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ITIL Service Operation: Phases, Functions, Best Practices

31st Jan, 2024
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    ITIL Service Operation: Phases, Functions, Best Practices

    ITIL service Operation activities and procedures provide a steady flow of effective IT services. This article will explain the purpose, scope, functions, and procedures of ITIL service operations. 

    What is Service Operation in ITIL? 

    So, what is service operation in ITIL? ITIL service operation is a component of the ITIL framework for providing IT services. It intends to provide services that are consistent with service level agreements. It performs particular duties and encompasses all day-to-day operations, infrastructure, and procedures required for service delivery 

    Another aspect of service operation is always striving to enhance the service, and this requires conducting research and analysing data to see where improvements require. Service operations are essential for organizations because they allow employees to continue working efficiently. 

    Purpose of ITIL Service Operation

    • The purpose of service operation in ITIL is to guarantee that the essential IT services are supplied quickly and effectively to business users and customers following service level agreements. 
    • Service operations are critical for a business since an ineffectively carried out process will render a precisely developed and implemented procedure useless. 
    • Service operation also contributes to service improvement by methodically carrying out periodic operations such as measuring performance, evaluation metrics, and data collection. 

    ITIL Service Operation Phase of the Lifecycle

    • Responding to user requests 
    • Resolving service failures 
    • Troubleshooting 
    • Performing routine operational tasks 

    ITIL service improvement requires regular monitoring. The ITIL Intermediate service operation certifications include Service Lifecycle and Service Capability. You can boost your competitiveness by learning about the Service Operation module of the ITIL Service Lifecycle. You can opt for an ITIL service operation certification to better understand ITIL service operation. Check out the best ITIL certification training that provides you with a strong foundational base to build your career in this demanding field.  

    Important Terms and Definitions in ITIL Service Operation

    1. Function

    • A function is described as a set of people and automated measurements that carry out a predefined process, activity, or combination of the two. 
    • The functions are required to keep the IT operational environment stable. 
    • The IT Functions explain the many tasks and duties needed to sustain overall service delivery and support IT services. 
    • The influence of an incident, problem, or change on business operations is referred to as its impact. 
    • It discusses how certain occurrences will affect Service Levels. 

    2. Impact

    • The degree of influence of an incident, problem, or change on business processes is referred to as its impact. 
    • It discusses how certain occurrences will affect Service Levels. 

    3. Urgency

    A metric of an incident's, problem's, or change's impact on a business in terms of its impact on business timeframes. 

    4. Priority

    • The time frame within which measures must be taken in the event of a service deviation. 
    • Priority is determined by Urgency and Impact; hence Priority = Urgency * Impact. 

    5. Service Request

    This is a request from the user for access to any service or information. 

    6. Event

    An event is a notice generated by a service, continuous integration, or monitoring tool. 

    7. Alert

    An important and urgent warning or message concerning a service or component's threshold, modification, or failure. 

    8. Incident

    An unforeseen disruption or damage in the quality of an IT service. 

    9. Problem

    One or more comparable incidents with an unclear fundamental cause. 

    10. Workaround

    A temporary solution offered to a user to resolve any problems or obstacles. 

    11. Known Error

    A Known Error is a previously recorded condition that now has a specified Root Cause and a Workaround. 

    12. Known Error Database

    This is a database that contains past information about requests. 

    5 Stages of ITIL Service Operation

    1. Service Strategy 
    2. Service Design 
    3. Service Transition 
    4. Service Operation 
    5. Continual Service Improvement 

    ITIL Service Operation Module

    Service operations management in ITIL is the fourth Process category of the service operation stage of the service lifecycle. 

    This ITIL Service Operation module is in control of service monitoring, incident resolution, request fulfilment, and operational activities. 

    After the final delivery from the Service Transition process module, the Service Operations module enables the company's operations and takes responsibility for any newly added or modified services. It is the phase at which all layout and transitioning plans take place and actual effectiveness is assessed. This process group is entirely centered on the customer, when the buyers' benefits are fulfilled. 

    Functions of ITIL Service Operation

    Let's explore ITIL service operation functions. There are 4 functions under service operations: 

    1. Service Desk  

    The service desk is the principal point of interaction for end-user and IT service provider activity synchronization. 

    2. Technical Management  

    The job of technical management is to offer the in-depth expertise and resources capabilities needed to assist the organization's ongoing activities in the IT domain. 

    3. IT Operation Management  

    IT Operations Management is responsible for carrying out the operational duties necessary to oversee the organization's IT architecture regularly. 

    4. Application Management  

    Application management is in charge of concluding such as whether to build or acquire a service and of building, testing and improving applications. 

    What are 4 Functions in ITIL Based Service Operations? 

    The following are the four functions and two sub-functions of ITIL Service Operation. The diagram illustrates how they crossover in their task: 

    1. Service Desk 
    2. Technical Management 
    3. IT Operations Management 
    4. Application Management 

    ITSM service operations support with functions that deal with day-to-day tasks, user requests, problem resolution, infrastructure management, and more. Check out courses for ITSM that emphasize delivery and controlling process activities intended to achieve a consistent state of managing IT services. The ITIL service operation certification course will teach you how to manage and regulate the activities and strategies specified in the ITIL Service Operation. 

