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27 April 2015
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IT services: introduction basics. Part one

In this series of articles Dmitry Kashtanov writes about what kinds of services you can find in the IT field, how they differ and what you should and should not expect from them. He cites the examples of services categories so you can compare them with each other with a greater understanding.

Part One

Basics

We should of course begin with the basics. In particular, it is very important to understand the distinctive features of a service — those important features that distinguish it from the product, for example. In fact, a service can be described using its following 5 key distinguishing features.

  1. Intangibility

    Services are intangible and immaterial: you cannot touch, smell or taste them. Thus, you can’t and don’t need to transport, store and stock them. At the same time the service can be (re)sold or you can possess it; but it cannot be transmitted from a service provider to its consumer. The process of providing the service is included in the service provider activities. The latter should produce and perform this service by each separate customer request.

  2. Nonconservation

    Services have no or almost no tangible components and, consequently, cannot be saved for future use. They are provided and consumed in the same period of time.

  3. Inherence

    The service provider is required to provide the service, as it should in a timely manner produce and perform the service for the customer requested it. In many cases the services are provided automatically, but the provider must allocate resources and systems in advance and actively support the relevant preparedness and ability to provide the service. At the same time the consumer is inseparable from the process of service provision because it is involved in it from the moment of the request until the consumption of delivered benefits.

  4. Quality variability

    Each service is unique. It is formed, executed and consumed on a one-off basis and can never be exactly reproduced as time, place, circumstances, conditions, configuration and assigned resources will be different next time, even if the same user requests the same service.

  5. Involvement (participation)

    One of the most important distinguishing features of the service is the participation of the customer in the process of its provision. The customer has the ability to get the services modified in accordance with its specific requirements.

Find out more about the basics of IT services on Megamozg.

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