Service Catalog Explained Simply

Like a restaurant menu, a Service Catalog is a foundation for defining services and communicating with the business; it represents an essential element for ITIL or any process-based IT transformation initiative. A Service Catalog offers a way to define and publish available services, standardize service fulfillment processes, establish achievable service levels, determine the associated costs, and manage performance.

Do you ask for lasagna at a sushi shop? Would you order strudel at a steakhouse? Ever since meal service became a business, restaurants and their customers, have used an elegant but simple system to align expectations and service. It’s called a menu. If you think about it, that menu in your hands drives nearly everything that happens in the restaurant: supplies, schedules, preparation, recipes, cooking, wait staff. Most of the restaurants decisions are based on what is on the menu and at what price. Likewise, what you order and expect, is defined by that menu. It translates what the restaurant creates, behind the scenes, into terms and options you can understand.

Now compare that to the way IT operates inside many companies. Some of them tell you what you want and what you will get, while others think you will understand their complex tech recipes. Neither can tell you what it costs but they insist that lack of budget is their biggest obstacle. The best run IT organizations do it differently. They provide a menu of choices called a service catalogue. Done well, the service catalogue completely transforms the business and IT relationship. Instead of cooking up technology solutions and chasing market fads, the service catalogue focuses IT on providing information services to the business. With a catalogue, technology needs are identified, costs are determined and then the services are added. That lets business make decisions about IT; choosing options and service levels to match their budget and needs. Just as a menu gives customers in restaurants a common language for meals, the service catalogue gives business and IT a common dynamic way to work together in business terms. The pleasant surprise for IT, is that the service catalogue frees them to focus more proactively on the business value of services and internal customer satisfaction, not just fixing daily breakdowns. They can now prioritize work strategically and deliver the services that make business sense.

The service catalogue puts IT in a continual business improvement cycle. Just as a restaurant has to constantly adapt to market taste and demands by changing the menu, IT becomes more flexible. Adding and retiring services to and from the service catalogue, anticipating changes and sustaining alignment with the business. CompuCom has been helping enterprises create a strategic IT menu for over a decade. Our clients run service catalogue with hundreds of tasty treats and they’ve sliced millions from the IT budgets of their happy business users.

Talk to CompuCom about how the ITL-based service catalogue can deliver four star IT services to your company.

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