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ITIL :: View topic - Service Catalog: business or technical
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Service Catalog: business or technical

 
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johnireland
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:03 am    Post subject: Service Catalog: business or technical Reply with quote

I head up a small team handling the UNIX-based services within a larger IT department of a University. I want to develop a service catalog (ITIL v3) for the services that we offer.

I've identified our 'core' business services, and some clear 'supporting' business services, but am struggling to figure out how to differentiate the rest between 'supporting' business services and the IT 'operational' services.

Although there are lots of business service catalogs on the net, I'm yet to find a technical service catalog to compare. Has anyone here got an example, or some advice, that might help me figure out whether a service - eg. source code repository - is a 'supporting' service or an 'operational' service?

TIA,
John
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 1884
Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: Service Catalog: business or technical Reply with quote

johnireland wrote:
Has anyone here got an example, or some advice, that might help me figure out whether a service - eg. source code repository - is a 'supporting' service or an 'operational' service?


Welcome to the forum.

Does it hold your source code or your customer(s)' source code?

If it is your source code, is it a service at all? Do your customers care what you do with your source code?

If it is your customer(s)' source code, is it not just another service?

John, could you clarify for me where you are coming from please? I don't want to answer two completely different points. (Unless someone pays me Rolling Eyes )

Either way, the answer lies in considering what you are trying to achieve and how you will make use of the classifications rather than in tightly conforming to labels supplied in ITIL.
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3320
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First,

whom is your audience

If you are the UNIX -based department

you may have 1 SC for the tech geeks for the detailed types of work that you support / provide

the service catelog for the normal student (user) may be

Web Service
EMAIL Service
FTP Service

The details / technical version may have

POP3
DHCP
Cron jobs
awk
Apache
Linux
mysql etc

as the unix hacks and geeks need more infor while the non IT types merely need to know you provide web, email, and ftp service

and then description, service available/unavailble, initial process to get service or deal with outages

that would be a basic set

It all depends on what you have about the services that you provide and how much you can tell the users via the SC
etc at a more detailed level tha
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milligna
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Joined: Oct 27, 2008
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a model for defining Service Catalogue that I've been working on which I believe works well:

Business Service - this consists of the Objectives that the business customer is trying to achieve - in the case of a university it could be things like onsite education services, online education services, facilities administration, Business/Staff communications and collaboration, student communications and collaboration etc.

User Service - this consists of the Capabilities to be consumed by the Users (this should be capability focussed and not technology specific, however for a business where the users supply their own machines, the constraints of the supported platforms might be stipulated here) - for a university it might be things like an Email system with a Web interface, A staff web portal, an admissions system, various laboratory systems, A/V systems, Video Conferencing systems etc.

Once User Service is defined, you design or document your supporting systems (I don't like "technical services" as a term because it separates them somewhat from the business needs and allows technical teams to forget about the business) in a hierarchical model - for example you define your applications at the highest levels - the components that most closely fulfil the required capabilities in the User Service - and then document your system of supporting infrastructure and platforms. Each of these discreet "systems" might consist of a number of CIs, and might be in turn supported by a lower level "system" (like servers or networks). Any one of these systems can support one or more higher level systems and consequently one or more User Services. You can then track incidents from the affected service down, and impact from the lowest level System component (CI) upwards to all potentially impacted Services.

This model has the added bonus of helping you define your CMDB based on which parts of the systems are important to the services - by maintaining a service focus, you can drive out unneccesary bloat in your CMDB and ensure it is only relevant to the business and not the technologists.

It sounds to me like you're a technology provider with a platform domain which supports capabilities but not necessarily providing direct or discreet services to the business (the university), so the systems that you manage are likely to be at a lower level than the actual services provided and consumed by the users.

IT often silos itself into technology domains which separates different support teams into believing they provide "unix services" which is not necessarily where the focus of the business is.

Your operational services should be dictated by the SLAs defined way up at the User Service Level. Each service should tell you what the constraints of what needs to be delivered. These should then be passed through to each of the system support teams as "OLAs", and managed using the ITSM processes defined for your org (change, incident, availability etc).

For your specific example, a source code repository is something that would be used to manage your transition processes - if the source code repository goes down what impact does it have on the consumption or quality of the services delivered to the User? I'd put systems like this in a process support bucket. I wouldn't necessarily call it a service.

That said, your situation sounds like an IT organisation that is far from ready to understand their role in the business and is probably still thinking in terms of technology Silos. In which case, all you can do is protect yourself by providing your services directly to the IT org rather than to the business. I would imagine the easiest way to do this is to ignore the user and get the IT org to worry about how they're going to "onsell" your technology or package it up to the users/customers. Kinda like outsourcing.

Kev.
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