If ten years ago the concept of "service-oriented" was related exclusively to the internal architecture of IT systems, today this concept is widely used both in business and in everyday life.
The idea to contain certain services in the format of a service with measurable indicators of service quality, response time, as well as easily predictable cost, was very convenient from an organizational point of view. Services, as an erector set, can be used to easy design clearly arranged, well-coordinated, well-working business process. In this case, each service separately can be a "black box". We don't need to know how it works.
How it looks in practice
If the user has a computer problem, he/she does not go to the administrator and does not write a letter directly, while creates a request for helpdesk – this is a typical example of using the service.
We need to order a specification for a certain product range - so we fill out the form and press the button, and this is also a service. There are many such examples: download primary financial documents and get summary reports, create five virtual machines of a certain configuration, order cargo delivery from Budapest to Buenos Aires, etc. - any activity consists of 90% of tasks that can be easily and conveniently issued as a service.
The structure and interconnection of services, whether IT services or business services, can be quite complicated. Service departments supply services to other parts of the company and may themselves depend on internal or external departments.
Service as a temporary phenomenon
Buying and creating services is fundamentally different from buying or creating products or technologies. A service is not a thing that can be built and run once and for all or even for a few years. Its key feature is the ability to evolve quickly. If you are not satisfied with the response time of the support service, you can request to increase it or switch to another provider from the next month.
Managed and project services
Project services are one-time work, for example, drawing up a tax report at the end of a period, optimizing a cluster of virtual machines, conducting litigation by a law firm. Managed services in the same scenarios include year-round tax advice and immediate bug fixes, ongoing monitoring of virtual machine health, or litigation prevention work. Managed services are often provided on a monthly basis.
Lower total cost of service
Any idea wins, if it is implemented every day step by step, and not assaulted in last night. Such assaults are notorious for breaking deadlines, overspending and neglecting other cases.
Predictable expenses are much better than unpredictable ones: thanks to managed services, you can predict your expenses with greater accuracy and correctly structure your budget.
Better ability to scale
Managed services improve the ability to scale operations and serve your customers. Let's imagine that you have 15 servers, but due to some downturn in business you will need only 10. Even if you turn off extra 5 servers, you will not be able to quickly and painlessly reduce the staff serving them. And personnel costs are the biggest and least scalable.
If your servers are serviced by a service provider, it will not be a problem to withdraw from the contract since the next month. And if servers are located in the cloud, then everything becomes even easier: can you imagine that you will turn off them in the snap of a finger!
Let's suppose that in six months, your business starts to grow, and 10 servers are not enough. So, the situation can be reproduced in the reverse order.
You are important for service provider
All companies that serve customers understand how important it is to love and respect them at every stage of interaction. This approach has a huge impact on customer satisfaction, especially when it comes to managed services, where it is important to make a good impression with each contact, which usually happens once a month. If you are a customer, your comfort will be a top priority for your service provider. And it is very unlikely that somewhere and sometimes you will be deceived. Please, be honest, do you expect such an attitude from your own employees or from contractors who perform one-time work for you?
Everything is under control
The ability to reliably foresee own future - perhaps the main reason to use managed services. Their predictability will help to accurately predict the costs and profitability of the business, personnel and labor costs, scalability requirements and much more. And in aggregate, all this will allow you understanding well what awaits you in the future. You want particularly this, aren't you?