The ITIL Service Lifecycle consists of five stages: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, ITIL Service Operation and Service Continual Improvement. All of these phases are interlinked in order to successfully launch a new or improved IT service within a business. The ITIL Service Operation stage is a critical and valuable part of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. The IT Service Lifecycle is described briefly in the ITIL Foundation Overview course and in more depth in the ITIL Foundation Certification course.
Scope of the ITIL Service Operation stage
ITIL Service Operation ensures efficient and effective services
The ITIL Service Operation stage provides guidelines for effective and efficient provision and support of services. The ITIL Service Operation is the phase where a service meets its final customers and impacts on services directly affect customer perception. Therefore, the Service Operation stage should ensure effective and efficient operation of services in order to maximize customer value and satisfaction.
ITIL Service Operation secures the value of a service
The value of a service to the customer and the service provider is also secured in the Service Operation stage. End-customers see the value of a service that was created during the preceding ITIL Service Lifecycle stages in the Service Operation stage
ITIL Service Operation achieves strategic objectives
The objectives that were set as part of the business and IT strategies are achieved during the Service Operation stage. Business vision and strategy is developed during ITIL Service Strategy stage. Then, services or updates to existing services are designed during ITIL Service Design stage. After building, testing, verifying and implementing, new or changed services are put into live in ITIL Service Transition stage. And finally, the business strategy and vision meets its customers in the ITIL Service Operation stage. Developed new or changed services meet its customers and business objectives and visions are starting to be realized.
ITIL Service Operation secures stability of operations
The Service Operation stage secures the stability of operations as well. Consistent and healthy delivery of services to end customers is crucial to increase customer satisfaction and their perceived value of the service.
The objectives of the ITIL Service Operation stage
ITIL Service Operation coordinates and performs services according to service level agreements
The Service Operation stage aims to coordinate and perform processes in such a way that the services provided are managed according to agreed service level agreements (SLA). Let’s say that you agreed to respond to a customer call in less than 10 seconds in your SLA. The ITIL Service Operation stage is where you should meet this target. If a service is not meeting the agreed levels, corrective actions should be taken immediately.
The ITIL Service Operation stage manages technology
The Service Operation is also responsible for the management of technology. If there are several tools, equipment or software that needs to be managed to deliver services to customers, these are managed during the Service Operation stage.
The characteristics of the ITIL Service Operation Stage
The ITIL Service Operation stage delivers value to its customers
The Service Operation stage is declared as the “Factory of IT”. This is because all strategies, plans, and developments go live in service operation and meet its customer in this stage. The value to the customer is delivered mainly during Service Operation. So the perception of the customer is shaped during this stage as well.
The ITIL Service Operation Stage takes care of day-to-day business
The daily business of the organization takes place in Service Operation stage as well. For instance, let’s think of a telecom operator. The telecom operator provides, voice, SMS, and internet services to its subscribers. And these services are provided to subscribers in the Service Operation stage. A subscriber expects to be able to make a voice call, send SMS or use the internet when he is using his phone. That’s how service operation takes care of daily business.
The ITIL Service Operation Stage provides IT services according to the business processes of the customer
And finally, the ITIL Service Operation phase provides IT services to secure the business processes of the customer. Let’s say that money withdrawal is a business process of a bank that is provided through ATMs. These services are provided and secured during the Service Operations stage.
The value of the ITIL Service Operation Stage
ITIL Service Operation interacts with customers
The Service Operation phase provides value for the business as well. From a customer’s perspective, the value of services is provided inside of Service Operation. This stage is where a service meets its actual end customer. The customer uses and experiences services in service operations, and a value perception is generated during this stage. Imagine that you are a subscriber of a mobile operator and you use its voice, SMS, and internet services. Naturally, you have an opinion of the value of these services provided by the operator to you. You might think that you are paying a lot but the internet is slow, or network coverage is terrible in rural areas etc. These are examples of customer perception of delivered services.
ITIL Service Operation shows the IT Infrastructure and its impact on service quality
In the Service Operation stage, the impact of the operation of the IT infrastructure and supporting IT service management processes on service quality can be seen clearly. This means that if there is a problem in the IT infrastructure or in service management processes, your customers will face the impacts directly. Let’s think that your organization is a bank and you are providing internet services to your customers. If there will be an outage in internet services, this will affect customers directly and decrease the customer satisfaction severely. Effective service management throughout the ITIL Service Lifecycle should enable the avoidance of ineffective IT infrastructure and supporting IT service management that could negatively impact on the customer.