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Trust and Partnership: Strategic IT Management for Turbulent Times by Robert J. Benson

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CHAPTER 8

The Service Relationship

IT Service Management is a core element in providing credible IT services. This is required to build the business trust leading to business–IT partnership. The principles from Chapter 1:

  • Service-Based Relationship: The business–IT relationship is based on IT services delivering value and building credibility and trust. IT has to perform with credible and effective services—no matter its source (e.g., the IT organization, external providers and sources, and internal providers within the business). The IT organizational and personal culture needs to focus on services with business outcomes.
  • Partnership-Based Relationship: The business–IT relationship is also a partnership. Credible IT service is necessary to build trust, but this is not sufficient to support partnership. The challenge is that IT's performance typically does not encourage trust, and IT is not good at developing partnerships. Chapter 10 describes the partnership requirements.

In other words, the business–IT relationship is built on two interrelated components: 1) IT as a set of services to the business, and 2) IT as a partner with the business (see Exhibit 8.1). Both relationships are impacted by issues such as business and IT culture, role ambiguity in terms of what business and IT expect in the partnership, and characteristic (less-than-perfect) performance and utilization of the IT services.

This chapter describes the necessary service-based relationship between business and ...

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