Using the "IT Service" CI Type

Table of contents

Introduction

Version 3 of the ITIL referential formally introduces the notion of Service. ITIL defines it as "A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks." In short, IT takes charge of the informational aspect of the customer's buisiness processes, both in terms of the costs of risks, thereby contributing to the achievement of business objectives. There are three contexts to deliver IT services: 

  1. Internal context
    • An IT department delivers IT services to internal departments or services such as Finance, Human Resources, Sales, Accounting, etc.
  2. External context
    • An organization provides IT services to external customers, as Octopus does with its customers.
  3. Mixed context
    • Both contexts describe above are represented.

The Technology era is now over, we tend to eliminate work in silo and head to the process concept. Technology is now servicing the enterprise and needs to adjust to  its business needs. 

 

The definition of IT services is an excellent start in the first draft of a service catalogue. 

Defining IT services - Benefits

Defining IT services offered to customers / users by an IT department can define what is to be delivered and in what scope. All IT services have a cost, even if the cost is absorbed by the IT budget and is transparent to users.

There are many benefits on several levels, to the development of IT services, here are some of them:

  • A scope is defined, agreed and known to the IT organization and customers / users.
    • Departments (or external customers) know what to expect from the IT department - this includes costs and service level agreements. 
    • The IT deparment has a better understanding of its contribution, and challenges faced by users. 
  • The ability to better understand and to establish links between the infrastructure and the business processes.

Where to start?

In Octopus, the IT services can be configured from the Configurations module. A list of IT services can be obtained with their characteristics and their relationships with other elements of the module. 

As a first preparation step, we suggest to:

  1. Compile a list of IT services and validate their name; starting with the most critical IT services offered to users.
  2. Where appropriate, identify if it is:
    • An IT service for customers.
    • An internal IT service (defined and used by IT staff).
    • If there are service levels (bronze, silver or gold for example).
  3. Establish the description of each service; this description must be clear and written in non-technical language so that users can understand. 

Configuration of an IT service in Octopus

Configuration of the CI type

NOTE: To access the reference data management, an Octopus user must have the following permission:
  • Administer Octopus

The IT service type must already be structured. To do this: 

  1. Go to Tools > Reference data management > CI > Types and click the Service type. 
  2. Click the Attributes tab, which describes the important elements of the service. We have prepared an example of the ones that we suggest in order to help you.
    • ​Description
    • 1st Contact
    • Support Hours
    • Availability
    • Non-availability  (planned maintenance)
    • Critical Periods
    • Response Time
    • Recovery Time
    • IT Support Group
    • Owner
    • Continuity Plan
       

        Tip: To force a logical order of the attributes, you can number them.

       
      Visual explanation

       

  3. Click the Relationships tab and add the following relationships. These could differ, depending on the relationships required for IT services. If certain relationships are missing, they can be added in Tools > Reference data management > CI > Relationship types

    ​​

  4. Click the Categories tab and add the following categories to separate the Client IT service from the Internal IT service (strictly technical).  

Creation of the service

  1. From the Configurations module, click the Create a CI action.  
  2. Select the Service type and name the service. 

  3. A Main Contact can be identified, who could represent the manager for the service (person responsible to maintain the service), and indicate if the service is a Client or Technical one. 

  4. Click the Relationships tab and add the relationship that the IT service will have with other infrastructure elements; servers, softwares, procedures, clients, etc. 
    • A Client service type could be created and related to an IT service, to eventually obtain a list of all the customers using this service. 
  5. Click the Configurations tab and fill in the corresponding attributes. If some information is missing leave the field blank.  

Additional information

You can attach detailed documents related to the service.

  • Go to Tools > Options > Important general options > Visible and required fields and identify the Affected Service as visible. It will make it available in the request.  

How to use the IT service in requests

In Octopus, there is a particular type of CI which is called IT Service. It can be used to gather the different CIs (equipment, softwares, etc.) from which depend a service. Afterwards the service can be selected to: 

  • Identify the IT service of an incident. 
  • Be added to a service request from the CI tab. 
  • Be added to a problem from the CI tab. 
  • Be added to a change from the CI tab. 
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