Service management, also called IT service management, is the discipline used in industries that provide services or a combination of goods and services. While widely used in the IT industry, specifically the ICT (information and Communication Technology) sector, service management can be integrated into many other industries.
Service management is usually used in conjunction with operations support systems. Systems that use service management can include order management, inventory management, activation, maintenance, performance diagnostics and several other types of support systems to make sure that these systems are running proficiently and error free.
There are several components of service management. Service management usually incorporates automated systems along with skilled labor. Service management also usually provides service development. For instance, it is extremely important to first simplify and then streamline services that you manage (i.e. delivery, support) into a simple workflow. However, managing your workflow is not enough, another component is the ability to govern automated controls from a centralized location and make sure that data security is in effect at all times.
Service Management is usually used with other types of management systems including Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, CMMI (Capability Maturing Model and Integration), and Business Process Management. It can be used with small scale companies or used with extremely large corporations. The discipline of service management has been around since the early 1970's and was originally part of the Operations Management discipline.
Today, you can find many resources and service providers that help small and large businesses incorporate the principles of service management into their organization. Some of the vendors that provide service management include: iSYS, IBM Service Management, Novell Zenworks, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Altrius Management Suite.
While the above service providers help organizations manage large groups of computers (automated systems), there are a few vendors that provide management services as well, most notably Econ Global Services.