A well-implemented Service Catalog enables organization to handle more tickets in less time and drives down the cost per ticket.  The service catalog minimizes the need for staff to take calls, triage, and route tickets, and perform call backs.  Support analyst previously answering calls or triaging tickets now focus on resolving issues, which also gives the new support analyst more hands on experience with resolving issues.  More experience increases the throughput, mean time to resolution (MTTR), and quality of the IT support throughout the organization.  A better experience for all stakeholders including support analysts enables them to advance in their profession and!

Let’s dive into service catalogs and the business value delivered. Recognizing the benefits of service catalogs starts with the lifecycle of a ticket.  The clearest way to do this is to visualize the lifecycle and break it down into the following components. Note that the model shown here is a generalization and the timeframes vary by submission, nor is this model representative of all situations.



Based on this model let’s step through the service management approaches that we can use and how technology can be used to automate the call, triage, and call back steps, focusing support analyst time on the resolution of the ticket.

  • Self Service
    1. The end user enters the ticket, capturing a text description of what is needed. This eliminates the need to have a technician take a phone call to enter the ticket for the end user.
  • Advanced Self Service
    1. The end user completes a form that captures the type of ticket they are entering (from a lookup or drop-down field) and provides more detail in several fields. This eliminates the need for a further interaction and eliminates some of the triage work that needs to be done.  Some percentage of the tickets will be categorized correctly, but additional manual effort will be needed to correctly categorize and route the rest.
  • Service Catalog
    1. The end user selects the type of service they need from a catalog of offerings and completes a contextual form that captures all the information required to deliver the service. Any required approvals are automatically processed and the ticket is routed to the most appropriate   This eliminates the call, triage/routing, and call backs.

In addition to shortening the time to resolve a ticket, the use of a service catalog allows support analysts to be more efficient by handling level 1 issues and be more focused on resolving tickets.  Your results will vary, but consider that you are lowering the MTTR across most of your tickets and freeing up human resources to work tickets. Here is my model to calculate savings:

  • Man Hours / MTTR = Tickets resolved / period
  • 10 staff with an MTTR of 5 hours will close 80 tickets

If you free up 2 additional staff and drop the MTTR by 1 hour you will close 120 tickets

Savings attained using service catalogs as discussed here don’t require implementing automation, training, or process change.  Most importantly the gathering of a well-formed ticket will be the foundation for any automation or AI enhancements in the future, so you will be able to build on this technological success with little to no rework.