Can you offer a good service without managing the catalogue?

31 de October de 2012


Due to advances in science, the processes of our business depend increasingly -or even completely- on technology, which means that the services offered by IT are becoming progressively more numerous, larger-scale and more complex, but, above all, more critical.

In order to offer a decent IT service to our users and support the processes that our business requires, it is no longer sufficient to focus solely on Incident management or Request Management, it is necessary to rely on other support processes, such as configuration management (CMDB) and, above all, on a proper Service Catalogue.

Nobody doubts the crucial role and importance of technology in our organizations today. And few business processes are able to run without explicit support from IT Service Management. Given that one of the goals of any organization is continuing to grow, these business process will also increase, both in number and in size. This results in an ever-increasing collection of IT services that are more and more complex and increasingly critical for the correct functioning of the business.

Obviously, an increase in the criticality of an IT service must be accompanied -and this is compulsory- with an increase in the quality with which this service is provided. And to this end, it is not sufficient to focus only on how we manage incidents and requests; we must go one step further, by analyzing their capacity, their availability and their continuity. And at the same time, we must keep in mind that a good Service Catalogue and a good CMDB, will function like “transverse support tools” that will support all foregoing services.

If our services are constantly increasing in scope, then it is logical that we cannot keep track of them only in our heads, and therefore it will be indispensable to resort to a central repository to document everything. And for this purpose, nothing is better than a good Service Catalogue an a updated CMDB: both in harmony, working together cooperatively.

What does each service offer? To whom? When? How? What are the service levels? It seems hard for the IT department to keep all this in their heads, but it is even more difficult for the end users to understand it or, at least, have a place where they can consult it. Clarifying to the user what we offer him and how we offer it to him will help us -without a doubt- to provide him with a higher-quality service or, at least, to provide service at a lower cost. The user will know:

  • What can be requested: thus preventing unnecessary requests that lead to wasting time and resources.
  • How to make a request: thus minimizing wasting time and misunderstandings.
  • What service levels can he demand: thus eliminating the need to rush or unjustified delays.
  • What are the costs of what he requests: thus making it possible to conduct an initial cost-benefit analysis in terms of value added to the business.

If we are able to provide the user with a response to all the previous questions, this will surely be a crucial element in the chain of service provision and, without realizing it, it will become the first link in the quality chain.

Jandro Castro

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