Not-so-simple services

In the last newsletter, we began a discussion, based on a question with reference to Jim's "2011 Application & Service Delivery Handbook." And while we came up with a pretty good definition for an "application," the definition of a "service" in general is becoming increasingly complex.

Defining Applications versus Services

In the Handbook, Jim noted in a section titled "The Increased Focus on Service:

"Just as IT organizations are getting somewhat comfortable with managing the performance of applications; they are being tasked with managing the performance of services. IT professionals use the term service in a variety of ways. Throughout this handbook, the definition of the term service will include the key characteristics of the ITIL definition of service. Those characteristics include that a service:

- Is based on the use of Information Technology.

- Supports one or more of the customer's business processes.

- Is comprised of a combination of people, processes and technology.

- Should be defined in a service-level agreement (SLA).

"In part because the ongoing adoption of virtualization and cloud computing has created the concept of everything as a service (XaaS), the term service as used in this handbook will sometimes refer to services that IT organizations acquired from a public cloud computing provider. These services include storage, compute and applications. Alternatively, the term service as used in this handbook will sometimes refer to business services that involve multiple inter-related applications. As is discussed in a subsequent section of the handbook part of the challenge in supporting effective service delivery is that on a going forward basis, a service will increasingly be supported by an infrastructure that is virtual. In addition, on a going forward basis, a service will increasingly be dynamic. By dynamic is meant that the service can be provisioned or moved in a matter of seconds or minutes."

We'd love to have feedback on your definition of "services," and we'll be continuing this discussion.

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Defining Applications versus Services

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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