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What is a service (part 1)?

The term Service is probably one of the most used one in today’s IT landscape. The problem is that this term has different semantic meanings by different roles in any IT/Enterprise. I learned (from mistakes) that the ability to predefine this term and to use  those definitions reduce significantly communication problems with different stakeholders in any enterprise.


I tend to see three different services: Business services, IT services and Software services.

  • Business services: function or capabilities that is being used by the business to reach goals and objectives. Business services have nothing to do with IT. they night be supported by IT, but they aren’t IT services
  • IT services: IT services are any service supplied by IT to support Business services. those services can be e-mail, electronic office or processing P.O. In any Scale IT Services  are coursed grained Services. IT services are usually solutions based on combination between Application and Technology to serve one or many business services.
  • Software Services: those are the fine grind services that usually published by applications. Those services   usually exposed following certain patterns that let application to maintain, retrieve and  query data that hosted by the application or to consume those services from other applications.


As every thing else in architecture those three different definitions have relations between them, which is another layer in their definition. Business services are in the top of this model. IT services linked to business architecture since they provide system (composition between application and technology) or technology services to serve business needs. Software services composed part of the IT services and therefore they are related to IT services.

Those three level of services have different approaches to identify, model and implement and they are usually taking care by different roles in the enterprise. That the main reason that if you’ll speak with a guy from the support team, integration team or business analyst they all node their head but they have different perception of this word.

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