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    Optimization of ITIL Service Operation

    Two ways to optimize service operation lifecycle are: 

    1. Long-Term Incremental Improvement

    It entails assessing the performance and output of all service operations procedures and functions across time. All reports are reviewed, and choices are taken on the necessity and sort of change required. 

    2. Short-Term Ongoing Improvement

    It is focused on minor improvements in working practices in service operation procedures that do not require large changes to a process or technology. 

    Best Practices in ITIL Service Operation

    Choosing and implementing ITIL best practices greatly assist enterprises throughout the Service Operation phase: 

    1. The amalgamation of ITIL principles into daily service operation tasks improves overall business efficiency because it allows for quick and easy access to standard services, allowing employees to boost efficiency or the performance of business services and products without the need for additional assistance. 
    2. The service operation phase of the lifecycle is concerned with the effective and efficient delivery and support of agreed-upon IT services. Implementing ITIL allows firms to effectively handle service disruptions and identify root causes, eliminating unplanned labor and associated costs. 
    3. ITIL's best practices in the service operation phase help businesses and consumers maximize the value of service provided by minimizing the duration and frequency of service problems. 
    4. ITIL's best practices enable a better consumer service experience and, as a result, higher retention of customers. 
    5. ITIL principles in Service Operation enhance security by limiting access to IT services to those in the company who are permitted to use them. 

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    Benefits of ITIL Service Operation

    1. Reduce unexpected spending for both the business and IT by optimizing service outage handling and identifying underlying causes. 
    2. Reduce the duration and frequency of service disruptions to allow an organization to fully utilize a service. 
    3. Deliver operational outcomes and data that can be utilized to improve service quality by other ITIL service operation processes. 
    4. Facilitate the organization's security strategy by assuring that only authorized people have access to IT services. 
    5. Give quick and easy access to conventional IT services needed to boost personnel and product efficiency and quality. 
    6. Provide a paradigm for automating iterative activities, which increases efficiency and frees up valuable human resources for more innovative work. 

    ITIL Service Operation Processes Examples

    The ITIL service operation process examples are: 

    1. Event Management

    Maintain continual monitoring of CIs and services. It also classifies and categorizes events to determine the relevant actions to be conducted. 

    2. Incident Management

    In the event of an unforeseen event, incident management has the task of promptly returning the IT service to a functional state. 

    3. Request Fulfilment

    Request Fulfilment is in charge of recognizing and executing Service Requests from users. It often handles Standard Changes or Information Requests. 

    4. Problem Management

    It is concerned with determining the fundamental cause of a problem. This technique is used to either prevent events or lessen the effect of occurrences that cannot be avoided. 

    5. Access Management

    It is the process of granting authorized users access to a service and also prevents non-authorized users from gaining access to the service. It adheres to the rules framed in Information Security Management. 

    Scope of ITIL Service Operation

    • The scope of ITIL service operation includes the service offered by the service provider, an external supplier, or even the end-user. 
    • Service management is also included in Service Operation since it contributes to and impacts service design, planning, and transition. 
    • Technology management is a crucial aspect of service operations since all IT services require some type of technology to function. 
    • Human resources are critical because they manage services and technology and propel the firm ahead. Projects will fail if the necessity of qualified personnel is not recognized. 


    ITIL service operations guarantee that the essential IT services are offered promptly and effectively to business users and customers, as they are critical to an organization's functioning. Furthermore, they enhance the service by evaluating actions regularly, reviewing metrics, and collecting data methodically. 

    Know more about ITIL service operation and develop a deeper understanding of the topic with the KnowledgeHut best ITIL certification course. The course is designed to help individuals build the skills that enable enterprises to successfully deliver IT services to customers. ITIL Service Operation professionals with certification can effortlessly advance their careers in top IT firms. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is Service Operation ITIL?

    ITIL Service Operation is concerned with the seamless flow of IT services with the ultimate objective of adding value to the company. ITIL Service Operation must be mindful of evolving business demands depending on progressing technology. 

    2What are the 4 functions in ITIL-based service operations?

    The 4 functions in ITIL-based service operations:

    • Service Desk 
    • Technical Management 
    • IT Operation Management 
    • Application Management 
    3What are ITIL service operations and its objective?

    ITIL Service operations manage to define a service plan and collaborate with the customer experience, assistance, and experience departments. 

    ITIL Service Operation's objective is to make certain that IT services are rendered successfully and efficiently. The Service Operation lifecycle stage comprises fulfilling user requests, addressing service faults, troubleshooting, and performing normal operational duties. 

    4What are the Service Operation processes in ITIL?

    To create a successful overall IT support framework, and several critical service operating procedures must be linked together. The 5 types of service operation processes are as follows: 

    • Event Management 
    • Incident Management 
    • Problem management 
    • Request fulfillment 
    • Access management

    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan


    Manikandan Mohanakrishnan is a highly skilled corporate trainer, consultant, and content developer with expertise in a wide range of areas including ITIL 4, PRINCE2, Agile/Scrum, PMP, DevOps, and soft skills. With a passion for delivering exceptional training experiences, Manikandan offers a comprehensive suite of training services covering service management, project management, business simulations, and more. With over 20+ years of experience, he has successfully facilitated numerous programs, including business communications, emotional intelligence, team building, and organizational change management. Manikandan's dedication to empowering individuals and organizations shines through his motivational talks and impactful training sessions.

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