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Service Owner Role

The Service Owner and Service Manager roles are sometimes fulfilled by a single staff member. This is especially common for smaller services and for services that are delivered through cloud vendors (Platform-as-a-Service [PaaS] or Software-as-a-Service [SaaS]). In UIT, the role of Service Owner is frequently a director of the organization that owns the service.

What does a Service Owner do?

The primary role of the Service Owner is to create the service lifecycle roadmap so that it aligns with the vision created by the Business Owner. The roadmap defines the activities of the service from launch through service improvement and finally service sunset. This role is strategic; Service Owners are not involved in the day-to-day operation of the service.

What are the general responsibilities of a Service Owner?

  • Identifies all business and security risks and mitigations associated with the service, including coordination of Data Risk Assessments (DRAs) as needed, and ensures compliance with Minimum Security (MinSec) Standards
  • Provides or approves client communication for service launch and pending maintenance windows and coordinates internal communication for operational staff
  • Provides input into the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics to provide status on service health
  • Generates reports and reviews them on a regular basis to identify actionable opportunities for service improvement
  • Influences the vendor in the development of the cloud service; advocates for new features and functionality
  • Participates in internal service review meetings
  • Participates in negotiating Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs) for the service
  • Represents the service across the organization

What ServiceNow tasks is the Service Owner responsible for?

Task Why it matters
You provide guidance to the Service Manager to ensure a well-formed and complete service offering (Configuration Item or CI) is established in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Having your service offering name (CI) in the ServiceNow CMDB is foundational in order to receive incident tickets, ensure they are routed to the correct support groups, and manage change requests.
You approve the content, design, and presentation of the service request form in the ServiceNow Catalog. A service catalog entry is necessary in order for your clients to order or request your service.
You review and approve service change requests at the level for which they are authorized. Adhering to Change Management best practices minimizes the potential for service disruptions and outages.
You serve as the point of escalation (notification) for major (Priority 1) incidents. The aim of the Major Incident Process is to quickly restore service with any means necessary, including workarounds.

Key terms

  • Change Management: The process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all changes,  enabling beneficial changes to be made with minimum disruption to IT services.
  • Configuration Management Database (CMDB): The database in ServiceNow that holds information about the service including service name (CI), description, service role assignments, incident assignment tiers, and change approvers.
  • Incident Management: An incident is an unplanned interruption or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Incident management is the process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all incidents. Incident management ensures that normal service operation is restored as quickly as possible and the business impact is minimized.
  • Major  (Priority 1) Incident:  A widespread, serious, major interruption or outage of a critical service that must be resolved with great urgency. They are classified as Priority 1 and Priority 2 incident tickets. The aim of the Major Incident Process is to quickly restore service with any means necessary, including workarounds.
  • Service Catalog: The only part of the ITIL Service Portfolio published to customers, used to support the sale and delivery of IT Services. The Service Catalog includes information about deliverables, prices, contact points, ordering, and request processes.

Additional resources