Implementing a service catalog can give businesses the control they need to support consumerization without inconveniencing end-users. A good service catalog provides an ideal balance between IT control and end-user freedom, but such solutions can be hard to come by. You see, you may choose the right software, but run into problems with the actual deployment, management or use of the system. Similarly, a poor software match will make it incredibly difficult to properly use the solution when it is put into production.
Finding success with a service catalog depends on getting the right solution, managing it effectively and making sure resources are used effectively throughout the configuration process. Here are eight quick tips to help you avoid common service catalog pitfalls and position yourself to maximize the value of your service catalog plans:
1. Don't Ever Consider the Project Finished
A service catalog is essentially a living virtual portfolio of all of an organization's apps and services. As such, you are best off entering the project with a clear understanding that it will never end unless you entirely drop the service management strategy.
2. Don't Take Shortcuts that Establish bad Patterns
This is implied by point one. If your service catalog is going to be regularly used, updated and refined, which any good system will be, you don't want to be constantly working around flaws that could have been avoided if you spent more time refining the solution before launching it into production. Avoid any shortcuts in deployment, strategy or the solution you choose to purchase to make sure you are well positioned for the future.
3. You Don't Need to Include Everything From the Get-Go
Some service catalog plans can get mired trying to make it into production because businesses want to support every application possible, on every operating system, at the time of launch. While you shouldn't take shortcuts that will lead to operational problems later, you can make concessions based on time limitations. For example, not making app versions for an older iteration of iOS available in the service catalog immediately can be a painless way to save time to production without creating future problems.
4. Get a Scalable Solution
Your service needs are going to change substantially over time. Make sure your service catalog platform can change with your needs without having to be replaced.
5. Automate Development Processes
Developing an ITIL-compliant service catalog can take a lot of development work. One great way to resolve this issue is to invest in a solution with a management platform that includes basic process automation. Such solutions make it much easier to tackle development challenges while ensuring necessary standards are met.
6. Make Customization an Option
A service catalog can be much more effective when the interface is customized depending on different user groups. As such, solutions that feature customization options can be invaluable as organizations attempt to fine-tune their solution based on usage patterns.
7. Use Automation to Support Request Management
When users request an app or service, IT needs to respond and make that solution accessible. Automating this provisioning process can lead to incredible operational gains as IT becomes more responsive and users get what they need, when they need it.
8. Get Input From Users
The purpose of your service catalog is to deliver the right technologies to the right people. As such, make sure you get users involved in some of the decisions you are making when it comes to how the service catalog will operate.
Deploying a good service catalog solution can drive considerable value as businesses work to keep up with challenges brought on by the consumerization of IT. Following these tips will help you get your service catalog project off to a good start.