Business services are activities, processes and functions that support businesses in their efforts to create products and deliver value to their customers. They include activities such as providing consulting, marketing, advertising and research services to business-to-business (B2B) and consumer clients; performing warehousing, transportation, waste management, and staffing services; and handling information technology (IT), finance and administration services for businesses.
The service-oriented approach to business process design introduces a method of organizing automated business logic that can significantly improve the agility of a solution environment. This is achieved by separating and modeling business logic as distinct services with explicit boundaries, and leveraging the use of orchestration to provide an automation landscape that is intelligently partitioned, loosely coupled, and highly adaptive.
In a service-oriented world, well-defined business services offer a unique set of opportunities for improving business analysis and development. The ability to model and develop business services in such a way that they are independent of the execution environment is highly beneficial, as it allows for the creation of reusable business-related models that can be easily deployed within an enterprise’s automation architecture.
This flexibility can lead to significant cost savings as well as improved agility and responsiveness to change. It can also allow for a more effective alignment between business needs and the implementation of solutions.
The primary characteristic of a service is that it doesn’t result in the production of any tangible product, nor can it be stored like inventory. Therefore, service production and consumption are inseparable, requiring a high level of customer involvement to clarify requirements, convey expectations, and establish service-level agreements. This can also lead to inconsistencies in service delivery due to the human element of the process.
Many of these services are specialized and can only be performed by companies that have expertise in those areas. For example, a company that produces industrial equipment may not be able to provide warehousing or transportation services, but might be able to offer marketing or IT services to other companies in the same industry.
There are also business services that are used across all industries, such as banking, insurance, and communication. These services are required for businesses to operate effectively. Business enterprises need to get banking services for availability of funds; insurance services to protect their assets, plant, machinery, goods and other valuables; transport services for the movement of raw materials, finished goods, and personnel; warehousing services for storage of finished goods; and communication services to communicate with business partners.
Careers in business services are varied, and can be as low-level as a high school diploma or GED certificate, or as advanced as a bachelor’s degree or graduate program. For example, some jobs in this category involve writing reports or conducting market research, while others require a particular area of expertise, such as accounting, human resources, IT, or law. For example, a virtual work program such as Break Free Academy offers free virtual job training that can help people prepare for careers in business services.