The many ways a Service Catalogue enhances business value

The many ways a Service Catalogue enhances business value

The Service Catalogue is an invaluable resource to the business. It plays a crucial role as the point of access to all products and services offered by IT and other departments.

A Service Catalogue is used to define what an IT department does (and does not) offer, it can be used as a way to educate business users on supported service hours and associated terms and conditions. It can be used as a sales and marketing tool between business and IT to negotiate effective and meaningful SLAs and can be used to underpin an IT Service Continuity strategy by detailing exactly what needs to be restored in the case of a disaster.

What does ITIL say about Service Catalogues?

ITIL® defines a Service Catalogue as:

  • A database or structured document with information about all live IT services, including those available for deployment. The Service Catalogue is part of the Service Portfolio and contains information about two types of IT service: customer-facing services that are visible to the business; and supporting services required by the service provider to deliver customer-facing services.

Sounds good, right? It is… when it’s working well you can easily find what you need and are able to submit requests with ease and receive exactly what you want, when you want it. But, when services are difficult to find, out-dated, or not available at all, you can’t do your job properly and your frustration multiplies exponentially.

That’s why a well-designed and functioning Service Catalogue is one of the unsung heroes of IT service management. The Service Catalogue is the central source of trusted and consistent information on all the agreed-upon services that IT delivers and supports. Therefore, it’s crucial to design, build, and maintain an accurate Service Catalogue that will improve service delivery.

Managed effectively, the Service Catalogue can help your organisation streamline services, improve productivity, and lower costs.  Here are five ways a fully optimised Service Catalogue can enhance your organisation’s business value:

  1. The Service Catalogue articulates the organisation’s guiding principles as well as the details of what, how, and to whom services are delivered. As the single portal for requests and provisioning, the Service Catalogue enables more streamlined communication that can save time for all involved.
  2. When designing or redesigning a Service Catalogue, it is essential to talk to customers and stakeholders to understand what is important to them and what they value most. This helps to develop and nurture positive relationships between business units and IT, which builds trust and ensures the correct services are delivered.
  3. The Service Catalogue can help measure performance by clearly defining what each service provides, identify its components and the resources underpinning the service, and ascertain the costs associated with provisioning each service, as well as how well it performs.
  4. A well-designed Service Catalogue optimises the redesign, restructuring, and retiring of services. This expedites service standardisation, workflow management, process automation, controlled consumption of services, and much more.
  5. The Service Catalogue provides essential information about the cost and quality of existing as well as anticipated future services, which can facilitate business forecasting and budget planning.

The Service Catalogue is a dynamic repository that spans across the entire organisation and ensures the right services are available at the right time for the right cost – so that IT can facilitate the outcomes their customers and stakeholders want to achieve.

Although a Service Catalogue is a highly desirable tool, failure to address key questions at an early stage can lead to long delays or unworkable products being developed at great expense. If you need some help putting your Service Catalogue together, check out our Service Catalogue Scoping Workshop and Consultancy Services

 

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