A service catalog details the currently-active IT products and services and may include information on those that will be deployed soon. The catalog also includes what the service is, what its objectives are, how it will be performed, how long it will take to complete, and what it will cost (if applicable).
To use your service catalog, the end user goes to a special web page or self-service portal to make his or her request. This self-service portal should allow end users to search for the services they need, find necessary details about the service, and order right from their device.
Once any necessary approvals are granted, the request is routed appropriately, and the user is instructed on how to check the status of the request. It’s an efficient way for end users to access IT help desk services, particularly if the help desk software has a terrific end user interface.
Maintaining a great service catalog can help with other tasks too. Here are a few high-level examples of some other services and requests a service catalog can offer:
Example 1: Human Resources Department
When new employees are hired, the IT service catalog can be used by HR to order services and configure the software stack for a new hire, or to request a laptop for that person. The procedure for removing a user and accounting for his or her hardware and software can also be included in the service catalog for when employees leave. But those aren’t the only service requests that HR could use a service catalog for:
|Department Transfer||Changing departments can be bittersweet, get them up and running in their new role faster to improve productivity during the switch.|
|PTO Request||A combination of sick time and fun time can be complicated and hard to track. However, with the right approvals in line, it’s a breeze.|
Example 2: Travel Services
As globalization continues, many companies are seeing an increase in domestic and international travel. A Service Catalog for travel requests will enable an increase in productivity and give employees the ability to provide personal travel preferences and requirements upfront. It leads to a more simplified and faster travel booking experience, staying in compliance with the bottom line. It also gives you the ability to add layers of approval to ensure employee travel is authorized at desired levels.
|Airfare: Domestic||Let the people ordering your plane tickets know when, where, and for how long you will be traveling.|
|Hotel||Are you a hotel or bed and breakfast kind of person? Do you feel more at home with a king or two queens? You decide!|
Example 3: Information Technology
One of the coolest things you can do with your service catalog is integrating it with your company’s IT asset management system. This will allow you to assign a computer to a new employee, along with the appropriate software, mobile device, and other necessary gear. When your service catalog is integrated with an asset management software, the IT asset tracking software is automatically updated when you assign those devices. This can save significant time and frustration in your asset management system, so look for easy integration with IT asset management when you choose your service catalog provider.
|New Hardware Request||Process any kind of hardware request. You can have multiple Service Catalog items for each hardware type.|
|Mobile Phone Request||Control the types, brand, and even color of the phones provided by you. Capture carrier plan and data plan requirements.|
Example 4: Accounting
Numbers can be hard. Vague service requests involving numbers make them even harder. Typically, accounting is inundated with purchase orders, invoice requests and vendor payments from a number of different departments. A Service Catalog provides order within the chaos of email requests.
|Purchase Orders||Whether it’s a new software or new chairs for the office, get your POs faster and increase productivity.|
|Vendor Payment||Your awesome vendors work hard, they submit an invoice, now they need to be paid.|
There are probably many other unique services you’re already offering that can benefit from automation. The ebook below highlights some of the best ways to automate your services in the enterprise. From a workflow that helps you plan for office events to making sure your passports are up to date, there are 101+ ways you can use ITSM to make work life better.
About Danielle Livy
Danielle is the Senior Director, Marketing, ITSM at SolarWinds. She has wide-ranging experience in content production, social media marketing, public relations, and brand messaging. Her happy place is sitting by the lake with a cold beverage in hand, with the occasional water ski session.
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