Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant and someone has just approached you to take your order. You try to consult the menu and discover there isn’t one. You don’t know what to order, or what you’ll get. You only know that things are getting awkward, that whatever you pick won’t be very good, and that you’re going to write a really, really bad review of the place on Yelp.
The demos always look so great. Such a gorgeous, shiny new tool! Vendors are fantastic at this. What they're less good at is giving you the hard truths around what has to be done before you should even think about implementing that gorgeous, shiny new tool. The reality is this: Your tool will never look like their demo database if you don’t get your Service Catalog squared away and have a clear understanding of what a Service is in the first place (this article will help you with that).
Let's start with a definition: What is a Service Catalog, anyway? I’ll keep this relatively brief because we have roughly one thousand (lie) other blog posts on the matter. A Service Catalog is one place to store all information about all IT services. Be it a database, a website, or a document, the key here is to have ONE location where everyone – IT staff and customers - can access it.
Making the initial investment to create a Service Catalog can be difficult, especially if that investment isn’t seeing any return. The ROI for Service Catalogs can take time to realize – and maximizing it often requires interfaces with other ITIL processes. There are a number of reasons why Service Catalogs fail (and, thankfully, some pretty straightforward ways of fixing them). If you suspect your organization’s catalog may be underperforming, start by asking these questions to determine whether it needs an overhaul:
If you answered yes to any of these, keep reading. Below, I’ll cover some ways to pinpoint where your issue may be, and help you get started on the path to finding more value in your Service Catalog.
Building a Service Catalog is one of those things you probably mean to do, but keep putting off (like going to the dentist or calling your mom). But imagine if you opened a restaurant without a menu? How would your customers know what you serve? How would you know which ingredients to order for the kitchen? That scenario is exactly what's playing out for organizations without Service Catalogs, except without the outraged Yelp reviews (that they know of).
A Service Catalog is an easy way to bring value to your organization while demonstrating the value you bring to it. All the more reason to have one in place. But, you’re probably wondering, where to start? We’re glad you asked, because we needed a way to introduce the following list of suggestions:
In the time I have been working in providing ITSM solutions to a multitude of clients, there is one constant that seems to cross all manner of industry, size, and maturity. The Service Catalog is far and away the most likely missing piece of every IT organization's puzzle. Last month, Amanda discussed the importance of this vital link in the IT Business Relationship chain by providing concrete ways having a Service Catalog helps the overall relationship, and enumerating the many ways a well-understood catalog can show the value IT brings to the business at-large.
A lot of the clients we work with struggle with their Service Catalog. It can be a daunting task to come up with a menu of service offerings for your Service Desk. But we know all too well how quickly productivity, customer satisfaction, and morale will plummet without defined services. It is inevitable. But where do you start?