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Managing Mobility in the Enterprise (Part 2) - Service Catalog

07/28/2011 by: The SunView Team

In Part 1 of the Mobility Series, we looked at the wave of mobile devices entering the enterprise and the challenges IT will face when providing services to the myriad of mobile devices on the market today, many of which have been purchased by the user and brought to work. Your users are bringing products with operating systems from Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, and HP on hardware platforms created by dozens of different manufacturers. How does an already busy service desk organization publish available services which support mobile devices? How does IT provide information to users on how to set up mobile devices to access IT provided services in an easy to publish manner? How can your IT organization reduce calls for support on these devices?
A best practice approach to these challenges is to publish a Service Catalog to your user community. ITIL V3 provides guidance in the Service Design Volume on how to construct a Service Catalog. In broad strokes, a Service Catalog allows an IT organization to define what services are available to users and how to request access to those services. Rather than contacting the service desk, users who wish to access IT delivered services via their mobile device can simply browse the Service Catalog and research what applications and services are available for their organizational role and mobile platform. Ideally, a Service Catalog should be the primary portal for users to request services. This portal allows IT to clearly define what services are available for on role and device type. Service Catalog products such as ChangeGear's Service Catalog module provide IT departments with effective tools to quickly publish information to the user community as well as link service requests from the Service Catalog in to incident and change tickets, allowing users to request fulfillment via easily customizable forms which feed the IT Service Management platform.
An important feature for an effective End user portal is the ability to publish knowledge articles to the user community on how to configure services they have requested via the catalog. The good news is that mobile devices, for the most part, use common methods to interact with the corporate IT environment and related IT services. While the information inputted into each device may be the same, the average non-technical user may not understand what the information represents and cannot, without some assistance from IT, properly configure their device. By providing a portal which allows the user to both request mobile services and get information on how to setup their devices with the services, IT can gain tremendous savings in time otherwise spent fielding calls and tickets with requests from End Users for assistance with setting up their mobile devices.
A well constructed End User portal which features Service Catalog and related knowledge articles can provide your users with the information they need on how to request mobile services and the methods to configure their particular devices. The portal will also save IT time by allowing users to request services in such a way that drives requests directly in to their IT Service Management solution in a highly automated fashion. In the next article, we look at how incident and problem management can be used to quickly address mobility related requests.