Consumer Types and Interaction Methods

Different types of consumer have different expectations and ways to interact with the Digital Product. A robust Digital Product includes a well-defined, detailed Service Offer structure that defines all anticipated consumer interaction methods, and that can be expressed in terms of the consumer contract.

Figure 1. Consumer Types

Consumer Types suggests a classification of key consumer types to consider in the Digital Product Offer, interaction methods, and system design: consumers of a Service Offer may be internal or external (or both), and may be machine or person/organization (or both).

Criteria for Service Offer types are:

  • May have internal consumers, such as employees or departments

  • May have external consumers or corporate customers and partners

  • May have internally exposed APIs, integrations, and processes

  • May have externally exposed APIs, integrations, and processes

It is important to set proper expectations for both human and machine consumers in the Service Offer, such as response time, resolution to issues, notification of planned down-time, etc. as described in the Offer functional component. Characteristics may vary across this landscape, requiring different Cost Models, SLA templates, consumption rates, security requirements, and business criticality commitments, resulting in more complex Service Offer definitions, and ongoing Subscription management.