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Business Service Definition

Business Service Definition describes an IT Service Offering to a business. Business Service is an abstract that produces and supports by IT using a set technologies that consumes by business users with tangible values. It defines how business is expecting to use the IT technologies in fulfilling its business needs with an agreed deliverables by IT without the needs to know the complexities of underlying infrastructure.

Business Service is also a share term used by both business and IT. Let’s take banking industry as an example to elaborate about business service, as banking industry is heavily dependents on IT as an enabler for its business. Prior to 1980, internet banking is not common. To increase its competitiveness and its reach to a greater customer base, a bank started its strategic planning by creating a business service called “Banking2U”. During its strategy planning, it discussed about how should this “Banking2U” service to be, its purpose and how its usage to be. This is the stage where the “Banking2U” is born, hence the name given by business.

When the board or management agreed with the planned of this service, it will be taken to the next stage. The 2nd stage is about designing and building “Banking2U” with tangible deliverables to business. In this stage, it is either an application is build or purchase off the shelf that should serve the purpose defined by “Banking2U” service. The architect of “Banking2U” will start by designing business applications required to support it, for example “Internet Banking”. The architect will work with its team to put up the building blocks of “Internet Banking” application using a set of IT technologies and software components like web servers, application servers and databases. Other than its functional usage of the “Internet Banking” application, the fit for use will also be designed and built according to “Banking2U” service requirements. Therefore, the IT architectural design like high availability, loan balancing, disaster recovery and security requirement will also be considered.

Entering into the 3rd stage is about rolling out the “Internet Banking” application with appropriate testing and communication about its readiness to all the stakeholders like business and IT support team. When “Internet Banking” application transitions to production, IT support team must have adequate knowledge to support it. “Internet Banking” application may also require a list of common IT services that have been provided by IT team, for example Database Service, Authentication Service and Networking Service. In the essence of IT support, they will need to know what are the underlying components that are directly and indirectly supporting “Internet Banking” application.

Business service is a common term used by business and IT, which helps to align between them. However, the content of business service varies depending on the motivation factors.

What are the motivations of Business Service Definition?

  • Service Level Agreement: Business will define a set of objectives that IT will need to meet in providing “Banking2U” service like Application Availability, Transaction Volume and Response Time commitment. Hence, it is important to understand and define the scope of “Banking2U” service to allow SLA calculation in an agreed and consistent way.

  • Service Health: In the operational state of “Banking2U” service, it is critical that business and IT support team have the visibility of Service Health. Hence, it is important to understand its’ technologies and all critical components used in supporting “Banking2u” service so that an accurate service health can be provided.

  • IT Operational Support: In the process of supporting “Banking2U” service, user must be able to log call to IT with reference to their “Banking2U” issue. IT support team should allow to record the IT technology or IT infrastructure component that impacting the users of “Banking2U”. Hence, business service and its direct critical components should be made available to IT support team during Service Desk Process, Incident Process, Problem Process and Change Process.

  • Monitoring: Monitoring helps detect problem so that IT could proactive manage the problem prior to user complaints. Hence, appropriate mapping of monitor metrics to the critical components of business service will ensure the accuracy of service impact analysis.

  • Event Working: To efficiently and effectively working on event detected by monitoring tool, it is important to understand its impact to business service as well as its relationship with other events, so that IT support team can prioritize working on key events.

  • Service Costing and Valuation: A well-defined business service will help management to accurately understand the cost of providing the service, hence the valuation of its business service.

  • Technically, it is the service modelling activities that support the defining of a Business Service. The depth of service modelling is highly dependent on the business service definition’s motivation factors. Modelling a Business Service adequately for a given cause!

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