IT Service Catalog: 4 Steps to an Effective Service Catalog (Part 4)

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IT Service Management Professionals

IT Service Catalog: 4 Steps to an Effective Service Catalog (Part 4)

Posted by Scott Davis

Wed, Feb 29, 2012

Are you experiencing problems with your service catalog? Does your service catalog fall short of your customers’ expectations? Or are you planning a re-deployment or ground-up service catalog capability and are unsure exactly where to start?

Over the past few weeks I covered the first three of four steps to an effective service catalog. While simple in concept, this approach will require an initial and ongoing level of diligence to ensure effective performance.

The four steps include:

  1. Define and separate internal services from customer-facing services

  2. Keep your service catalog clean and accurate

  3. Focus on your fulfillment design and workflow

  4. Ensure the integration of your solution and workflow with your ITSM portfolio

Today's topic is Step #4:

Integrate Your Service Catalog Solution with your Sources of Truth, ITSM and Automation, and Service Notification Tools

Vendors in the marketplace offer a variety of capabilities – from a rich stand-alone end-user experience, to a well-integrated enterprise solution. Success requires all of the above. The richness of the user experience must be matched by capability to automate that workflow across ITSM and multiple integrated sources of truth such as your CMS, authentication systems, purchasing systems and ITSM portfolio offerings.

Orders created within the catalog will need to be seamlessly brokered to your Service Desk, request fulfillment, change management and Service Asset and Configuration Management systems and a supplier management database. All this may/will need to integrate with your ERP systems. The fulfillment workflows mentioned above will require automation and this automation happens within your service management portfolio oftentimes leveraging additional automation.

Notification capabilities should not be overlooked as a critical success factor in automating your catalog fulfillment workflows. A strong Notification capability can make the difference between timely execution and substandard performance

You don’t have to abandon the rich-featured point products in favor of the mile-wide and inch-deep enterprise vendors to achieve this integration (they always require some integration as well). Your success depends upon understanding what success means to your business service. You have to architect a balanced solution that considers the technical ecosystem that supports the end-user experience and delivers the automation of your defined workflows.

Success comes from Experience. Where do you start?

If you are taking your initial steps to implement a service catalog or are not achieving the value and results you demand from your service catalog, consider the benefits that a more formalized and integrated approach to your service catalog can bring to your IT and your customers.  

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