Service portfolio provides transparency in services and their improvement

Companies and organizations are currently trying to map the overall status of their services. At the same time, the objective is to increase understanding and communication on which services are part of the core business practices and which ones are not. What levels of investments do services with varying investment-yield ratios require?

One of the objectives of a service portfolio is simply to communicate the investment-yield ratio of services in order to lay a foundation for correct decisions. A good service portfolio provides a comprehensive view of the current status of an organization’s services and their impact on, i.a. clients, production, key resources, conformity, risks, economy and the business environment in general. A service portfolio can help itemize financing and revenue sources, create traffic lights for services and, if necessary, describe connections between various information systems and service production within the organization.

Service investment-yield ratio and impact are vital

It is vital to focus on the services that have the most significance to clients and other interest groups. Regulatory and non-regulatory services can be reported according to investment-yield ratio and impact.

  • What is the status of the service’s life cycle and what measures are necessary in terms of change management?
  • What services should be procured from third parties and what services should be produced with key in-house resources?

A solid service portfolio provides a clear, simplified view of core services that will not meet the future expectations and requirements of clients and the business environment. The portfolio will also help determine services that can be either combined on the basis of user quantities and impact, or simply removed. A service portfolio helps rationalize and focus on the right things.

By managing services through their life cycle costs (instead of annual budget allocation) lays a solid foundation for change management and reform. A good service portfolio provides a clear, simplified view of the life cycle costs of services for easier interpretation and communication. The right amount of information leads to better decisions, while too much information may hamper focus and slow down decision-making.

Recognizing dependencies of in-house services

In context of service reforms, it is important to recognize the interdependencies of services (Visual Service Mapping). How do project proposals connect to the service map, and how should service development be observed in the context of project operations? Services often require information produced by current systems and applications. It is vital to understand how services are connected to existing information system infrastructure, and therefore to the organization’s system and application portfolio.

Do you know the life cycle status of your organization’s services?

It is essential to understand that services have a life cycle just as IT systems do. There are several stages to a life cycle of a service. There are the brainstorming, conceptualization, planning stages, the development, pilot and implementation stages, and finally the further development and maintenance stages. The service life cycle ends in a controlled shutdown and removal of the service from the organization’s service portfolio. The portfolio can, of course, feature services at late stage of their life cycles that can be revitalized through reform.

One key prerequisite of success is timing the various measures targeting the services at different stages or their life cycles correctly. There is no cure for services that are implemented too early and at a large scale, if the supporting systems and service knowhow is not at an adequate level. Similar fate awaits services that the organization is unable to let go of in time or remove in a controlled manner. Timeliness is a key prerequisite for success, and a service portfolio is a very useful tool for providing clarity and support.

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