Your organization’s service catalog includes a list of the services your IT service desk provides to end users. But, in truth, it’s so much more than that. Some people compare the service catalog to a menu, where end users “order” what they want, and providers understand what the “ingredients” are, how to deliver the final product, and who needs to be in on the “cooking” process.
Forrester Research says, “Service Catalogs are the cornerstone of service delivery and automation, and the starting point for any company interested in saving money and improving relationships with the business.”
The well-designed service catalog is an essential element in any IT improvement initiative. But it isn’t all work for nothing, because the IT department — as well as the rest of the organization — benefits from an IT service catalog. Here are 5 service catalog benefits you might not have considered.
1. The Service Catalog Helps the CIO Make IT’s Case to Executives
With a well-executed service catalog in place, your CIO can account for how much IT spends and what it spends on. He or she can also determine the exact business value derived from IT expenditures and help prioritize the activities of the IT department. When your organization has an IT service catalog, your CIO can determine which of the many IT projects going on at any one time has the biggest business value, and which projects are not earning their keep. It’s a terrific tool for the CIO when making the case to the corner office club for expansion of IT services and personnel.
2. It Helps Identify and Eliminate Service Waste
By standardizing how services are ordered and delivered, an IT service catalog reduces ad hoc requests from end users that require special handling. You wouldn’t go to a sushi restaurant and order baba ganoush, and with a great service catalog, you’ll have fewer worries about end users making special requests that are unnecessary and waste time and resources. Services that don’t really benefit end users — or the overall organization — can be eliminated over time.
3. It Aligns IT With Overall Business Functions
In many companies, the IT department is unfortunately seen as somehow separate and apart from the rest of the organization. This is unfortunate because it can set up an “us vs. them” mentality between the non-IT employees and the IT department. The IT service catalog establishes IT as an integral part of overall business functioning, helping bridge the gap between IT and everyone else. An IT department that is in tune with the rest of the company has an easier time getting the resources it needs to keep the IT infrastructure working properly.
4. It Helps Keep a Lid on Support Costs
With a great IT service catalog and great IT service management software, IT service requests made by email, social media, the service catalog, or a self-service portal are all funneled efficiently to the IT support staff. There are far fewer worries about tickets getting lost or end-user requests going unanswered. The service catalog lets end users know what they can expect so they’re less likely to hassle the IT department with endless questions about ticket status. Less time wasted helps IT contain costs better.
5. It Builds Rapport With End Users
Many end users don’t really know what to expect from the IT department; and when they don’t know what to expect, they set their own expectations, which may be totally off-base. The service catalog lets end users know exactly what to expect from the IT department in terminology that they can understand. By cutting down on confusion and miscommunication between IT and end users, the service catalog helps bridge the gap that exists between IT and other departments, and encourages better working relationships.
Samanage offers service catalog capabilities as part of its comprehensive IT service management software. Not only can you manage your IT service desk with Samanage, you can track assets, stay on top of contracts and licenses, and build a great service catalog that end users find both intuitive and helpful. Creating a service catalog is one of the best things your IT department can do to help contain costs, deliver services more effectively, and communicate better with end users, no matter how big or small your organization is.