When talking about ITSM, it is necessary to mention the fundamental role that the ITS Management Forum (ITSMF) has. The ITSMF is a global, independent, and non-profit organization dedicated to continuous improvement of ITSM [32
]. According to Clacy and Jennings [32
], the ITSMF was established in the United Kingdom in 1991, and the founding chapter of the United Kingdom made significant contributions over the years in establishing the ITSMF as an international organization, as well as supporting the development of the library of infrastructure and information technologies (ITIL) and the associated schemes for qualification and certification. These authors state that this forum continues to be one of the most mature chapters, although it now manages several initiatives to continue developing and sharing these activities throughout the world. The identification, classification, and deregistration of ITSs are very important tasks for the ITSM—as important as the management of IT demand, as well as the financial planning, which represents the cost for the provision of these services.
Since 1998, Niessin and van Vliet [33
] worked on a mature model of ITS capabilities that originated from the idea of developing a framework for quality improvement that was oriented to help service organizations become more efficient. One of the most important parts of the work was the ITSC, which requires catalogs to have experience with SLA and services. In 2001, Walker [34
] included a section dedicated to the maintenance of the ITSC in his book, “IT problem management”, where he addressed the process to add services and to remove services. However, no evidence was found to corroborate the effectiveness of the processes proposed. Then, in 2002, Sullivan, Edmond, and Hofstede [35
] worked on a description of the general nature of these services based on a review of the literature, where they defined the ITSC as the list of services categorized according to classification schemes.
In 2004, Sallé [36
] reviewed the literature up to that point and noted the importance of the design, development, operation, and delivery of services as fundamental aspects of the management of services, in reference to several frameworks, such as ITIL, British Standards (BS) 15,000, the Hewlett-Packard (HP) ITS Management Reference Model, the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF), and IBM’s Systems Management Solution Life Cycle. The ITSC is one of the most valuable elements of a comprehensive approach in the provision of services and, as such, should receive due care and attention from its construction.
4.2. Research Conducted to Identify ITS
According to the systematic review of the literature that was carried out in this research, since 2008, 30 articles were identified to be related to the process of identifying ITSs. These articles are detailed in Table 3
According to Table 3
, the first work identified in this review is the research carried out by Bartsch et al. [37
] in 2008, who proposed an approach to the identification and decomposition of hierarchical services based on ontologies to support service providers in the management of operational service processes through the characterization and exploitation of the processes of elementary services. In that same year, Kang et al. [38
] proposed an SIM for a product line with appropriate granularity, which used ontology to avoid ambiguous inconsistencies, reaching the conclusion that the proposed method provides adequate granularity for the service and improves reuse in a service-oriented product line. Next, Brocke et al. [39
] proposed a way to describe ITS that follows the paradigm of “dominant service logic”. If a service provider manages to understand the needs of their client and can create a solution for him or her, the description reflects this and, therefore, offers an advantage over the competitors for organizations that provide ITSs for other entities. In the same way, Borner et al. [40
] contributed to governance and strategy of management issues with a focus on individual services, focusing especially on the identification and design of services that belong to the initial phases of the life cycle of the service architecture.
In 2009, Gebhart and Abeck [41
] proposed a set of rules to systematically derive a service inventory model from a customized business model that captures the most relevant requirements. An investigation conducted by Boerner and Goeken [42
] proposed a process-oriented SIM. This approach incorporated a business point of view, strategic and economic aspects, and technical feasibility. Heo et al. [43
] decided to present a methodology for the prior evaluation of information security for a u-ITS that analyzes information security threats and vulnerabilities for a u-ITS provider that develops a service and provides the methods and procedures for preparing countermeasures to support the identification of potential risks and how to address them.
In 2010, an investigation carried out by Zimin and Kulakov [44
] formulated an approach for the organizational regulation of the ITS in external and internal conditions that change rapidly. This study also has a relationship with the ITSC and the ITSP. Mendes and Silva [45
] affirmed that the ITSC is integrated with processes like the SL, FM, request management, and demand management. This research proposed some solutions that tried to mitigate the risks of implementing an ITSC without neglecting the identification of ITSs. Tian et al. [46
] conducted an investigation that analyzed how the implementation of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) materializes in the achievements of several applicable IT functions in the form of the encapsulation of services and the interconnection and interoperation of services in the form of flexible coupling. For this, the authors analyzed the structural model in the SOA, in combination with the development code of the unified rational process (RUP), and showed the three SIMs most commonly used in service oriented analysis and design (SOAD) procedures. However, future research should include analyses of different services at all levels of abstraction.
