The Definition and Basics of Business Services

Whether it is an online payment processor, a bank or a courier company, business services are essential in the world of business. They help a business maintain its existence and provide its employees with the amenities they need to do their jobs effectively. A company that provides business services can be large or small, and its operations may be global or local. It is important for companies to know the definition and basics of business services. This will help them determine if a service is an exclusive business service or not.

Unlike goods, which can be stored for future use, services need to be consumed immediately in order to benefit the customer. This makes business services more volatile than goods. Moreover, services are often intangible, meaning they cannot be physically seen or felt. Consequently, they are not included in inventory.

A company that offers business services might provide its services directly to the public or to other businesses. These might include advertising, consulting, marketing, logistics, waste handling and shipping services. Indirectly, business services might provide employment opportunities and support other industries. For example, a hotel might hire cleaning and maintenance crews to assist with daily operations. Similarly, a transportation company might employ bus drivers to transport passengers to and from work.

Businesses need to offer a variety of business services in order to remain competitive. In addition to enhancing operational efficiency, these services facilitate access to specialized expertise and foster innovation. Moreover, outsourcing non-core functions is a cost-effective alternative to maintaining dedicated in-house teams.

To define business services, the logical approach is to identify all activities and tasks that contribute to the creation of the business’s products or services. These are the core elements of the business’s value proposition. Then, the activities that are critical to delivering those services should be identified and documented. This process is known as a service blueprint and helps to ensure that all the required business services are in place.

The scope of business services is vast, covering everything from information technology (IT) and accounting to marketing and human resources. In fact, most industries utilize a variety of business services to operate. For example, the healthcare industry relies on IT services for electronic health records management, while the financial sector relies on HR services to attract talent and manage employee data. In addition, retail stores rely on marketing services to promote brand loyalty and logistical services to streamline supply chain operations.

To identify business services, it is recommended to adopt a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) or IT Service Management (ITIL) framework. These frameworks provide a common vocabulary and standardized structure for the identification of business services. In addition, they offer a method for mapping business services to the higher-level IT services and application capabilities as defined in the TOGAF Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) model. In addition to these benefits, the use of a Service-Oriented Architecture or ITIL will also help to avoid redundant and duplicated business services.