cropped-logistics_map.jpgHow did this simple conversation between colleagues become a blog post? This all started as most do, as a conversation between two like-minded people with a question:

  • What are Business Services and Why do they matter? 

As human beings first and IT folks we immediately try to find a solution to a “problem” or what appears to be a problem on the surface, but when you dig deep is really opportunity waiting for you.

Some call these Eureka moments or having an epiphany. However I prefer to call these moments My “Perception Opportunity Moments” or (POM) because it’s almost as if they have fallen right into the “POM” or “Palm” of my hand.

Let me try and explain:

  • Perception = Change Of Mindset
  • Opportunity = Seize / Believe What’s being presented– A Chance For Enhancement or Improvement in what seems like a faulty or Inefficient process.
  • Moment = Keep the Momentum moving forward.

You see its not really a problem per se but a Challenge or Chance to dig deeper, stretch longer and identify an opportunity for improvement. It’s really just your compass guiding you back to your true course.

Makes Sense now right?

So lets dive back into the questions – Business Services, What are they really? Why do they even matter?

First, if you haven’t already done so and I’d recommend this as best practice -Cleanse your Data. Try to reduce the number of Attributes, which are populated into your CMDB. Make sure what your bringing into ServiceNow is actually needed and not just more data (You probably already did this, Right?). But as the saying goes “Garbage in is Garbage out” it’s also true for your data and configuring your CMDB.

Secondly, (If you haven’t already) take a close look at how your defining your services and if they make sense for your business as well as how they are being mapped.

Lets Start with the Basics:

What is a Service?

ITIL defines a Service as “a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.”

In other words, when we do something for another party that gives them something they want or value, we’re providing a service. Generally speaking, because most users want the benefits and value of email, storage, wireless networking, etc., but don’t want to take on the burden of managing those items themselves, we provide those things to them as a service.

Why Do Business Services Matter?

They provide business insights, empower employees, and enhance customer satisfaction. A business service is not simply the application that the end user sees – it is the entire chain that supports delivery of the service, including physical and virtualized servers, databases, middleware, storage and networks. A failure in any of these can affect the service – and so it is crucial that IT organizations have an integrated, accurate and up-to-date view of all of these components and of how they work together to provide the service.

What are some of the benefits in using a Business Services Model?

  1. Visibility into health of business services
  2. Visibility into their supporting components, their inter relationships, and ability to visually map these using real-time data
  3. Data that can be presented in a real-time dashboard, including criticality and priority of incidents affecting service health
  4. Accurate, reliable problem isolation used to facilitate RCA and troubleshooting
  5. Business continuity and disaster recovery efforts
  6. Increased quality and accuracy of information
  7. Improved speed to identify faulty CI’s and restore services
  8. Reduction in business service risks
  9. Visualize CI relationships with service dependency maps
  10. Related CI’s with IT service management / automation processes
  11. Current Demand?
  12. Better understanding of areas to improve?
  13. How can I determine the cost for the services we offer?
  14. How can I ensure everyone is on the same page with prioritization
  15. How can I clearly articulate the services we offer?
  16. How can I ensure delivery on time and with quality?
  17. How can I understand how services are performing to address

What are some areas will we see measurable value?

  • Reporting
  • CMDB
  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Service Catalog
  • Enables business owners to address key questions:

Mapping Services to IT Services

Business Services – We have collected the Business Services that are sold to the outside customers. We will now need to map those to our existing services

Business Service:

Your Business should already have a listing of the Services they sell to their customers

This information will be utilized to map to the IT Services previously defined

How Are These Services used or consumed?

Map Business Services to IT Services Processes

A Business Service Map (BSM) exists within ServiceNow, A BSM map graphically displays the configuration items (CI) that support a business service and indicates the status of those configuration items. The status is refreshed automatically based on the tickets opened on any CIs.

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 9.59.09 PM
(From ServiceNow Wiki)

In Fuji, ServiceNow introduces its Next Generation Business Service Management (NG-BSM) map graphically displays the configuration items (CI) that support a business service and the relationships between the configuration items.

(From ServiceNow Wiki)
(From ServiceNow Wiki)

Many of the relationships in a BSM map are created through the discovery process. You can also create, define, and delete CI relationships in the map. You can display the map from different perspectives and open specific records that relate to configuration items. The system refreshes the map automatically to reflect changes to the CMDB.

Defining a Service

Two Service types:

  1. IT Service – A service provided to one or more Customers of IT, by an IT Service Provider
  2. Business Service – A service that is delivered to Business Customers by Business Units. Successful delivery of Business Services often depends on one or more IT Service

KEY TO SUCCESS — Meet with Key Business users of IT to understand the Services they consume or want to consume (what makes sense to them)

IT Service

  • The best approach is from a customer’s (customer of IT) perspective
  • Lets forgo the IT centric approach of aligning with technology as we define our services (i.e. server, database, desktop, network)
  • Move to business approach (i.e. Messaging, Service Desk, Monitoring, Hosting)

Business Service:

  • Your Business should already have a listing of the Services they sell to their customers
  • This information will be utilized to map to the IT Services previously defined
  • AFTER you’ve collected the Business Services that are sold to the outside customers. You will now need to map those to YOUR existing IT Services
  • Once Services are mapped (Configuration) you will be able to utilize this information in Incident & Change

What does this mean in ServiceNow?

