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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Introduction to Service Catalog Management

The purpose of an IT Engagement for any IT company is to offer the best quality service they can to the customer. For ex: let’s say TCS or Infosys gets a project to maintain the online banking system of Citibank, the team of professionals in either company would try to provide the best service they can, to aid Citibank in their business. They do this by providing clear and consistent information on services in a language that the customers will understand and in a format that customers will want to use, thus enabling a constructive dialogue about IT services where all parties have a common understanding of what is being discussed.

Where a Business Service Catalog is in place, the process of ordering standard services is simplified and made more efficient because what is being offered is clear, the terms and conditions for its provision are clear and there is a simple and consistent self-service mechanism in place for obtaining it.

Service Catalog Management, through the production and maintenance of the Technical Service Catalog, provides a source of technical information that enables the IT service provider to manage services more effectively.

Information in the Service Catalog enables a better understanding of how the delivery of IT services impacts the business as well as the risks and vulnerabilities that require to be managed by the IT service provider. This provides Service Level Management with a source of information for reporting to customers on performance, costs and other service issues and provides Supplier Management with a sound basis for contract negotiation with suppliers.

Integrating the Service Catalog with the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) provides a mechanism for linking the outward-looking, business-focused aspects of service provision with the internal, technically focused aspects of Service Management.
Scope of Service Catalog Management

The provision and management of the Service Catalog is in itself a service delivered by the IT service provider, and as such should encompass all the elements of a service including any SLAs between IT and the customers who use it.
Service Catalog Management has two elements:
• The initial design and development of the Service Catalog - its content and structure, its relationship with the remainder of the Service Portfolio, in particular the transfer of services from the Service Pipeline, the relationship with the Configuration Management Database, the processes, accountabilities and responsibilities for keeping it up to date, audit, etc.
• The ongoing management of the Service Catalog - managing the information in the Service Catalog to keep it up to date, complete and accurate as the business and technical environment change, coordinating with changes to the rest of Service Portfolio and the Configuration Management Database, managing availability, security and performance.

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