5 Reasons to Start with Business Services in System Center Service Manager

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

In Service Manager, one of the first things we typically do is to plan business services.  What is a business service?  Think of a business service as "something" that IT delivers to the business.  It is an articulation of an abstract "thing" that is delivered by IT and consumed by the business to provide direct revenue (such as a public website) or cost savings (such as a business process automation tool). Here is an example of a Business Service: Here is an example of scorecard data for Business Services:     I've written more about Business Services here: http://www.concurrency.com/blog/business-services-in-service-manager/   Here is another good deep dive on Business Services: http://wiki.en.it-processmaps.com/index.php/Checklist_Service_Portfolio   Why would we start with Business Services?  Here are some reasons:  
  1. Business Services articulate what IT delivers to the business. If you don't know what you deliver to the business, how can you ever understand, improve, or automate it?  The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to rush into a incident, problem, and change management deployment without being prepared to re-shape how they deliver these service management functions.
  1. Business Services articulate a configuration of a "thing" that you deliver to the business.  If a team member who understands the "Customer Portal" is out of the office and the "Customer Portal" is down, you will struggle to support it, as you'll be using a visio from four years ago that *might* be accurate.  The use of configuration management to provide accurate data on business services will inform your teams and lead to better service.
  1. Business Services are the aggregation point for work.  If I am interested in "how much" my "Customer Portal" is costing me, I can use Business Services to articulate that information.  It provides me with the information I      need to make decisions on how to support a particular deliverable.  For instance, if I deliver "Customer Portal" and I'm breaching my incident SLA on that service, I may choose to assign more staff to it, since it is important to      my customer relationships.
  1. Business Services inform Change Management because they contain the critical team members      responsible for supporting and approving changes on a service-by-service basis.  The use of the owners and customers of the service allows the insertion of these individuals in pre-CAB reviews.  I can also apply      controls to business services, such as in the following example:  http://www.concurrency.com/blog/scsm-change-management-controls-for-business-impact-analysis/
  1. Business Services inform automation because they provide configuration information.  An example would be the deployment of patches to enterprise business services, where we cycle through the servers in a business service one by one, including putting the service in maintenance mode.
  I'll be writing additional blog posts on the topic of Business Services.  I hope this helps to emphasize the importance of starting your Service Manager deployment right.   Nathan Lasnoski

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer