The IT service portfolio helps your IT team provide better service and document the value provided by the IT service desk. It also helps you identify IT services that provide the maximum return on investment, lets you determine if IT services are aligned with your organization’s overall business strategy, and confirms that IT services are evolving logically.
Having a well thought-out and well-maintained IT service portfolio also helps you orchestrate entry and exit of services based on costs, needs, and ROI.
If 2013 saw businesses incorporating the cloud into their business practices, 2014 will see them integrating the cloud into IT service portfolios, if they haven’t started doing so already. Embracing the cloud is no longer a matter of choice for an increasing number of organizations, and managing cloud-based applications through their inclusion in the IT service portfolio can’t be avoided anymore if organizations are to remain agile and effective.
” … and this is why, despite Mr. Cramden in Engineering’s protests, we’re finally going to scrap that card reader.”
The IT Service Portfolio as a Roadmap
Providing cost transparency for IT services is an important function for an IT service portfolio, and the increase in use of cloud apps in the enterprise could actually make this easier. Total cost of ownership can be easier to nail down when you’re paying $X per seat for a cloud-based app versus $Y for software licenses, $Z for hardware maintenance, and $W for unforeseen expenses with legacy apps.
This can be helpful in influencing the adoption of cloud apps as a primary solution to many business needs through the IT service portfolio. By clearly identifying and pricing all components of a service, your IT service portfolio can be used as a roadmap (or at least a North Star) for delivery of future IT services. Incorporating the cloud into your portfolio helps you strategically position services to exploit the IT technologies and trends of the future.
SaaS Is the New Normal for Buying Apps
SaaS has overtaken on-site solutions in many categories of business applications, and many solutions that used to only be available in multi-deployment modes are now SaaS-only. SaaS-only will become truer with the proliferation of mobile devices. Determining the best way to include cloud apps in your IT service portfolio now is an important part of your organization’s transformation to a more cloud-centric IT ecosystem.
The Public Cloud, the Internet of Things, and the IT Service Portfolio
The internet of things (IoT) is edging its way into more workplaces, some more aggressively than others, and the public cloud is currently the default backbone for the IoT. In 2014 alone, the IoT will generate billions of data points, and the best way to deal with all this data will be from the cloud. It’s simply becoming too hard to bring the data down to your organization to analyze it. Rather, it’s going to be easier to take the computing power to that mass of data, wherever it resides.
“We’re going to crunch the data there so we don’t have to crunch it here.”
How This Affects the IT Service Catalog
When your IT service portfolio incorporates the cloud, the IT service catalog becomes more of an entry point to the cloud, with IT procurement and management supporting a suite of SaaS applications. With other IT service desk features like single sign on integration and self-service portals, your IT service catalog becomes even more valuable, to your IT team and end-users alike. By going beyond the nuts and bolts of delivery of cloud services and engaging end-users so they can decide what services need to be delivered and when, the IT service catalog adds value from one end of the IT delivery chain to the other.
The IT service portfolio, while more of a long term historical entity and roadmap to the future than the service catalog, is nonetheless dynamic and changing. The accelerating adoption of cloud applications, and the emerging influence of the IoT may cause your IT service portfolio to change significantly in the next couple of years. When your IT service management program is supported by leading ITSM software like Samanage, managing your IT service portfolio and catalog is a more efficient process, and can be thoroughly integrated into your organization’s overall IT service delivery strategy.