IT Service Catalog: More Than Just Service Request Management
When we talk to customers or other members of the IT industry, we notice that there is a lot of confusion about the difference between Service Request Management and IT Service Catalog. In this blog we will discuss why these two are totally different things, and when each solution will offer the most benefits to the IT department and end users.
In a nutshell: IT Service Request Management is actually an extension of the IT service desk and focuses on end users who are requesting help from IT service support for incident reports, change requests or administration. A well-designed IT Service Catalog however should represent the entire IT service and product portfolio that can be requested and delivered without any intervention from the IT organization.
Basically, it is all about ‘’portals’’ that present lists of available IT items such as applications, hardware or any other offerings from the IT department to end users. These portals are referred to in the market as either IT Service Request Management or an IT Service Catalog.
It is possible to implement some of the capabilities of Service Request Management as part of an IT Service Catalog, but not the other way around. This results in the aforementioned confusion because the same terminology is incorrectly being used to describe both solutions. The fact that both IT Service Request Management and IT Service Catalog aim to make it easier for end users to contact their IT departments, adds to the confusion.
IT Service Request Management tools are generally associated with an IT service desk product and are more likely to contain incident tracking and change requests. In its core, Service Request Management is a way to facilitate the communication with IT. Any form of IT Service Request Management is undoubtedly valuable to the IT service support team because it reduces the number of phone requests placed to the IT service desk and the requests often have automated approval of workflows.
On the other hand, IT Service Catalogs span one or more comprehensive business workflows and are more strategic to business operations.
IT Service Catalog requirements
The IT Service Catalog aims at day-to-day end users of IT products and services. Like any other catalog in any other industry, an IT Service Catalog tool is intended to facilitate ordering and fulfillment services of IT to end users. A good IT Service Catalog is set up in a way that all the things an end user wants to request are easy to find. The real purpose of such a catalog is to make it easier and faster for end users to do “business” with the IT organization. This means that the items used in the catalog are results of thinking from the point of view of the end user, not of the IT department.
Obviously this approach is user friendly and should avoid technical naming and phrasing as much as possible. We think that a good IT Service Catalog contains only those things the end user needs and are relevant to be able to meet business goals. It shouldn’t be overloaded with any information it was never intended to deliver. In the ideal situation every item in the catalog is associated with one service from the IT service portfolio.
Your own IT Service Catalog
Login VSI is always looking for ways to improve its services and products, ensuring the best end user experience. As a response to a growing need in the market for an IT Service Catalog tool, Login VSI introduces the Login AM Service Catalog. Login AM can now not only automate the management of workplaces but also the support.
Home screen of the Login AM Service Catalog
The Login AM Service Catalog offers many benefits to both organizations and end users. It provides end users with a shopping experience for IT services. Via an easy-to-use web interface, end users can request software, workspace related equipment and access specific data, in a standardized process without intervention of the IT-department. Obviously, organizations can control the workflow authorization, allowing managers to manage their departments, users and IT resources while keeping the existing corporate governance structure. This way organizations are able to work more efficiently and reduce the cost of running a service desks.
End users can easily request their assets in the Login AM Service Catalog
As managers are now in direct control, waiting times and response times for the IT service desk and end-users will become much less. Moreover, relatively simple and repetitive actions are automated. Managers and end-users can also monitor the status of their requests and applications which makes the process more transparent and provides organizations and supervisors a full audit trail.