IT-service providers shall achieve both cost reduction in IT-operations and customer individuality in
service agreements. This article suggests applying the well known principle of mass customization to
balance individuality and standardization in service agreements. Dependent on the commitment
modularity type, its employment may not only save time and resources at the point of customer
involvement but also allow the predefinition of repeatable processes in IT-operations. We develop a
typology for positioning and classifying IT-service providers as mass customizers of service
agreements. This categorization is based on commitment modularity types and points of customer
involvement in the IT-service life cycle. We identify four generic archetypes of IT-service providers’
customization strategies and explain their characteristics by means of selected examples of actual ITservice
agreement situations. Finally, we introduce a service model that enables IT-service providers
to implement one specific archetype with a great balance in standardization and individuality. We
therefore propose to (1) strictly separate the design of services from contracting and usage stages, (2)
modularize self-contained commitments and (3) productize options and changes of a service
agreement. This model has been prototyped and developed in close cooperation with IT-service
providers and is currently applied for a pilot project.
Brocke, Henrik; Ubernickel, Falk; and Brenner, Walter, "Mass Customizing IT Service Agreements: Towards Individualized On-Demand Services" (2010). ECIS 2010 Proceedings. 101.