The 3 Views of an IT Service Catalog

January 28, 2013
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Here at SunView Software, we often help our customers insure that their Service Catalog is working efficiently and helping all of their line-of-business customers. Today’s post is all about efficient use of your Service Catalog. Oh, you don’t yet have a Service Catalog, then you have come to the right blog post.

In Defining IT Success Through The Service Catalog by Troy DuMoulin of Pink Elephant, he describes the 3 views of the IT Service Catalog.

  1. The business customer view for the business relationship, Financial and Demand Management
  2. The user view for self-service and status updates of service requests
  3. The IT view for Service Design, Service Level Management and Request Fulfilment

I am going to take it one step further; there is only one focus – the end user experience. If we drive the Service Catalog delivery to be all about the user, then all of the other pieces will fall into place – full-service, value, efficiency and convenience.

What is a Service Catalog?

I prefer the definition of a Service Catalog from the Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) vendor selection criteria article:

The Service Catalog serves as a single consistent source of information for those services that are available to the business today. But the Service Catalog is not simply a static list of services. It must be actionable and help convey the value of IT to the business; and according to ITIL v3, the Service Catalog “serves as a service order and demand channeling mechanism.” Effective SCM includes publishing a central online portal where users view their available services, enabling online requests for those services and orchestrating the fulfillment of those service requests.

The Service Catalog is more than a complete list of IT services and components. The ultimate goal of the Service Catalog is to be the link between the enterprise and the IT Organization. In order to add value, everything that you do to build the Service Catalog should be focused on first the user, then business alignment.

How Does the Service Catalog Integrate With the Service Desk?

To paraphrase the motion picture, Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” is true for the Service Catalog. At its core, the Service Catalog is all about efficiency. Once fully implemented, the Service Catalog will help your users order your service offerings, budget for the costs involved, understand the SLA management, track their requests and more. But, the first step is to build it.

Leveraging automation will help drive efficiency. Automated tasks help to minimize Service Desk interruptions from the user. An automated email update sent to the user means that they won’t have to call the Service Desk, saving time and money.

Service Catalog Summary

There are several things to remember when choosing a Service Catalog solution. Focus on the user needs first. This focus will help to drive business alignment, which will ultimately create efficiencies, add value to the enterprise and improve customer satisfaction with the IT Organization.

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