released in 2001. After that ITIL was very popular and started to used rest of the world. In 2007, ITIL v3 was released much simplified and rationalised to 5 books. And also aligned with ISO20000 standard for service management.

ITIL Service Lifecycle

Each application and each service will be designed have to follows some phases which known as service lifecycle.



There are 5 main phases:

  • Service Strategy
  • Service Design
  • Service Transition
  • Service Operation
  • Continual Service Improvement

1) Service Strategy:

IT service management includes how to determine the general strategies. The main purpose of creating strategies for clients is to be the best in the services offered. This phase have to provide answers for the following questions:

– What are we going to provide?
– Can we afford it?
– Can we provide enough of it?
– How do we gain competitive advantage?

There are some key processes and activities:

  • Financial Management: Aims to provide financial input to all processes. Control and monitoring of the investments is provided.
  • Service Portfolio Management: Aims to manage the risks by maximizing revenue.
  • Demand Management: Used for determination of the company needs by working closely with the business units. Prepared for the cost of the service pack to customer needs, in terms of quality and capacity ensures optimized.


2) Service Design:

This phase is concerned with the design of the service. This phase have to provide answers for the following questions:

– How are we going to provide it?
– How are we going to build it?
– How are we going to test it?
– How are we going to deploy it?

There are some key processes and activities:

  • Service Catalogue Management:  The goal of service catalogue management is to ensure the creation and maintenance of the service catalogue and that all information is precise and up-to-date concerning status, interfaces and dependencies in order to provide the service. The service portfolio contains all future requirements of services, information about the currently available services. The process also registers the status of all operative services or services in the pipeline.
  • Service Level Management: Unit business needs are clearly understood by the service provider and the service provider have the capacity to respond to these needs that provides control by working closely with business units.


  • Capacity Management:  Capacity management deals with the optimal and economic usage of existing resources and makes future capacity requirements available in good time. Capacity management has to deal with the following questions: Cost vs. Capacity, Supply vs. Demand. 
  • Availability Management: The purpose of Availability Management is to provide a point of focus and management for all availability-related issues, relating to services, components and resources. The availability management process ensures that all operative services meet the agreed availability goals and that all new or changed services are created appropriately in order to meet the projected goals without affecting the existing services. Availability Management activities should consider the availability, reliability, maintainability and serviceability at both service and component level.
  • IT Service Continuity Management: The purpose of ITSCM is to maintain the appropriate on-going recovery capability within IT services to match the agreed needs, requirements and timescales of the business.  Enterprises must therefore prepare for situations when services are massively disrupted and perhaps unavailable for a lengthy period. Modern IT service continuity management puts the emphasis on prevention.
  • Information Security Management: ISM is to align IT security with business security and ensure that information security is effectively managed in all services. Focuses on protection of five basic qualities of information assets; Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, Authenticity, Non-repudiation.


  • Supplier Management: The supplier management must cover all suppliers and contracts required to deliver a service for the business. The relationship between supplier and service provider must be formally defined. However, depending upon the strategic importance of the supplier, provision must be made for greater integration of the supplier within the strategy planning or service design.


3) Service Transition:

This is phase of a service that has been designed as a guideline to ensure activation of the service. All elements are required for a service, technical and non-technical, located at Service Transition . The most important phase of Service Lifecycle. In this phase, Service Design Packages are developed and loaded into the system after testing. Service Transition Phase aims to keep risks at minimum level. Also demands of changing are responsed.

There are some key processes and activities:

  • Service Asset and Configuration Management: Records in service management are kept. System integrity is monitored by performing logical modeling of IT components. Up-to-date and verified information on the status of the service assets and IT infrastructure is also made available to other service management processes. The CMS contains one or more physical configuration management databases.
  • Change Management: Respond to customer changing business requirements and business/IT requests for change that will align the services with the business needs. There are three types of change ; Normal, Standard, Emergeny.


  • Release and Deployment Management: To build, test and deliver the capabilities (or skills) in accordance with the service design specification in such a way that the service meets the requirements demanded by the stakeholders.
  • Knowledge Management: The aim is to make this technical know-how accessible to all participating service employees with the help of a service knowledge management system (SKMS). Knowledge management system consists four layers; Data, Information integration, Knowledge Processing, Presentation.
  • Transition Planning and Support : The service transition planning and support process ensures the orderly transition of a new or modified service into production, together with the necessary adaptations to the service management processes. This process must incorporate the service design and operational requirements within the transition planning. This essentially involves the management and control of the transition plan. Effective Transition Planning and Support can significantly improve a service provider’s ability to handle high volumes of change and releases across its customer base.
  • Service Validation and Testing:Successful testing depends on understanding the service holistically. The key purpose of service validation and testing is to provide objective evidence that the new/changed service supports the business requirements. The service is tested explicitly against the utilities and warranties set out in the service design package, including business functionality, availability, continuity, security, usability and regression testing.
  • Evaluation:Evaluation is a generic process designed to verify whether or not a specific service is acceptable. Evaluation considers the input to Service Transition, addressing the relevance of the service design, the transition approach itself, and the suitability of the new or changed service for the actual operational and business environments encountered and expected.


4) Service Operation:

Aims to use the service provided more efficient and effective. Concerned with ensuring that services operate within agreed parameters. Charged with restoring service as quickly as possible and with minimal impact  to the business.

There are some key processes and activities:

  • Event Management: An event can be defined as a measurable or identifiable occurrence which is relevant to the management of the IT infrastructures and consequently the provision of IT services. Events are typically messages or displays produced by services, configuration items or monitoring tools.



  • Incident Management: To ensure a properly response to problems of services that are running. Incident management is the process which is responsible for managing the lifecycle of all incidents. The key aim of the incident management is to restore the IT service for the user as quickly as possible. If an incident cannot be resolved quickly, it may be escalated.



  • Problem Management: Concerned with identification and correction of flaws or errors in the environment which cause incidents. Aims to minimises impact of unavoidable incidents and eliminates recurring incidents. Problem Management Process have two major steps; Reactive Problem Management, Proactive Problem Management.
  • Request Fullfillment: The purpose of Request Fulfillment is to enable users to request and receive standard services, to source and deliver these services, to provide information to users and customers about services and procedures for obtaining them, and to assist with general information, complaints and comments.
  • Access Management: Aims to provide right things for right users at right time. Charged with providing authorized parties with appropriate access to service and information as specified in the information security policy. Executes the information security policy as defined by the information security management process.


5)Continual Service Improvement:

Concerned with alignment and realignment of services, processes, functions, etc. With changing business needs. Deals with the consistent application of quality management methods to the overall service management effort. Focuses on process owners and service owners. Ensures that service management processes continue to support the business. Monitor and enhance service level achievements.



There are some key processes and activities:

  • Service Reporting: A large volume of data relating to the service quality is collected as part of the service delivery and monitoring. The majority of this information is used internally by IT. Only a small portion is of relevance to the business. The business requires the service provider to produce a comparison with previous reporting periods and to rework incidents.


  • 7Stage Improvement Process: Provides means of using measurement to guide the improvement and correction of service performance.





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