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Mar 13, 2012

ITIL Service Strategy

ITIL Service Strategy
Service Strategy has the central position in the circular ITIL lifecycle model.
By a broader definition, strategy is a plan devised to achieve a long-term aim. Service strategy is therefore a systematic long-term plan designed by the IT service organization to achieve defined objectives.

A good service strategy should define a way to create and deliver a better value to the customer.
Main objective of service strategy is to recognize competitors and have them in mind when considering services which will in some way be better than the competition's.

Service management is regarded as a strategic asset in the service strategy stage.
Service Strategy deals with
  • developing service markets
  • service provider types
  • development of a service portfolio
  • financial aspects of service management
  • business relationships and others.
Strategy provides the tools and guidance to an organization to step back from daily operation and view existing services in terms of
  • costs
  • risks involved
  • their performance
Strategy is about the pure cause of services, not about effects and how-to’s.

Service Strategy deals with some key principles:
  • Utility and warranty
    • Utility is "what is the service"/fit dor purpose.
    • Warranty is "how it works"/fit for use.
  • Value Creation - what does the service do for the customer and how he/she sees it.
  • Assets -anything that can help us to deliver the service. Assets are either resources or capabilities.
    • Resource - a kind of physical assets: infrastructure elements, people, financial capital, applications.
    • Capabilities - intangible assets: usualy the ability to create value.
  • Patterns of Business Activity (PBA) every cutomer has activities which generate demand for services.
  • Governance - defines how we implement and follow strategy, policies and processes.

ITIL Service Strategy Mind Map
ITIL V2011 Service Strategy Mind Map

Service Strategy Processes:

Service Portfolio Management
A service organization manages investments in services across the lifecycle by exercising Service Portfolio Management.
Service Portfolio Management enables customers to understand what services are available, why they should use them (and why from this provider) and what will be the costs. Also to govern the services in such a way to support Service Strategy.
It enables a service organization to determine weaknesses and strengths of their portfolio, what the priorities and weaknesses of their investment are and how to allocate resources according to these priorities and risks.
Service Portfolio Management deals with
  • services which will be delivered (pipeline)
  • services which are being delivered (catalogue)
  • withdrawn services (retired)

Financial management for IT services
Financial management enables the service organization to measure the value of IT services and underpinning assets. It manages cost-effectiveness of IT Service Management.
Service organizations use Financial management  to achieve Better decision making, Change Speed, Better Service Portfolio Management, Financial and Operational control, Sense of service value.
In ITIL 2011 returned to key activities from earlier versions:
  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Charging
Demand modeling is focused on TCO of service provision to the customer.
Return of Investment (ROI) is the main value of an investment.

Business Relationship Management
This is a newly defined process in Service Strategy. Here is the culprit for the fact that Measurement and Reporting are not in CSI any more. Anyway, this is a welcome change. BRM existed for some time in ISO/IEC20000 and is widely recognized as a crucial process in IT Service Management. Its main purpose is to support most of other processes in all lifecycle stages - by helping Service organization and Business to better understand each other. Which is, as we know, the basic means/goal to all ITSM organized voyages. If Business and IT don't make an effort to speak the same language, to understand each other's pains, then all the other endeavors are meaningless.

Demand Management
Another new  process! Previously, Demand Management was dealt with inside of Capacity Management. On primary ITSM levels, it is the right place for Demand Management. But since we started dealing with Strategy and Design lifecycle stages, we saw Demand as the crucial driver for them. So here it is.

Service Strategy is the most boring ITIL book. It was most thoroughly rewritten in 2011., and it still helps me to fall asleep when all other methods fail :)
On the other hand, it contains some very important concepts and aspects of Service Management which tend to be more and more interesting as you gather experience working in IT industry.


crystal.travel6 said...


Jes said...

Is it possible to get the ITIL 2011 as a mmap download? The one you have available is the "old" v3 ...

Thanks a lot for his blog, by the way!