Service Operation Major Concepts

Achieving the Balance

Service Operation is more than just a repetitive execution of a standard set of procedures or activities, this phase works in an ever-changing environment. One of Service Operation’s key roles is dealing with the conflict between maintaining the status quo, adapting to the changing business and technological environments and achieving a balance between conflicting sets of priorities.

Internal IT View:
Focuses on the way in which IT components and systems are managed to deliver the services. An organization here is out of balance and is in danger of not meeting business requirements.

External Business View:
Focuses on the way in which services are experienced by users and customers. An organization has business focus, but tends to under-deliver on promises to the business.
No matter how good the functionality is of an IT service or how well it has been designed, it will be worth far less if the service components are not available or if they perform inconsistently. Service Operation has to ensure that the IT infrastructure is stable and available as required. However an extreme focus on stability means that IT is in danger of ignoring changing business requirements

Service Operation must recognize that the business and IT requirements change.

When there is an extreme focus on responsiveness IT may tend to overspend on change and also decrease the stability of the infrastructure.

Cost of Service:
An organization with an extreme focus on cost is out of balance and is in danger of losing service quality because of heavy cost cutting. The loss of service quality leads to a loss of customers, which in turn leads to further cost cutting as the negative cycle continues.

Quality of Service:
An organization with an extreme focus on quality has happy customers but may tend to overspend to deliver higher levels of service than are strictly necessary, resulting in higher costs and effort required.

The goal should be to consistently deliver the agreed level of IT service to customer and users, while at the same time keeping costs and resource utilization at an optimal level.
An organization that is extremely reactive is not able to effectively support the business strategy. Unfortunately a lot of organizations focus on reactive management as the sole means to ensure services are highly consistent and stable, actively discouraging proactive behavior from staff. The worst aspect of this approach is that discouraging effort investment in proactive Service Management can ultimately increase the effort and cost of reactive activities and further risk stability and consistency in services.

An extremely proactive organization tends to fix services that are not broken, or introduce services that are not yet needed, resulting in higher levels of change, costs and effort.

This also comes at a cost of stability to the infrastructure and quality of service already being delivered.