ITIL Definitions

Outcome: The result of carrying out an activity, following a process or delivering an IT service.

Service: A means of delivering value to a customer by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without ownership of specific costs and risks.

IT Service: A service provided by an IT Service Provider. An IT Service is made up of a combination of technology (IT), people and processes.

Core Services: Deliver the basic outcomes desired by one or more customers. They represent the value that the customer want and fir which it is willing to pay. E.g.

Enabling services: services that are needed in order for a core service to be delivered. They may or may not be visible to the customer but the customer does not perceive them as services.

Enhancing services: services that are added to a core service to make it more exciting and enticing to the customer

Service Packages: A collection of two or more services that have been combined to offer a solution to a specific type of customer need or to provide specific business outcomes.

Service management: A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.

Service provider: An organization supplying services to one or more internal or external customers.

Type I – internal service provider: an internal service provider that is embedded within a business unit

Type II – shared service provider: an internal service provider that provides shared IT services to more than one business unit

Type III – external service provider: A service provider that provides IT service to external customers.

Stakeholder: anyone that has any interest in an organization, project or service.

Customers: Those who buy goods and services. A customer defines and agrees the service level targets

Internal Customers: Customers who work for the same business as the IT Service provider. If the service is charged, it is not real revenue, but rather an internal transaction in the org’s accounting system.

External Customers: Customers who work for a different business than the IT Service provider. External customers typically purchase services from the service provider by means of a legally binding contract or agreement

User: Those who use the service on a day-to-day basis. Users are distinct from customers as some customers do not use the service directly

Suppliers: Third parties responsible for supplying goods or services that are required to deliver IT services.

Service value: the level to which the service meets a customer’s expectations. It is often measured by how much a customer is willing to pay. The value of a service is created by combining two elements: utility (fitness for purpose, what it does) and warranty (fitness for use, how it is delivered).

Utility is used to improve performance of some taks or to remove constraints that prevent them from being performed adequately.

Warranty requires the service to be available enough, to have enough capacity, to be continuous enough, to be secure enough, and so on.

Asset: Any resource or capability

Customer Asset: Any resource or capability used by a customer to achieve a business outcome

Service Asset: Any resource or capability used by a service provider to deliver services to a customer

Process: a structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs. A process is characterized by:

  • Measurability: cost, quality, duration, productivity
  • Specific results: The reason a process exists is to deliver results.
  • Customers: A process delivers its results to a customer or stakeholder.
  • Responsive to specific triggers: A process should be traceable to a specific trigger

Function: A team or group of people and the tools or other resources they use to carry out one or more processes or activities.

Role: A role is a set of responsibilities, activities and authorities grated to a a person or a team. A role is defined a process or function. One person or team may have multiple roles.

Service Portfolio: the complete set of services that is managed by a service provider. A service portfolio has 3 parts:

  • Service pipeline: All services that are under consideration or development, but are not yet available to customers.
  • Service catalogue: All live IT services, including those available for deployment. It is the only part of the service portfolio that is available for customers.
  • Retired services: All services that have been phased out or retired.

SKMS (Service Knowledge Management System):  central repository of the data, information and knowledge that the IT organization needs to manage the lifecycle of its services.


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