Service Design is a stage within the overall service lifecycle and an important element within the business change process. The role of Service Design within the business change process can be defined as: The design of appropriate and innovative IT services, including their architectures, processes, policies and documentation, to meet current and future agreed business requirements. The main goals and objectives of Service Design are to:
- design services to meet agreed business outcomes
- design processes to support the service lifecycle
- identify and manage risks
- design secure and resilient IT infrastructures, environments, applications and data/information resources and capability
- design measurement methods and metrics
- produce and maintain plans, processes, policies, standards, architectures, frameworks and documents to support the design of quality IT solutions
- develop skills and capability within IT
- contribute to the overall improvement in IT service quality.
Service Design starts with a set of business requirements, and ends with the development of a service solution designed to meet documented business requirements and outcomes and to provide a Service Design Package (SDP) for handover into Service Transition. There are 5 individual aspects of Service Design:
- new or changed service solutions
- service management systems and tools, especially the Service Portfolio
- technology architectures and management systems
- processes, roles and capabilities
- measurement methods and metrics.
A holistic approach should be adopted in Service Design to ensure consistency and integration in all IT activities and processes, providing end-to-end business-related functionality and quality. Good service design is dependent upon the effective and efficient use of the Four Ps of Design:
- people: the people, skills and competencies involved in the provision of IT services
- products: the technology and management systems used in the delivery of IT services
- processes: the processes, roles and activities involved in the provision of IT services
- partners: the vendors, manufacturers and suppliers used to assist and support IT service provision.
Service Design Package (SDP): defines all aspects of an IT service and its requirements through each stage of its lifecycle. An SDP is produced for each new IT service, major change, or IT service retirement.
Key Processes and Activities
the Service Level Management processes. Service Level Management (SLM) SLM negotiates, agrees and documents appropriate IT service targets with the business, and then monitors and produces reports on delivery against the agreed level of service.
The purpose of the SLM process is to ensure that all operational services and their performance are measured in a consistent, professional manner throughout the IT organization, and that the services and the reports produced meet the needs of the business and customers.
The main information provided by the SLM process includes Service Level Agreements (SLA), Operational Level Agreements (OLA) and other support agreements, and the production of the Service Improvement Plan (SIP) and the Service Quality Plan.
Capacity Management includes business, service and component capacity management across the service lifecycle. A key success factor in managing capacity is ensuring that it is considered during the design stage. The purpose of Capacity Management is to provide a point of focus and management for all capacity and performance-related issues, relating to both services and resources, and to match the capacity of IT to the agreed business demands.
The Capacity Management Information System (CMIS) is the cornerstone of a successful Capacity Management process. Information contained within the CMIS is stored and analyzed by all the sub-processes of Capacity Management for the provision of technical and management reports, including the Capacity Plan.
The purpose of Availability Management is to provide a point of focus and management for all availability-related issues, relating to services, components and resources, ensuring that availability targets in all areas are measured and achieved, and that they match or exceed the current and future agreed needs of the business in a cost-effective manner.
Availability Management should take place at two inter-connected levels and aim to continually optimize and proactively improve the availability of IT services and their supporting organization. There are two key aspects:
- reactive activities: monitoring, measuring, analysis and management of events, incidents and problems involving service unavailability
- proactive activities: proactive planning, design, recommendation and improvement of availability. Availability Management activities should consider the availability, reliability, maintainability and serviceability at both service and component level, particularly those supporting Vital Business Functions (VBFs). The Availability Management process should be based around an Information System (AMIS) that contains all of the measurements and information required to provide the appropriate information to the business on service levels. The AMIS also assists in the production of the Availability Plan.
IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM)
As technology is a core component of most business processes, continued or high availability of IT is critical to the survival of the business as a whole. This is achieved by introducing risk reduction measures and recovery options. Ongoing maintenance of the recovery capability is essential if it is to remain effective.
The purpose of ITSCM is to maintain the appropriate on-going recovery capability within IT services to match the agreed needs, requirements and timescales of the business.
ITSCM includes a series of activities throughout the lifecycle to ensure that, once service continuity and recovery plans have been developed, they are kept aligned with Business Continuity Plans and business priorities. The maintenance of appropriate ITSCM policy strategies and ITSCM plans aligned with business plans is key to the success of an ITSCM process. This can be accomplished by the regular completion of Business Impact Analysis and Risk Management exercises.
Information Security Management (ISM)
ISM needs to be considered within the overall corporate governance framework. Corporate governance is the set of responsibilities and practices exercised by the board and executive management with the goal of providing strategic direction, ensuring that the objectives are achieved, ascertaining that the risks are being managed appropriately, and verifying that the enterprise's resources are used effectively.
The purpose of the ISM process is to align IT security with business security and ensure that information security is effectively managed in all service and Service Management activities, such that:
- information is available and usable when required (availability)
- information is observed by or disclosed to only those who have a right to know (confidentiality)
- information is complete, accurate and protected against unauthorized modification (integrity)
- business transactions, as well as information exchanges, can be trusted (authenticity and non-repudiation).
ISM should maintain and enforce an overall policy, together with a set of supporting controls within an integrated Security Management Information System (SMIS), aligned with business security policies and strategies.
The Supplier Management process ensures that suppliers and the services they provide are managed to support IT service targets and business expectations. The purpose of the Supplier Management process is to obtain value for money from suppliers and to ensure that suppliers perform to the targets contained within their contracts and agreements, while conforming to all of the terms and conditions.
The Supplier and Contract Database (SCD) is a vital source of information on suppliers and contracts and should contain all of the information necessary for the management of suppliers, contracts and their associated services.
Key Service Design stage activities
- Business requirements collection, analysis and engineering to ensure they are clearly documented.
- Design and development of appropriate service solutions, technology, processes, information and measurements.
- Production and revision of all design processes and documents involved in Service Design.
- Liaison with all other design and planning activities and roles.
- Production and maintenance of policies and design documents.
- Risk management of all services and design processes.
- Alignment with all corporate and IT strategies and policies.