Why the Service Catalog is More than Just a Menu

In the current IT marketplace, the service catalog is becoming a critical part of an evolving framework for effective IT service management focused on delivering a customer-centric order-to-invoice experience.

The service catalog is more than just a standalone procurement tool. It is evolving into a “menu” that describes to IT customers and users their choices. Much like a restaurant, the IT service catalog offers customers dining choices within the establishment while also providing the restaurant management with recipes for food preparation, supply chain management and the delivery schedule needed to provide a high-quality overall dining experience.

For organizations undertaking a service catalog implementation, consider these Top 5 tips:

1. Align the service catalog to the relative perspective of the consumer. It is critical to understand and segment the views of the service catalog into categories for business customers (business catalog), internal IT professionals (technical catalog) and end users (user catalog).

The restaurant’s “menu” describes dishes in an easy to understand and appealing fashion. Restaurant management uses other catalogs to order the underlying provisions.

2. Combine multiple elements of the service catalog into holistic packages that provide a seamless customer experience. Ensure that the service catalog contains information related to all the relevant aspects of the IT service (service description, features/functions, service levels, service availability, cost, instructions on how to request support, and related, complimentary or supplementary services).

The kitchen must combine multiple ingredients to create the requested dishes served fresh and in the correct sequence.

3. Build up the catalog offerings in alignment with the external underpinning contracts and internal operating-level agreements.

A well-run kitchen has a good integrated supply chain, strong supplier relationships and coordination between the front of the house and the back of the house.

4. Populate the service catalog with the cost for each service. The document should provide elemental financial data that can be rolled up to the service offering level to provide a holistic view of the cost of the service for financial transparency, management and control.

Restaurants must understand their cost structure in order to remain competitive and provide diners value for money.

5. Design the service catalog content to measure customer satisfaction based upon the services consumed.

If the diners in the restaurant are not happy with their dish, they will let the wait staff know.

ISG’s ITIL V3 Expert certified advisors can help you achieve your sourcing and ITSM goals through objective advice, knowledge of your industry and experience with arrangements from simple to complex. For more information e-mail the ITIL Competency Center.