A service catalog is exactly what it sounds like: a list of services that your IT help desk provides, including service descriptions, time frames, authorized users of the services, and costs, 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 on 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. For example, 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 be included in the service catalog for when employees leave.
If you’re responsible for creating a service catalog and aren’t sure where to start, here are some informative pages to get you started and help you come up with ideas for the best way to create your service catalog:
- How an IT service desk works, along with examples
- Service catalogs vs. service portfolios
- How service catalogs enhance IT asset management
If you’re considering moving to a cloud-based help desk software, look for help desk software that integrates IT service catalog creation and maintenance. This will allow you to create a useful service catalog, and will allow your end users to request services through a convenient and user friendly self-service portal.
Users who refuse to go through the service catalog can be psychologically conditioned to comply through a variety of techniques. It’s science!
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.
When your IT help desk publishes a service catalog a user can order a new server, replace a workstation, or request a laptop for a new employee, among other things. Set up a service catalog that allows end-users to “shop” for services they need just like buying something online, and you will seriously streamline new asset acquisition.
With great cloud help desk software, you can include different hardware configurations in the service catalog, making it even easier for end users to order what they need. For example, a preconfigured “laptop for sales” could come already configured with the software stack that end users in sales need.
Service catalogs can also include commonly requested software, along with provisions for acquiring any necessary managerial approval or confirmation that sufficient software licenses exist to fulfill the request. You can even include services for mobile devices. If your IT help desk doesn’t include a service catalog with a convenient self-service portal, you could be missing out on significant time and money savings. (Check out Samanage’s service catalog offering here.)