We tend to get really excited about service catalog solutions as part of a broad IT service management strategy. Service catalogs are becoming extremely important as more organizations try to respond to the consumerization of IT trend, as they give businesses the ability to give end users freedom to adopt solutions as needed, but give IT the control it needs to ensure security and regulatory compliance.
Here are a few reasons why we love service catalogs so much, and we think, by the time you've heard them, you may just be as excited as we are.
Imagine an IT department where end users click a button to subscribe to an app and all of the provisioning is handled automatically. This vision can be yours with a service catalog setup. Combining a good service catalog that is supported by automation solutions can ensure that new virtual machines are provisioned and configured automatically. This is highly dependent on the service catalog being integrated with change management and other service desk platforms, but the end result is a situation where IT is truly freed to worry less about day-to-day management and focus more on strategic concerns.
Giving business leaders the ability to gain consumer-like functionality is nice, but IT needs to maintain some level of control if it wants to protect the organization. This is the ongoing battle of the consumerization of IT movement in which giving users freedom is key, but that openness needs to be countered with enough governance to protect company and client assets. A service catalog lets you put the necessary controls in place to protect the business, but it does so without adversely impacting the end-user experience. It's the best case possible, IT can pull all the strings it needs to, but business users can't tell that you're doing it.
Having a large number of services available for end users can overwhelm business leaders trying to figure out which solutions are really applicable for the workers in their departments. Advanced service catalog tools offer IT teams the customization features they need to create purpose-built portals that are tailor-made for the various business departments they support. This improves the end-user experience and increases the value of applications and services offered by IT.
A service catalog can be a powerful tool for IT teams, and its diverse and critical functions are a big reason why we love the technology so much.