Continuing with the work related to the identification of services, Lee et al. [24
] (2011) proposed an SIM based on the modeling of scenarios and the joint creation of values. However, as part of future work, they proposed to refine the approach and apply it to other domains. A prototype environment was also developed to help identify the services and perform an empirical validation of the approach to ensure that unexpected changes in the companies can be treated with care. Another work on the identification of services was developed by Cai et al. [47
], who proposed a complete understanding of the service’s identification with the service engineering process and the SOA adoption objectives, illustrated the different meanings, positions, and activities of service identification in existing jobs for top-down and bottom-up approaches, presented the common high-value activities in several SIMs, and presented details for these activities.
However, these authors stated that it remains to be determined how high-value activities could be integrated to form an appropriate SIM for a given environment. Research conducted by Utz et al. [48
] presented a hybrid modeling approach for services. This research was based on meta-model concepts that resulted in six axioms for combining perspective and modeling aspects in an open environment. However, the additional work needed is related to the identification and formalization of the conceptualization process at a level of detail where the compilation can build on the definition of the identified model goal and provide mechanisms for the reuse of concepts, references, and remarks, as well as their translation and transformation. In that same year (2011), Levina et al. [49
] proposed a service design approach that combines several existing methods and approaches. The objective was to develop a method for “service design” in research and industry. The authors also stated that verifiable propositions should be defined and applied in a subsequent case study. Therefore, to be able to refer to an approach as a “method”, that approach must provide the definition and description of the construct, the revision of the principles of form and function, and verifiable propositions.
In 2012, Schwarz et al. [50
] proposed a research portfolio that classifies the research questions that need to be addressed. This portfolio was developed based on a conceptual framework for service innovation research. The main results show the specific challenges of research in improving the knowledge base of service innovation. Then, Probst and Buhl [51
] analyzed how the design of SOA processes is based on selection decisions among the ITSs offered by different providers. They also developed a procedural model for value-based management that considers the dependencies between selection decisions. However, the authors stated that this approach needs to be further developed in the future. Also, in 2012, a study by Rosa et al. [16
] stated that the main objective of the ITSM is to guarantee the quality of the ITS and that ITIL is the most commonly adopted best practice framework for implementing ITSM within organizations. They also proposed an SIM through incidents based on an ITSRC. This document’s contribution was to help organizations provide quality ITS. However, despite the good results of this work, it remains necessary to continue putting the proposed artifact into practice. The goal of future research should be based on applying the artifact to other organizations to confirm its applicability, ease, and efficiency in achieving a more accurate and better quality ITSRC.
Also in 2012, Mendes et al. [6
] analyzed how one of the most important elements of the ITSM is the ITSC, which is described in a formal document listing the available services provided by IT organizations. Likewise, a method based on the design and engineering methodology for organizations (DEMO) was proposed to identify the ITS. However, in future work, the authors intend to apply this proposal to more complex situations, in which the service provider has a broader catalog of services. Likewise, McCarthy et al. [12
] described the process used in the IBM company to create and distribute service packages. Finally, the authors stated that an IT organization or service provider can have hundreds of individual services in their catalog, which could be optimized through simple packages or integrated composite services.
In 2013, Gama et al. [31
] stated that, until then, there were difficulties in implementing an ITSC. Due to the complexity of an ITSC and other aspects, including the identification of services, the authors proposed an ITSRC to resolve the absence of a foundation for an ITSC. Similarly, Bugeaud et al. [52
] presented a dedicated framework based on four basic components throughout the service design process: knowledge, software tools, communities, and places. This research focused mainly on the first two components. In the same year, Arcilla et al. [18
] focused on providing useful information for companies interested in defining their own ITSC from a standard ITSC. The purpose of this research was to create a standard ITSC to help microenterprises and small businesses define their own ITSCs as one of the main inputs for their IT FM processes.
