Service Operation

Service Operation

Service Operation involves coordinating and carrying out activities and processes required to provide and manage services for business users and customers within a specified agreed service level. Service Operation is also responsible for management of the technology required to provide and support the services.

The main objectives of Service Operation are to maintain business satisfaction and confidence in IT through effective and efficient delivery support of agreed services; to minimise the impact of service outages on day-to-day business activities; and to ensure that access to agreed IT Services is only provided to those authorised to receive those services.

The processes, functions, organisation and tools used to underpin the ongoing activities required to deliver and support ongoing activities Include:

  • The services themselves: Day-to-day activities that form part of a service are included in Service Operation, whether it is performed by the service provider, an external supplier or the user or customer of that service
  • Service Management processes: The ongoing management and execution of the many Service Management processes that are performed in Service Operation. Even though a number of ITIL processes (such as Change and Capacity Management) originate at the Service Design or Service Transition stage of the Service Lifecycle, they are in use continually in Service Operation. Some processes are not included specifically in Service Operation, such as Strategy Management for IT services and the actual design process itself. These processes focus more on longer-term planning and improvement activities, which are outside the direct scope of Service Operation; however, Service Operation provides input, and influences these processes regularly as part of the lifecycle of Service Management
  • Technology: All services require some form of technology to deliver them. Managing this technology is not a separate issue, but an integral part of the management of the services themselves. Therefore a large part of ITIL Service Operation is concerned with the management of the infrastructure used to deliver services
  • People: Regardless of what services, processes and technology are managed, they are all about people. It is people who drive the demand for the organization’s services and products and it is people who decide how this will be done. Ultimately, it is people who manage the technology, processes and services. Failure to recognize this will result (and has resulted) in the failure of Service Management activities

Selecting and adopting the best practice will assist organizations in delivering significant benefits. Adopting and implementing standard and consistent approaches for Service Operation will deliver significant benefits:

  • Reduce unplanned labour and costs for both the business and IT through optimised handling of service outages and identification of their root causes.
  • Reduce the duration and frequency of service outages which will allow the business to take full advantage of the value created by the services they are receiving.
  • Provide operational results and data that can be used by other ITIL processes to improve services continually and provide justification for investing in ongoing service improvement activities and supporting technologies.
  • Meet the goals and objectives of the organisation’s security policy by ensuring that IT services will be accessed only by those authorised to use them.
  • Provide quick and effective access to standard services which business staff can use to improve their productivity or the quality of business services and products.

Provide a basis for automated operations, thus increasing efficiencies and allowing expensive human resources to be used for more innovative work, such as designing new or improved functionality or defining new ways in which the business can exploit technology for increased competitive advantage.

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Kate Hamblin

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