What is Service Operations

ServiceOps is a people-centric, technology-enabled approach to frictionless collaboration between IT service (ITSM) and IT operations teams for more effective incident management. By leveraging the power of AI and automation, Service Operations can substantially improve both the number and impact of incidents – a recent EMA report reveals that 41% of IT leaders believe this approach has improved the time needed to find and fix problems.

This article explores the workings and significance of ServiceOps, how it influences day-to-day operations, its outcomes and the importance of a well-structured team to successfully implement it.

How does Service Operations work?

Digital operations are increasingly complex and customer expectations continue to grow. To face this challenge, organizations need to streamline processes and cross-functional workflows whilst being cost-conscious. And the rise of AI and automation is certainly enabling this change: EMA’s research reveals that 43% of respondents believe “collaboration is a natural result of workflow automation capabilities”. 

ServiceOps is precisely about using automated solutions to provide a unified workflow, enabling teams to take end-to-end responsibility of their organization’s service and operations management goals. Therefore, it is growing in adoption as it organically makes sense to the people doing the work: 49% of IT leaders claim ServiceOps has been running as a formal or informal practice for 1-2 years; 41% point to a period longer than 2 years. 

Although ServiceOps often emerges as an “informal practice” or grassroots effort (i.e. an informal effort gathering support and organizational definition over time), its outcomes span the entire organization and are very much aligned with executive priorities: driving less waste, higher productivity, reduced costs and more innovation. This c-level support makes the ServiceOps initiative all the more effective – and it’s not just about funding resources; it ensures separate teams work towards shared objectives / metrics.

The Benefits of ServiceOps

ServiceOps generates “transformative” or “very positive” effects – as claimed by 67% of organizations who apply this approach. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the positive outcomes of ServiceOps:

  • Faster resolution, higher productivity: ServiceOps streamlines the incident resolution process by leveraging automated actions, such as diagnosis and remediation, and workflows. This reduces manual toil and ensures only the right teams are pulled in to focus on resolution. Operational efficiency improves and so does downtime. 
  • Improved customer experience: Swift incident resolution leads to better customer experiences. Satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal advocates and contribute to the company’s growth.
  • Data-driven decision making: AI enables machine-speed data gathering and processing to ensure businesses are well-informed on their performance. At the same time, it breaks down otherwise complex systems, synthesizing information and contributing to better system observability.
  • Unified workflows: Platform usage is key to effectively create cross-domain automated workflows – in fact, 35% of organizations with mature ServiceOps teams report a higher return on investment: “at least double the cost”
  • Strategic planning and execution: ServiceOps enables teams to align their efforts with broader business objectives, fostering long-term success.

How to Enable ServiceOps

To effectively implement this approach, here are some key steps to consider:

  • Team enablement: AI and automation are still uncharted territory for many; ensuring teams build on their skills and experience with those capabilities is essential to any ServiceOps endeavor. 
  • Priority & objectives alignment: For separate teams to effectively collaborate, it’s indispensable to define shared priorities, objectives and metrics, aligned with those of the business itself.  
  • Streamlined processes: Along with implementing collaborative tools, aligning systems of record with systems of action through a unified platform for visibility and action ensures a frictionless cross-functional workflow.   
  • Executive support and buy-in: Although ServiceOps can start as an informal practice within the organization, getting executive-level support makes it easier to fund the technical and human resources needed for a successful initiative. Also, it helps ensure goals are aligned at all team levels. 

The Pillars of ServiceOps

service ops diagram

Embracing ServiceOps is a strategy to accelerate growth and innovation in today’s fast-paced business landscape. It empowers teams to proactively address incidents, streamline processes, and deliver exceptional service, ultimately driving long-term success. The PagerDuty Operations Cloud can get you started on that path by empowering your teams with AI and automation to streamline your response to mission-critical work. Learn more.