Understanding the Business Service Industry

The Business Service Industry is not a sector commonly recognized by the general public or, for that matter, much of the business community itself. It certainly doesn’t help that we have disparate, almost contradictory, definitions floating around – to the extent that Bob Johnson, CMO of Neebula, writes: “How can we deliver [a service] when we don’t even know what it is?”

It is during times such as these that we turn to the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). The ITIL is the single most authoritative work on standard practices and application of terminology within the extended IT services markets. Originally collated in 1989, it has since grown considerably and provides relevant and actionable direction for nearly any aspect of business. Specifically, for our purposes, the definition of a “Business Service” can be summarized nicely as such:  a service delivered to a business directly by another business.

Services Computer Key Showing Help And Assistance

Businesses as Customers

While as a concept, this may have seemed somewhat of an oddity in days past, the notion is fairly well understood and grown increasingly common in current times. A couple of simple and recent examples would be most IT infrastructure companies (UCaaS or SaaS) and recruiting agency firms. In this schema, it is the businesses that are the customers; and there are many considerable advantages to this line of approach. Specifically, this business plan allows for a more direct ingress into market sectors than almost any “normal” business which interacts with – and depends upon – standard consumer markets.

The following two companies are strong examples which demonstrate the wide range of diverse applications often pursued by an organization:

RPX Corporation: One of the leading risk management solutions in patent issues recently consolidated an expansion into tangent markets, and now, in addition to its primary focus, is a provider of intelligence, data, and consulting on non-practicing entities (NPEs).

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Traditionally concerned with creating the highest quality education content in 150 countries, HMH has moved beyond its original purview to take advantage of new markets, by creating both an online and personalized learning environment and acquiring Channel One News, materializing a wealth of digital content opportunities and production capabilities.

Sector Focus

We’ll round out this piece with a focus on a robust sector where we find the Business Service Industry truly thriving: the IT sector. An excellent example would be the service provided by an SaaS (Software as a Service) company. One such successful example is Verbery, which provides companies with robust communications software, eliminating their client’s dependence upon maintaining their own servers, phone lines, and dedicated IT staff; while offering fully customizable call trees, messaging services, and mobile-focused advances (such as BYOD and remote environments).

Business Service Industry - 3 professionals standing

To Close

It serves us well to note that the Business Services sector is among the strongest in growth potential of nearly any industry. This is largely due to the fact that it embraces the geographical demographics of the global market in a way that few other sectors can manage. Every business in the world is in the same need of consulting, risk assessment, strong IT, and dynamic networking to stay relevant, competitive, and profitable.


Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200