In 2014, Huergo et al. [8
] proposed an SIM that uses master data and logical data models as inputs. The proposed method also uses an artifact-centered modeling technique to detail the life cycle of the master data and the business rules it contains. However, this method must still be tested in a real business scenario to identify problems and opportunities for improvement. In that same year, the authors Kim et al. [53
] analyzed how the governance of SOA requires an adequate process through which the services described by the service model become candidates to enter the portfolio of services. In addition, the authors presented a decision model to evaluate the services according to metrics, where a comparison of the relative value of each service with its development or maintenance cost should be used to establish priorities. This work sought to complement existing governance standards, such as the SOA governance framework, thereby creating a reasonable service development priority. As in 2014, in an investigation carried out by Rong et al. [5
], a SIM was proposed from the perspective of the business process. In addition, the authors stated that the proposed framework is being created but still requires some improvements. The application of this method challenges researchers to concentrate their work on designing a special service identification tool and validate it in other domains in the future.
In 2015, Frey et al. [13
] introduced a capacity-based service pattern, which helps overcome the challenges associated with identifying the correct services in the analysis phase of large IT modernization programs. This pattern was discovered and derived from practical experience. However, additional research is needed to clarify how capacity-based services can be leveraged to define the architecture, evaluate legacy applications, and determine the roadmap for a program.
Recently, in 2017, Simonova and Foltanova [4
] conducted research that focused on the application of business process tools and principles to identify and model the requirements of individual ITSs, with the aim of increasing the quality of information services as part of the quality of business performance. The answers to this research serve as a basis for further discussion and analysis of requirements.
Likewise, in 2017, Souza et al. [54
] proposed an approach that focused on business value modeling and used model-based techniques to generate the information required by current methods for identifying software services, thereby aligning business and software perspectives. The results show that this proposal is a promising approach for the alignment of business and IT perspectives during SOA service identification activities. Kalia et al. [15
] stated that the automation of services improves the efficiency of ITSM processes. Therefore, the authors proposed a tool called Cataloger, which is a recommendation system that allows humans to specify their requests for change in natural language sentences and generates the most appropriate recommendations. However, this approach has several limitations. Firstly, the dataset that was used is not balanced for all actions. Therefore, grouping-based approaches must be used to minimize the labeling effort and obtain more labels. Secondly, the datasets that were created for specific actions to identify parameters are not large. Thirdly, in the feedback approach, a heuristic approach to decision-making is proposed. In the future, the authors plan to improve this heuristic approach to improve the results.
Recently, in 2018, Mera and Aguilar [55
] carried out a systematic review of the literature on existing proposals for the construction and management of the ITSC. In this study, 14 proposals were identified to include methods, framework, approaches, and models, showing that 43% of these proposals were not applied to real environments (that is, they were not checked in public or private organizations), leaving the field open to check these proposals or propose more feasible methods to be applied and evaluated in real environments.
4.3. Analysis of the Studies Found in the Review
This sub-section shows a comparison of the studies found with their respective analyses. The compared attributes are detailed in Table 4
According to Table 4
, three types of studies were found. There were 11 articles that detailed literature reviews. There were also 17 articles that corresponded to proposals without verification or application. Finally, there were proposals that were verified to relate them to 10 other articles (33.33% of the studies found). These results show the approximate systematic review of the literature shown by Mera and Aguilar [55
]. The percentage relates to the studies tested or applied in a real environment, since most of the articles found appear to correspond to literature reviews and proposals without verification.
Regarding the general activities for the construction of the ITSC covered by the proposals found, the most studied activity was to “define the ITS to be provided”, which 22 of the studies developed. This activity is directly related to the ITS identification process. However, of this total, only eight items were tested in real environments. Therefore, for the identification of ITS, there are only a few proven proposals that carried out this process.
Another general activity for the construction of the ITSC that stands out and relates to the identification of ITS is the “initial collection of information”, which seven of the studies developed. However, of that total, only one study was carried out, reaffirming the scarce application of the proposals in real environments.
A relevant aspect that should be highlighted is that only two of the studies that correspond to proposals with results were tested in public organizations, and none applied automatic mechanisms (machine learning) for the identification of ITSs or the construction of an ITSC. Therefore, the possibility is open to develop proposals for the identification of ITSs and the construction of ITSCs in public organizations, which provides sufficient information to develop the proposal detailed in this paper.