Creating a Service Catalog Forces IT to Grow Up

2 min read
17-Sep-2017 17:03:00

Today we have a guest post from George Spalding, VP at Pink Elephant, 

 We’ve all been there.  Someone asks, “So what does IT do?” Our answer is, “Nearly everything!”   The truth is that a frightening number of IT organizations should answer, “well, we take it one day at a time and respond to the situations and requests as they come up.”  In other words, they act very much like adolescents with little or no plan, little understanding of necessary costs & resources, and a laissez-faire ("Whatever…") attitude to the consequences.  Time to grow up, IT.  Time for a Service Catalog. The Service Catalog is a customer-facing website (or tool) that lists everything that IT does for the business and packages them into Services.  In the Service Catalog the business wants to know the answer to the following questions IN THEIR LANGUAGE.  What is it?  What does it do?  How will it add value?  Who can use it?  When can I get it? How good (stable, reliable, available) is it?  How much does it cost?  Logical questions for any service customer - but in order to answer them, IT must be able to do some heavy lifting in terms of process and governance maturity. The first step is defining Services:

  1. Define major Business Functions & Processes
  2. Define facilitating/enabling IT Services
  3. Map IT Systems to IT Services
  4. Map IT Components to IT Systems (CMDB)
  5. Develop Service Offerings
  6. Define Service-Based costing

This step alone is one of the most difficult for many IT groups.  Lots of moving parts, egos, politics, turf wars, etc.  But unavoidable if IT ever wants to move beyond firefighting mode and having every Monday be worse than the last. Next, we list these services (in business language) in our new Service Catalog with a detailed description of what it is and does, why you would want to use it, who can buy it, who can use it, what are the rules around it, what is the expected level of service, and how much does it cost (in units the business can understand).  These questions simply cannot be answered by an immature IT dept. So…while the goal is to produce an accurate, actionable and consistent Service Catalog, the process of doing it forces a higher level of maturity across all of IT. Join us for our webinar on September 12th where George will be talking about how you can Boost your ITSM maturity with a Service Catalog.

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