ServiceNow’s Business Services model allows your organization to add lookup data right to the business service record; things like tier 1 assignment group, business approver, escalation support group, etc.

  1. I’d recommend starting simple and adding, as your business requires. Business Services like – Software, Network Printer, Laptop, Desktop, Networking etc. are really just CIs and you will be able to relate them to Servers, Databases, and other CIs as business demand increases and becomes more complicated.
  2. Stay away from Software Application Suites like Adobe or Microsoft Office – The problem is usually with PhotoShop, Excel or Visio.
  3. Keep in mind where Tier 1 issues are routed and package those you can together.
  4. As an example, you may have a lot of Incidents or Questions for desktop applications that will be assigned to Help/Service Desk resources or a Desktop Support group.
  5. However have specialized applications or services – like Outlook/Exchange routed to a specialized group
  6. Try to keep your categories to no more than 10. One issue I’ve seen is organizations create multiple levels (category, subcategory, item, sub item, etc.), which ultimately describe the things involved and not the Problem.
  7. In most of these cases they didn’t really need a level of subcategory since you have a Short Description and a Description field for details.

How do I measure Success?

Success criteria can be defined two ways. The success criteria can be aligned with the nature of the feature and function (utility) that is supported, and how effective the feature and function is in meeting its design requirements or user expectations, and thus supporting outcomes. Or, another metric could be the conditions that must exist to assure that the feature and function is delivered consistently over time – the warranty of the service. Conditions such as those typically found in an SLA (and of course the underpinning OLA and underpinning contracts) such as availability, transaction throughput, capacity constraints and so forth, can be the substance of these metrics. Of course, there must be a linkage between the metric and the business outcome supported if the metric is to be useful as a service success criterion.

The scope – what part of the organization is within the service definition project and what will be left to a later phase or not addressed at all

This is a project – organize the resources and activities that are necessary to complete the work as defined by the scope

Identify the key resources – other than a project manager or lead, the Service Catalog (SCM) or Service Level Management (SLM) process owner(s) should be engaged at least as a sponsor(s).

In addition, the respective SCM or SLM process managers would ideally serve as part of the definition team or in a project governance role. If Service Owners or Product Owners have been identified already, then they are naturally part of the governance role and play a hand in the interviews

Key Takeaways

  1. Create an environment to shift from a technology to service based culture
  2. Ability to make informed decisions through improved visibility
  3. Improved communications and inter-team workings
  4. Ensures everyone speaks the same language
  5. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  6. Clearer view of current capability / Information about Services
  7. Greater flexibility for the business through improved understanding of IT support
  8. Enhanced reporting capabilities
  9. Improve Availability
  10. Cost-justified infrastructure and services
  11. Process maturity benefits that are repeatable and consistent
  12. A strong foundation for automations
  13. Enforced adherence to process

Additional Benefits

  1. We have a strong foundation for a Service Catalog
  2. We have a clear understanding of what the Business Units value and at what cost
  3. Enables you to answer the questions
  4. How can I clearly articulate the services we offer?
  5. How can I ensure delivery on time and with quality?
  6. How can I understand how services are performing to address Current demand?
  7. Better understanding of areas to improve?
  8. How can I determine the cost for the services we offer?
  9. How can I ensure every one is on the same page with prioritization?

PSA’s & Additional Resources:



Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.25.08 PM

I am an Independent ServiceNow Consultant, SME, Engagement Manager, Developer, System Admin, Trainer & documentation expert, and the Principal Consultant for EcoStratus Technologies. We Specialize in ServiceNow utilization beyond IT and across the enterprise.

I have more than 15 years experience within complex enterprise IT environments, 50+ successful ServiceNow implementations across various industries and have trained more than 400+ ServiceNow System Admin.

I am a focused self-starter who is passionate about technology, happy customers, and driving continued customer success by understanding customer requirements, promoting a full view of products/services within ServiceNow portfolio as a trusted advisor and then follow it up with the right mix of tenacity, ingenuity, and integrity resulting in deeper relationships, extension of ServiceNow throughout customer ecosystem, higher retention rates, and increased customer satisfaction scores.

* ServiceNow Knowledge 14 & 15 Trainer
* Certified ServiceNow System Admin, Implementation Specialist, and System Admin Trainer
* Certified ITILv3 Foundations, RCA, and OSA
* Certified PMI CAPM

How to contact me: ——– Send me a LinkedIn message or use Contact sheet below.