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Service Lifecycle ITIL Service Architect
The beauty of ITIL v3 is that it covers the Service Lifecycle comprising of the Strategy, Design, Transition, and Operation through to the Continual Service Improvement - all of which is documented in the ITIL core publications.
Having had the opportunity to engage with numerous multi-national organizations I have noticed that the majority of projects normally have specialist resources engaged such as:
  • Technical Architect(s): provide the skills, knowledge and experience from a technology perspective to develop an appropriate technical solution for the project. The Technical Architect is also aware of the organizations strategy and the various current under-pinning policies that support the strategy going forward.

  • Solution Architect(s): provide the skills, knowledge and experience to formulate a solution that will not only address the project requirements but also ensure the solution compliments or fits with existing and future services. The Solution Architect is also aware of the organizations strategy and the various current under-pinning policies that support the strategy going forward.
The value and benefit the Technical and Solution Architects bring to any project is considerable and without such skills, knowledge and experience projects would simply not deliver to budget or timescales. Nevertheless the delivery of the project into the production environment should only be considered a success if it is able to be supported seamlessly by the Service Management team, for example the Service Desk, Change, Configuration Capacity and Service Level Management to name but a few. There is a fundamental requirement for the service management products to be considered at the initiation phase of a project, coincidentally around the same time as the Technical and Solution Architects are engaged. Obviously the service management requirements will vary from project to project, but considering them at the early stages will ensure they are included in the business case and if agreed are funded and resourced accordingly as per any other product deliverable of a project. But all too often this is one skill-set that is missing in most organizations
Consider the introduction or the creation of a job role entitled the ITIL Service Architect. The Service Architect would be responsible for ensuring the Service Management products are delivered in advance of 'go-live', examples include:
  • Awareness campaigns and workshops
  • Documented or updated Service Support Model
  • Reviewed, re-negotiated, updated, or creation of Service Level and Operating Level Agreements (SLA / OLA)
  • Updates identified and applied to the Service Management tool
If your organization has introduced such a role then we would really appreciate any experiences you could share with our readership. On the other hand if you decide to introduce such a role we also like to hear how you got on. Having worked in such a role it would be great to compare notes. Please take the opportunity to contact ITILnews - just leave a comment below.


2010-11-29 by "ericwilliamson"

The employment of Technical and Service Architects does not entirely address the requirements for successful Service Introduction. There is a requirement for a robust and repeatable process to ensure that all Service Management products and, indeed, all non-functional requirements are properly addressed. We at SMART-SIP believe that we can provide the tools to support this as well as training in Service Introduction. You can find more information at our web site

2011-11-04 by "rick.applegate"

As ITIL 3 does cover the whole service lifecycle I would say that the service architect role is actually what is being described as the solution architect in this article.

The article also misses the distinction between designing and agreeing the service(s) and the delivery of these. The delivery is in my mind the responsiblity of a transition manager. Yes the new service support model and the S/OLAs should be designed up front by the architect but workshops to implement etc. are transitional activities better managed by a Project or Transition Manager.

The same individual may perform one or more roles and probably does in many organisations or scenarios but roles and jobs should not be confused.
Reply on 2011-11-14
Thanks for your comment Rick, which is very valid.

In my experience the Solutions Architects do not necessarily take into consideration sufficiently the Service aspects that need to be inplace to support or deliver the service as it enters the production environments, hence the need for the Service Architect. One would hope as the maturity of an organization evolves then the Service and Solutions Architects can combine and undertake both requirements.

2012-01-10 by "paddybaxter"

I have recently come to the conclusion that tradional solution architects, of which I was one for several years, must become service architects to do the job correctly. We need to move away from designing point in time solutions to building true services. You'll know we have succeeded when we can finally close the loop between the business case and the value delivered.

2014-08-08 by "shyamsundar.velamakanni"

Service Architect is very much required for any service organization. This will create much added value from the initial stage RFP, Contract, Transition - Pre / Post due diligence. Service architect plays a vital role not only in process but in E2E Operational model, working model, governance and Managed Service Operations. Being a service architect I know how much important this role plays to a company.

2019-05-24 by "weikit88"

My opinion is that a Service Solution architect is closely related with highly experienced "CMDB modeller". CMDB modeller have the most understanding on how the data is being consumed by other Processes / Functions and tools (either a OOB solution or custom solution).
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Tags; ITIL,ITIL v3,IIL Service Architect
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