Digitalization impacts on Service Management, adds speed and agility to reliability and scalability as the key business drivers. This can sometimes result in favoring cloud-based applications that require no IT management at all. This approach, however, does not take into account that there is a need for integration and compliance with corporate data and security policies. The role of Service Management is to address the business needs and be able to combine agility with reliability.


Figure 6.1.1 Service is more than what you see.

One of the most important tasks of IT is to provide services that efficiently support the business. There is a direct link between the quality of IT services and business efficiency, since more and more business processes are supported by IT services. The production of services typically forms up to 70–90% of total IT spending in a company. The quality of IT services is a business enabler that helps the business to achieve its targets, lower its costs and increase competitiveness.

Service Management is a set of processes, competence and tools to align the delivery of services with the needs of the enterprise. The primary objective of Service Management is to offer business-aligned services that ensure efficient and uninterrupted business operations. This requires a reliable and well-documented service environment, efficient operational models, strict compliance with governance processes, as well as adequate skills and capabilities.

The services offered by IT must conform to the continuously changing requirements and needs of the business. Service Management is responsible for the continuous improvement and development of services, while, at the same time, it needs to constantly manage and monitor performance in order to ensure the business purpose fit and quality of services.

Service Management consists of the following key functions:

  • Service Portfolio Management
  • Enterprise Information Management
  • Service Development and Design
  • Service Integration and Quality
  • Service Transition and Operations
  • Self-Service and Automation

Key Objectives of Service Management

  • Continuous development of services with effective utilization of digital opportunities and service automation.
  • Ensure service continuity for business operations.
  • Produce the agreed services cost-efficiently and according to the service promise.

Service Management – Roles and Competence Requirements

The person(s) responsible for Service Management should have adequate technical knowledge combined with good communication skills, business understanding, and a genuinely service-oriented mindset.


Figure 6.1.2 Service Management.


Service Management consists of two main elements: service development and service operations (see the picture above). Service Owners have an end-to-end responsibility for the services. They have a good understanding of business needs and are in charge of developing and maintaining the service development roadmap. Service Owners define the required service levels in operations and ensure operational performance. Service Manager is a very common role name and is used to describe various functions, but typically it refers to service ownership at lower levels. A Service Manager is responsible for developing services and plays a key role in projects as well as product releases. The primary objective of the Service Manager is to provide better services at a lower cost.

The quality of operations is assured by the Service Management Office (SMO), staffed by Service Integration Managers. The SMO together with the Service Desk executes Service Integration and Management (SIAM) over all services. The Service Desk is the front-end taking care of users, while SMO is the back-end function taking care of suppliers and processes.

Business steering is organized into two functions: Service Portfolio Steering is the highest-level service governance body responsible for approval of major development initiatives, while the Change Advisory Board (CAB) governs changes. The Service Owners, supervised by the Head of Services, are responsible for managing the Service Portfolio and for maintaining the service roadmaps for Service Portfolio Steering. The Chairperson of Service Portfolio Steering should be an executive-level business representative. The Change Advisory Board supports the Change Manager, a role within SMO, in the assessment, prioritization and scheduling of changes. The CAB includes representatives from business, IT and supplier organizations. Business is typically represented by Key Users.


Key Roles in Service Management

  • Head of Services
  • Service Owner
  • Service Manager (generic role name, typically the lowest level of service ownership)
  • Service Integration Manager
  • Service Desk Agent

Steering Functions in Service Management

  • Service Portfolio Steering
  • Change Advisory Board (CAB)
  • Service Management Office (SMO)
  • Service Desk (SD)

Service Management – Functions

Service Management is divided into distinct functions, each of which is composed of specific processes and tasks. The figure below, Five Elements of Service Management, presents the logical relationship between different Service Management functions. The upper layer, Service Portfolio, follows the overall service lifecycle and has control over both the development and operation sides of Service Management. Service Integration constantly manages and monitors the performance of services over multiple Service Providers, while at the same time ensuring that the service development initiatives introduced by Service Development and Design are compliant with operations standards. The bottom layer, Self-Service and Automation, enables the management of services and related transactions for all functions of Service Management.


Figure 6.1.3 The Five Elements of Service Management.  


Service Management consists of the following seven functions:

  • Service Portfolio Management (Enterprise Development)
  • Enterprise Information Management (Enterprise Development)
  • Service Development and Design
  • Service Integration and Quality
  • Service Transition and Operational Readiness
  • Service Operation and Support
  • Self-Service and Automation

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