back to article What’s important in service management?

In its broadest sense, service management goes beyond IT service management and looks to influence many of the processes which underpin the activities a business engages in. Previously, we asked how you thought service management had changed in your organisation in recent years. Let’s dig around a bit further. One of the major …

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Um...

Maybe I've missed something here, but am I the only one who doesn't have a fu£king clue what "Service Management" is?

Sounds like something a new head of IT spouts off as a latest "management initiative" or other "blue-sky theories"....

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Not Rocket Science...

Business Service management (BSm) is very often spouted by executives who have just as little idea about what it really means.

On the other hand Service Management is what many IT professionals do every day. Building quality products that help their respective companies/clients do what they do better/faster/cheaper; and build products that work, are supportable and supported, and really work.

There are also plenty of IT shops which insist on building:-

- glorious, glittering well architected systems which fulfill no discernable business need;

- utter rubbish;

- fabulous stuff, but forgetting to tell anyone how to run it.

Its about doing the job properly....

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@The Original Steve, Dave Watts

Gents,

Thanks for your comments.

Part of this is about finding out what you guys at the sharp end think service management is, and the other is pulling a load of (hopefully useful) stuff together we've picked up on our travels, research projects and so on to get a conversation going around this big topic.

'What the fu£k is service management' and 'its about doing the job properly' seem like a pretty fair set of questions and answers to me. Half the battle is being able to talk about stuff that people 'just do' without really caring what it might be described as elsewhere. We're going to try to cover a whole bunch of stuff relating to this topic over the next few weeks so both your comments have already helped keep this on the ground. cheers, Martin

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Anonymous Coward

The many sides of the definition of "Service Management"

You should separate your analysis by the kind of business you're referring to. Let me explain. There is one class of business that see IT technology as a fundamental lever to their growth. They take IT as strategic asset, the same as their brands, intellectual property or other long lasting thing that allow it to survive and prosper. The .com (the survivors from the crash) belong to that category, but also every bank, travel agency or small business that exploit technology to maximize benefit and explore new markets.

There is other class of business where they leaders may say things like "IT is the cornerstone of our business" but that statement has the same value as things like "people is our biggest asset" They are obsessed with financials, short term profits, and meeting some artificial targets demanded by a cavern of stock analysts looking to where they can place their huge pension funds bets. For them, IT is an overhead just like any other and anything they do to reduce it is good for their bottom line. Those are the places where the latest outsourcing, offshoring, etc trends have been happening.

I'm sure that everyone can think of examples of the latter. Of course, most business are in between those two extremes, This links nicely with your idea of measuring contribution to the business. But note the difference, there will be places where IT's contribution will be embedded in each activity or process area that is using it and others where IT will be in its own separate line, just near the total overheads line.

Even in the best cases, the big infrastructure costs will be appearing on its own, as nobody can accurately measure their direct contribution to business growth. Except by crude allocation, really nobody can effectively measure those.

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