What Are Business Services?
Business services are an important aspect of the economy that provides a wide range of support activities to businesses. These services can be physical, such as the delivery of materials and equipment to a company, or intangible, such as information technology support.
In the United States, Business services are a significant part of the economy and comprise 11% of GDP. Despite their importance, this industry is still facing challenges including low average productivity and persisting legal barriers.
There is a growing need for new ways to manage this sector. In particular, business service providers face a need to develop innovative and flexible solutions to respond to the transforming needs and demands of customers.
To help companies manage this area, the European Commission created a High Level Group on Business Services (web archive). It is a multidisciplinary body that is responsible for the development of the business services sector in the EU.
The High Level Group aims to analyse the untapped potential of this sector and provide a new impetus to policy development.
A business service is a type of professional support that helps a third party in different areas, such as consulting, accounting, transportation, cleaning, hospitality or traveling, among others.
Unlike goods, which can be stored for future use, services are consumed and produced simultaneously. This means that a service can’t be delivered to a customer if it’s not needed at the moment, so it’s critical that the Service has the right characteristics and is available when required.
Management of business services requires a different approach to strategic management than that used for product companies, which sell tangible products. That is because service businesses are more reliant on the roles that their customers play than product companies are.
In a service environment, customers are more influential than employees in affecting costs and quality. They influence how the company treats them, the experience they have while dealing with it, and how other customers feel about it.
These factors can make a huge difference to the profitability of the entire business. The key is to understand how your customers perceive the value of your services and to design them with that in mind.
Successful Business Services generally mean more profitable customer-facing Services – but not all Services are customer-facing!
Regardless of whether they are customer-facing or internal, effective Business Services must align their operations and infrastructure with the business goals of the company. This includes documenting the value that IT assets provide to the business, as well as evaluating and improving information technology processes and employee self-service.
A good example of a Business service is information technology, which supports many other business services such as procurement, shipping and finance. A good IT service aligns IT assets with the needs of a company’s employees and customers, helping them to be more productive and efficient, and supporting the company’s ability to be profitable.
A business service can consist of one or more IT services, Device Services or a custom service. To model these types of services, you create a Business Service Model. This model includes a service definition, the devices that power that service and the monitoring aspects of the service.