How to identify a service model to build

This topics provides an overview of business value of service models:

Defining business goals for the service model

The most basic step involved in defining a service model is defining the specific business goals you hope to achieve with the model.

To do so, the IT or Integration Service (IS) group must engage the business managers in defining short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals for service impact management for the enterprise. These goals guide the design and development of deliverables for all service model development phases and define the amount of time and effort required for development and implementation.

Some possible goals for service impact management are as follows:

  • Operational efficiency—This type of implementation is run by and for the IT or IS group. It consists of a thin layer of logical groups on top of a large number of IT resources, ranging from applications and systems to hard disks and other hardware CIs. Services are just logical groupings that provide a convenient way of classifying the technical resources.
  • Business-focused operational efficiency—This type of implementation is likely to involve various populations and centers of management in the enterprise. It consists of a balanced representation of the operational environment, encompassing the IT CIs, such as systems and applications, and the logical CIs, such as services, user groups, and other business objects.
  • Business continuity and service availability—This type of implementation is driven from the top and ensures that IT or IS is delivering their services as agreed. It consists of a business-centric model in which business processes, services, and SLAs rely on a small number of vital IT CIs that measure the pulse of the underlying environment.

Decomposing a business service

The purpose of decomposing a business service is to identify and document business processes, identify the IT services that support them, and identify IT CIs and assets that provide the IT services. For example, a hardware manufacturing organization might identify a business function as microprocessor procurement, a supporting IT service as procurement information storage, and the supporting IT assets as servers, databases, and related hardware and software systems.

On a high level, a service model is a collection of components, also known as configuration items (CIs), that represents a business service. A business service can have one or more business processes. Each business process can contain several functional applications, each of which can have multiple IT CIs. A service model will contain the processes, show how the CIs are interconnected, and show how CI failures propagate and impact the upstream services.

The following steps facilitate the process of creating a service model:

  1. Identify business services.
    Sources of information include business unit managers, business process managers, and staff personnel knowledgeable about the business services. Company organization charts might be helpful in identifying the relevant people.
    The process involves interviewing the managers and identifying the following information:
    • Business processes – Identify key business processes such as market research,product planning, response management, or case management. There can be multiple levels of business processes, starting with higher-level core competencies and business functions to specific sub-business processes.
    • Functional applications – Identify the business applications that support the business processes. Map the business processes to the functional apps.
      Map the functional applications to IT service CIs to create business service models.
  2. Identify IT services.
    Sources of information include IT managers and staff. Disaster recovery plans, help desk documents, and purchase orders might be useful in identifying IT CIs and the business processes that they support.
    The process involves identifying the list of IT assets (components). Interview the IT management and staff, or utilize an asset/configuration management database as resources:
    • Create a list of IT services (service catalog); discover what IT services are offered to business units through use of IT assets. Examples of IT services include customer support and customer call monitoring.
    • For each IT service, identify the IT assets that support the service. Discovery solutions such as BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping (ADDM) help with automated identification of IT assets and offer continuous and regular updates to ensure that the service model components accurately reflect real IT environment. 
    • Identify the interdependencies among the IT CIs and formulate a topology map. Consider the relationships and dependencies between IT CIs.
  3. Build a business service model, and link the business processes to the IT services that you have identified.

 Example business service model spreadsheet

Core competencies

Business functions

Business processes

IT services

IT component

Plan and develop products


Market research

Research and development

Product planning

Manager customer relations

Front office sales

Response management

Customer support

Support service requests


Server: FTP


Server: Walrus

Sales Logix

Database: SALLOG Applications: Sales Logix User group: Tech Support dept Servers: Antelope

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