IT Services over Business Service is like Knife to Gun Fight
IT Services over Business Service is like bringing a knife to a gun fight
In my last post I discussed the value of creating an Business Services vs IT ServicesEnterprise Service Model.
I noted how it did not incorporate a layer for IT Services.  Why?
First, you have to understand two things about my professional opinion about IT.
1) IT is not a department, it’s a competency that exists throughout the organization.  IT is so embedded and critical to the modern business, it has permeated every part of the organization to the point that it is the business core.  Not some appendage of the business.
2) IT is not one thing it’s two.  Information & Technology are critical tools to provide business outcomes.   The outcome of the information and technology themselves are simply diagnostic measures.
So does IT have “Services”?  It sure does, but nearly how the industry defines them.  90% of the time the term “Service” is grossly mischaracterized for an asset, a request or some basic activity.
Do companies make money from IT Services?  Only if they are an IT Company.
Let’s use the classic mis-categorized Service of Email.  Some companies think Email is a Business Service.  Why?   Because ITIL V3 says: “An IT Service that directly supports a Business Process”.  Now ITIL Version 2011 tried to fix this, but it failed because it used the term customer which it confuses between an end-customer to the business and internal business partners who leverage IT resources.
Email is not a business service, it’s not even an IT service.  It is a system, a system comprised of multiple assets and dependent on other systems.
Now, unless you are Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo, or some other email provider… Email is not a service your business is offering.  Let’s just agree though that it’s an IT service.
Email is a critical system (sorry forgot everything is a service)… service within the organization.  In fact, so much so, that most businesses can barely communicate without it.  However, when this critical system has gone down, business users have found alternative email services to achieve their business outcome.  Using their personal email, etc..
For the value was never in the assets, or the system itself, but rather the vital business function that email was providing.  Sending a quote, answering a customer question, sending an invoice, etc…
Now stop and think about how much time and energy has gone into documenting Email as a Service in most organizations.  MS Office365 has had over 100% year over year adoption rate…  are you sure that executives with in your organization care about the underlying assets of a system like email.  Do you truly think that the declared value of your EMAIL IT SERVICE is going to compete with ubiquitous cloud computing email from Microsoft.
Chin up, you’re not irrelevant… yet!
Here is where you have an opportunity to start adding real value to the business decision making processes.   Take just one of your business services, your real business services.  If you are a Bank – Personal Savings, Healthcare – Outpatient Care, etc…
Let’s use Insurance – Quoting.
Quoting is a critical business service in any insurance company.  A binding quote is the contractual driver for revenue.
Quoting is supported by several key Vital Business Functions;
Rating, Underwriting, Policy Binding
Almost every insurance company in the world delivers their binding quotes to their customer via… you guessed it: Email.
Now many insurance companies facilitate the binding of quotes and email to prospect through their quoting system directly.
Emails are sent directly from the quoting system.  If email goes down in these organizations, quoting goes down, the contractual driver for revenue has gone down.
So let me ask you, do you want to go to the executive team with a conversation around number of failed email messages, number of incidents reported on email, number of request for email accounts or email changes…
Or do you want to go to the executive team with a conversation around the risks with Office365 associated to the cost savings, and how you will sustain quoting services by measuring:
The number of successful vs. failed deliveries of quotes.
Plain and simple, if you build your data model around the value that matter, then the tracking of activities will be based on what matters, the aggregate data empowers IT be a value driven organization.
By focusing on IT services and failing to map your IT assets directly to the Business services, you are bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Of course there are always exceptions:
In my next article, I’m going to explain what a Business Service looks like, and how to define the Customer.
Written by

Digital Transformentalist Twitter: @VigilantGuy Linkedin: Web: Matt Hooper is an industry advocate for Service Management strategies and best practices around Enterprise Service Management. For over 20 years Matt has instituted methodologies for business intelligence and optimization. Leveraging technology to drive business outcomes, he has built an industry reputation for his highly effective approach to creating value through Service Management. Matt is active on Social Media known as VigilantGuy, and co-hosts the weekly podcast: Hacking Business Technology.

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Matthew Hooper

Digital Transformentalist