Tips for Selecting the Right Service Catalog Software
The key role of service catalog software is to provide simple access to services, creating a user-friendly experience, and automating the service delivery process. Your service catalog will be similar to a self-service portal, simulating an “online shopping” experience with web and mobile accessibility. It must therefore be flexible enough to add additional services and related details, with the ability to automate approvals, and communicate via email and web.
In addition, and depending on your industry, growing regulations and more complex business demands may have increased your need for technology solutions that support or are compliant with best practice frameworks/methodologies, such as ITIL, COBIT, ISO 20000, ISO 27000, VAL-IT, or Risk IT. Consider compliance, risk management, and industry regulations when selecting your solution.
The software solution you choose may offer IT service catalog templates that can be configured to include your IT and business services. The tool should allow the creation of multiple service catalogs that can be accessible via a single self-service interface. It should also have broad functionality that includes the ability to provide automatic service progress notifications, monitor metrics, and the flexibility to implement on-premises or in the cloud (software as a service, or “SaaS”).
According the Gartner, organizations should “select an IT service catalog tool from one of these options, according to your organization’s I&O maturity:
- I&O organizations with a lower I&O maturity (ITSIO Level 2 or lower) - Focus on service request fulfillment features from a basic or intermediate ITSSM suite for now, and be prepared to revisit service catalog at a later stage (see Note 3). Otherwise, they are likely to produce an asset database that is focused on technical components and IT capabilities that aren't really IT services
- I&O organizations with a medium I&O maturity (ITSIO Level 2 to Level 3) - Buy service catalog functionality as part of an ITSSM tool suite after defining an IT service portfolio.
- I&O organizations with a high I&O maturity (ITSIO Level 4 or above) - Those ready for enhanced catalog features and movement into provisioning the catalog beyond IT offerings should buy a stand-alone IT service catalog tool suite, after defining an IT service portfolio. Otherwise, use service catalog functionality as part of an ITSSM tool suite after defining an IT service portfolio.” <Gartner Market Guide for IT Service Catalog Tools, July 2, 2015>
Finally, consider integrations with related IT support applications, IT asset management systems, human resource management solutions, a CMDB, and financial solutions.
As customer demands on IT continue to escalate, key shortcomings in IT service delivery practices become readily apparent. Automating the delivery of IT services is acknowledged to be the wave of the future, as business and technology are inextricably linked. Implementing agile, mobile, adaptable, and user-friendly capabilities within your service catalog will be an integral part of your company’s success.