This is going to be the first of the series of chapters that focus on the Processes that are part of the ITIL V3 Certification Exam.
The Service Portfolio, which gives a management-level view of all IT services as they move through the Service Lifecycle, is a critical management system in ITIL v3. It has three parts:
• The Service Pipeline that holds information on services that are under development.
• The Service Catalogue that holds details of all services either already in production or ready to move into production.
• Retired Services that have been discontinued from operational use.
The Service Portfolio therefore provides a complete picture of all services under development for future delivery, services in production and services that have come to the end of their productive life. It is the foundation for managing the full Lifecycle for all services in terms of their business requirements, the business case for investment, the financial and other resources required for service development and operation, the risks associated with the development and operation of the service and, where relevant, how the service will be priced.
The IT service provider, in conjunction with the business, will identify a number of opportunities for investment in new or changed IT services. Before any of these opportunities are transformed into a service, important decisions must be made about the value of the new services to the business, the capacity of the IT service provider and the marketplace to deliver the service, and the relative priority of the proposed service in comparison with other potential investments. In other words, the organization will need answers to questions such as:
• Why should we invest in this service rather than something else?
• What value will it deliver to the business?
• What will it cost to deliver the service solution and can we afford it?
• Do we have the resources and capabilities to deliver it?
• How does this investment fit with our broader strategy?
• What are the dependencies with other investments in progress or under consideration?
• What are the risks?
• Is the return on the investment acceptable in terms of investment cost, risks and timescale?
Decisions about the Service Portfolio are taken at the top-management level and these decisions have a direct bearing on the kind of services provided by the organization. All the above questions will have a weightage in the decision being taken and activities that add more value and profit to the organization will be given preference over the others.
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