For most IT help desks, finding ways to streamline processes and manage workloads more effectively is essential. One popular way of doing that is by empowering end-users to take care of more routine processes themselves. For example, they may be able to reset a forgotten password using other credentials, or they may be able to access a company “wiki” or knowledge base to find solutions to common problems that are simple to fix.
Another way organizations manage workloads better is by implementing an IT service catalog, which greatly simplifies documentation of IT service offerings that are commonly requested.
An IT service catalog can help you demonstrate the business value IT services add.
An IT service catalog provides a portal with easy-to-complete instructions on requesting products or services, information on how services are charged (when departments pay “à la carte” for IT services), and turnaround expectations for products and services.
Standardized Repeatable Processes
By providing a platform of standardized, repeatable processes through a service catalog, the IT help desk can define processes once and implement established processes (like approval cycles) automatically upon receipt of a service catalog request. End-users know what to expect when they need IT services, how long they can expect to wait, and how to escalate a request should the need arise. Implementing a service catalog requires that the IT team define products and services clearly and present them to end-users in a format that is similar to online shopping.
Unification of Service Desk with Help Desk Software
While there are standalone IT service catalog packages, it makes more sense for the IT service catalog to be integrated with help desk software. That way, service catalog requests can be automatically converted into help tickets and assigned automatically, again streamlining processes and managing workloads better. Integration with help desk software also allows for more comprehensive reporting on service catalog use, issue resolution, and time savings that result from use of the IT service catalog.
Increased Financial Transparency with Your Help Desk Software
In organizations where individual departments are billed for IT services, an IT service catalog is unbeatable for providing end-users and department heads with direct and indirect costs associated with IT services. This transparency is also helpful when planning budgets and allocating resources. Integrate your IT service catalog with your help desk software, and you can generate reports that act as automated billing statements based on actual service consumption, which can help effectively demonstrate the business value of the IT help desk when it’s time to develop next year’s budget.
What Not to Do
While it’s critical to know what to do when implementing an IT service catalog, knowing what not to do is critical as well. One mistake is the IT department creating the service catalog in its own image and pushing it to the rest of the organization, assuming it will be adopted and used. Often this involves defining service catalog “products” in terminology that makes sense to IT, but doesn’t make sense to the average end-user. Ease of doing business is critical to end-user adoption, so products and services need to be defined in terms that end-users comprehend easily.
Finally, rolling out the service catalog should be a fairly large event. If people don’t know about it, they won’t use it, so don’t be afraid to hold a “grand opening” event to make the introduction of the service catalog a positive experience for as many end-users as possible. You can have the greatest catalog in the world, but if people don’t know about it, they won’t use it.
Launching an IT service catalog that’s integrated with IT help desk software benefits end-users, the help desk team, and the organization as a whole. Products and services are defined clearly, and processes are initiated automatically when an end-user requests something through the service catalog. The result is a more easily managed workload, and streamlined processes that allow your help desk team to operate more efficiently.
Samanage help desk software includes full ITIL web-based service catalog capabilities. You can define and publish services once and give end-users an online shopping experience that is easy to understand and use. And since Samanage also fully integrates IT asset management features, tracking IT assets is in no way complicated by the addition of an IT service catalog. You get the best of all worlds: service catalog and asset management features fully integrated with cloud help desk software for the most efficient help desk possible.