When we buy a product or a service, we often would want to understand: What’s the use or the functionality of the product and we’d also want to have an assurance that the product or the service will function as per the specifications. ITIL classifies these two elements as Utility and Warranty, wherein: Utility is defined as ‘Fit for purpose’ and Warranty is defined as ‘Fit for use.’ Utility and Warranty help a service provider determine the value of a service.
One subscribes to an internet service(Utility) on a mobile phone to avoid the inconvenience of walking to the closest internet center or look for a laptop and a wireless connection, every time one wants to check an email or just browse. We subscribe to the service with certain expectations that the service will be Available when I need it, the service has enough capacity(bandwidth), the service continuous and that the service is safe. These expectations become the core drivers for a customer when they purchase services from service provider.(Availability, Capacity, Continuity and Security being the aspects of Warranty).
A service provider will have to ensure that a service has both, a Utility aspect and a Warranty aspect. The warranty aspect of a service could be the key differentiating factor between one service provider and an another.