Getting a service catalog: So much more than buying a tool!
Organisations are consistently failing to realise the expected benefits from their service catalog initiatives
Published 12:00, 24 July 12
- It’s often seen as a technology project “let’s buy a service catalog tool” rather than introducing service catalog management and enabling technology.
- Service definition is difficult - it’s too easy to focus on the IT.
- Aims can be ill-defined, fuzzy, or limited - a service catalog should be more than just a shopping basket.
- It’s created in IT’s ivory tower and then pushed out to the business with a victorious fanfare (but minimal uptake).
- Think service catalog management, not just service catalog.
- Service portfolio management should be the precursor to service catalog management. You need to understand end-to-end services.
- You need to be clear about the aims for service catalog management. It’s more than a list of services and components. It should be the link between the business and IT. Its content should have specific purposes.
- Importantly it is not about the technology. But the right technology will help once the people and processes are in place.
- Getting the right people involved is key. This is the business’ service catalog not IT’s. IT should not drive the look and feel, or content of the service catalog. The business should.
- In setting objectives, you need to identify the issues you are trying to address (sounds obvious I know).
- It is not just a data collection exercise. There is a danger that a service catalog is like early-adopter CMDB 2.0 where service data goes to die. Interestingly, for many organizations, service catalog has reignited the need for CMDBs.
- Think ahead - IT should also look at future exploitation in conjunction with HR and Facilities, say. As non-IT services can also be dealt with longer term.
- Other ITIL processes will be needed to get the best out of a service catalog, such as: IT financial management (service costing through accounting), service level management, and configuration management.
- Consumption monitoring - allow your organization to make optimal supply decisions.
- Automation of provisioning - make IT delivery “better, quicker, cheaper.”
- The latter two points are critical in realizing the anticipated benefits. In particular leveraging automation.
- The acceleration of process execution.
- The reduction in human errors and the unwanted consequences.
- The ability to rapidly adapt as both business and IT needs change.
- Reduction in the cost of IT operations.
- The ability to proactively respond to the shrinking "available resource pool.”
- Freeing highly skilled and knowledgeable staff from the repeatable, mundane tasks.