Business services are a subset of economic services that involve the activities of a firm in carrying out its trade. They comprise the services used by businesses for their day-to-day operations such as banking, transportation, warehousing, insurance and communication. They also include the services provided by other companies to their clients such as accounting, consulting and information technology. Unlike products, services cannot be stored for future use and they must be delivered when demanded. Consequently, they must be designed to meet the demands of attractive groups of customers in ways that distinguish them from rival services. This article outlines an approach for crafting such designs, based on the key elements of service model design.
A service model is a conceptual structure that describes how an IT organization will monitor and manage its business services. It includes the process for establishing lookup data for each business service; for example, the tier 1 assignment group, business approver and escalation support group. Service models also describe how a series of related IT services and device services are organized, such as the database and DNS service that make up a datacenter network.
In ServiceNow, a business service is a logical representation of an IT service in the BSM map. A business service contains a set of relationships to other CIs (configuration items) in the CMDB, and can be used to automatically discover and display those CIs. ServiceNow allows you to create, edit and delete business service relationships. You can also view the BSM map from different perspectives and open specific records that relate to configuration items. The system automatically refreshes the BSM map to reflect changes in the CMDB.
The primary advantages of a service business over a product business are speed and flexibility. A service-based company can develop a new service quickly and easily, and it can change existing services with minimal expense. A service business can also tailor its offerings to better match customer needs, which can result in higher revenue and profit.
One disadvantage of a service-based business is that it can be difficult to ensure consistency in performance and delivery. Service businesses often employ humans, which can result in inconsistency and miscommunication. Furthermore, service-oriented business often require significant customer involvement to clarify requirements, convey expectations and establish service level agreements.
Another disadvantage is that a service-oriented business can only focus on a particular market. For example, a carpet cleaning business can only market its services to individual consumers or to commercial establishments. Some service businesses, such as pet grooming and home paint contractors, can target both markets, but many only have a primary client category.