Service Owner Definition


This document describes the role and responsibities of the service owner. The service owner is assumed to be an assistant director, a first-line manager or a technical staff member in a leadership role.


Service Owner

The service owner is the person who has the primary responsibility to ensure that a service delivers what it promises. The service owner is the primary point of contact for the service, and has final responsibility for decision-making or escalation of decisions.


In order to successfully perform their responsibilities, service owners must have a mechanism for holding the other service team members accountable for providing their part of the service. This requires assignment of authority for the service by management at an organizational level that spans the reporting structure of team members.

Support of team members' managers is essential. As part of the operational level agreement (OLA),these must be established with the employees' manager.

  • Amount of time that team member will spend supporting the service,

  • Responsibilities of staff members

  • Priority of the agreed-upon work


Responsibilities in scope

  • Designation of technical lead and backup

  • Representation of service to management

  • Coordinate communication among support staff and systems staff

  • Ensure that performance meets the requirements of SLAs and OLAs

  • Develop and maintain Service Catalog descriptions

  • Provide reporting and metrics on performance of service

  • Serve as point of contact in an emergency

  • Initiate new projects

  • Plan for service future (assess customer requirements, determine costs of solutions)

  • Maintain service catalog entry


Responsibilities out of scope

These responsibilities are not part of the role of service owner. In some cases, the person who is serving as the service owner will have one or more of these responsibilities in addition to the service owner role, but not every service owner will have these responsibilities.

  • Budget and purchasing (unit manager or designee)

  • Performance management (employee's supervisor)

  • Vendor negotiations (service level manager)

  • Technical/system design (technical lead)

  • Gather customer requirements

  • Develop SLAs and OLAs (service level manager)
  • Representation of service to customers and staff (service level manager)







Service Owner definitions from other sites:

            Service Owner:    The individual taking primary responsibility for a service, including its design, objectives and progression.

            Service (ITILv3):    A means of delivering value to Customers by facilitating Outcomes that Customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific Costs and Risks.


            Service (ITILv2):    An integrated composite that consists of a number of components, such as management processes, hardware, software, facilities and people, that provides a capability to satisfy a stated management need or objective.

            Service owner: Accountable for delivering the service consistently in accordance with the business requirements and the service design. Service owner role is not directly responsible for people or Budget. Service Owner owns a portfolio of services and manages them throughout their entire lifecycle – service inception to service retirement. Service owners should have the visibility on service pipeline (services that are being planned and built) & services in production.

            Service ownership can be defined at a lower atomic level (e.g. Server, application, etc.) or a higher bundle level (e.g. Data center, Production support, etc.) At higher level, various types of atomic services interact together to form a Service bundle (or portfolio) aligned to customer’s business needs. The service owner role that owns a super set of services from a strategic perspective can be called as Service Manager.

            Service owners do not represent the provider side of Service delivery, but are more aligned to the customer / business side of delivery. Service owners work with atomic service owners and service delivery managers (see below) to standardize and productize services and catalog the service offering.


            The Service owner roles have a global scope and have end to end Service accountability for specific internal services. This role has both tactical and strategic elements to it. Tactical – to ensure the service continues to perform within defined service levels. Strategic – to input to and ensure delivery of Service Improvement Plans.


            The Service owner is a conductor. A good conductor cannot play all the instruments but must understand how they all work and how to blend them to achieve perfect sounds. The owner has the responsibility to blend the team to achieve a perfect business.

            Service Owner

            The Service Owner is responsible for delivering a particular service within the agreed service levels.

            Typically, he acts as the counterpart of the Service Level Manager when negotiating Operational Level Agreements (OLAs).

            Often, the Service Owner will lead a team of technical specialists or an internal support unit.

            Service Owner Represents an ABC provided service (or set of services) to ABC and is responsible for all Service Level Management activities for that (Those) services., page 14

            Service Owner / Product Manager

            Responsibilities for SLM

            Develop, agree and maintain OLAs

            Develop and maintain Service Catalog

            Descriptions (formally updated semiannually)

            Negotiate and maintain SLAs with the Customer

            Ensure Underpinning Contract service level commitments support OLAs and SLAs

            Review and evaluate SLA Reports (currently

available through iWise)