To sustain high levels of business performance, organisations need to offer competitive products and services that customers will value, buy and use. Adapting quickly to changes in the economic climate and in the market place is of real importance. All services offered should enable business transformation and growth.
ITIL Service Management supports this transformation through the use of the Service Lifecycle, which is split into 5 distinct lifecycle stages:
Each stage relies on service principles, processes, roles and performance measures, and each stage is dependent on the other lifecycle stages for inputs and feedback. A constant set of checks and balances throughout the Service Lifecycle ensures that as business demand changes with business need, the services can adapt and respond effectively to them.
Service Strategy – understanding who the IT customers are, the service offerings that are required to meet the customers’ needs, the IT capabilities and resources that are required to develop these offerings, and the requirements for executing them successfully. Driven by strategy throughout the course of delivery and support for the service, the IT service provider must always try to ensure that the cost of delivery is consistent with the value delivered to the customer.
Service Design ensures that new and changed services are designed effectively to meet customer expectations. The technology and architecture required to meet customer needs cost-effectively are an integral part of service design, as are the processes required to manage the services. IT Service Management systems and tools to adequately monitor and support new or modified services must be considered, as well as mechanisms for measuring the service levels, the technology, and the efficiency and effectiveness of processes.
Through the Service Transition phase of the Service Lifecycle, the design is built, tested and moved into production to enable the business customer to achieve the desired value. This phase addresses managing changes: controlling the assets and configuration items (the underlying components such as hardware, software etc.) associated with the new and changed systems; service validation; and testing and transition planning to ensure that users, support personnel and the production environment have been prepared for the release to production.
Once transitioned, Service Operation then delivers the service on an ongoing basis, overseeing the daily overall health of the service. This includes the Service Desk managing disruptions to service through rapid restoration after incidents; and IT Support Services determining the root cause of problems and detecting trends associated with recurring issues; handling daily routine end-user requests; and managing service access.
Enveloping the Service Lifecycle is Continual Service Improvement (CSI). CSI offers a mechanism for the IT organization to measure and improve the service levels, the technology and the efficiency and effectiveness of processes used in the overall management of services.