Stakeholders exist in every organization and are key to successfully complete IT services/projects for both internal and external customers. By definition, a stakeholder is a person who has an interest in an organization, IT service or project.
In an IT Service organization, the stakeholders are the employees of the organization and organization management. They can also be other employees of the company, users, customers, suppliers, vendors, partners and regulators as they all have interest in the IT services.
There are 2 types of stakeholders:
Internal: They consist of the employees and teams who work in the same organization and can also refer to internal customers in case of internal IT service providers. The main internal stakeholders are:
External: They consist of all those who do not belong to the organization such as external customers and suppliers. The main external stakeholders are:
Customers: They are the ones who buy the goods or services. For IT service providers, a customer defines and agrees on the service level targets.
Users: They are the ones who use the services on a daily basis. This is different from a customer who may not use the service directly. Users can be separate from customers and may not be within the same organization as the customers.
Suppliers: They are the third parties which are responsible for supplying the goods and services required to deliver IT services.
The objectives for service stakeholders in ITIL are:
To define and explain the concept of stakeholders in service management.
To define and explain the concept of the provider in service management.
To illustrate the differences between the various types of service providers.
To define and explain the concept of internal and external customers.
To define and explain the concept of the user in service management.
Stakeholders are important to an organization because they consist of everyone in the organization that you need to deliver the required services to. If the people in charge are clear regarding who are the stakeholders of their IT services, they will be able to effectively define roles, responsibilities of supporting organizations, process and the management of interfaces between different roles and processes.
The main roles played by the stakeholders, that highlight their importance are:
Defining the service
It is the duty of service portfolio management to make sure that stakeholders are involved in defining and evaluating the service.
Deploying the service
It is important to keep the stakeholders updated regarding the progress of the service implementation throughout the project. By doing so, stakeholders will be involved in the service setup.
Service operation and monitoring
The operation activities affect the stakeholders directly. It is thus vital to understand the interests of the stakeholders and their way of utilizing the services to get optimal outputs. By monitoring, we can ensure that service level management, ITSM, and the customer are provided with direct information.
In this way, stakeholders play a prominent role in aligning IT services as per the organizational business strategy and also one that meets the customer requirements. Stakeholders help in defining, deploying and monitoring the service and act as a connecting component between different job roles and processes in IT Service Management.