The idea of the social enterprise is a popular concept, and it is being embraced at a rapid rate. A recent TechNavio study found that the enterprise social industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 19.4 percent during the 2013-2018 period. This expansion comes as organizations invest in solutions that help them create internal social solutions like wikis, intranet systems, forums and specialized communities. These social tools are becoming popular as businesses look for ways to improve how they share knowledge and, as such, enable innovation while increasing productivity.
Going social is a natural trend in the enterprise, but it doesn't just need to happen among business units. Going social can also expand to the IT team, and service catalogs play a key role in helping IT and business users communicate in a more social way.
Bringing Social Functionality to the IT Service Desk
IT service management strategies often feature specialized process management tools and operational workflows that make it easier for support teams to handle issues brought forward by end users. The service desk effectively acts as an intermediary between business users and IT, and moving toward social processes can go a long way toward easing day-to-day management tasks. However, going social isn't always easy because business and IT users speak a very different language and have vastly different operational needs.
This is where the service catalog comes in. A good service catalog can serve as a natural bridge between business and IT users, allowing employees to gain access to the solutions they need and otherwise interact with IT in a natural, simple way.
Service Catalogs: Making ITSM Social
Social processes between business and IT users can be hard to establish, but the service catalog makes this easier in three key ways:
1. FAQs and Forums
A service catalog can include FAQ and forum pages that allow business users to solve basic problems on their own. This lets users access key information about IT systems with ease and bridges some of the relational gaps between IT and business users. In many cases, the specialized knowledge that goes into IT makes it hard for business and IT teams to interact effectively. A consumer-focused FAQ and forum page can bridge this gap and take full advantage of social tools to create an ROI by easing IT management burdens while ensuring corporate users get immediate responses to their problems.
2. Easier Application Request Management
Giving users access to applications is complex and time consuming. Social functionality is about easing these types of processes by making it easier for disparate groups to understand one another's needs. A service catalog plays a key role in making this possible.
Users can search through the catalog, identify an app they want and send in a service request ticket. From there, the support team need only open the ticket, set off a number of automated processes to respond and pass the request on to the next workflow stage. The easier interaction between various groups makes this request management functionality a key social tool in connecting different teams.
3. Customer-Centric Operations
For IT teams, the business user is the customer. Adapting processes to focus on that customer is a key requirement as the consumerization of IT trend takes hold. Service catalogs allow IT teams to organize the various technology options that are available in a customer-focused way, making information more accessible and driving more natural, social interactions between business and IT users.
As more organizations embrace enterprise social tools, they need to go beyond just supporting business users. The service catalog can prove an ideal option when trying to bring social functionality to interactions between business and IT teams.