1 Three simple steps to effective service catalog and request management Prepare for cloud initiatives and get incremental ROI with self service catalog and request management Business white paper
2 Executive summary Enterprise IT organizations have some big bets on the table these days, with cost-saving initiatives like cloud delivery and virtualization. And an important ingredient in making sure those bets payoff is service catalog and request management. In order to deploy cloud applications and services, or to get the intended benefits from virtualization, IT must first inventory the services it offers and create a streamlined catalog. But simply creating a service catalog is only the first step. To yield benefits, that catalog has to support the complete service request lifecycle, from launch to repair to renewal to retirement. Properly implemented, the service catalog is the centerpiece of effective IT service management. This white paper is targeted at service desk directors and managers and outlines a three-step process for achieving an effective service catalog solution. It explains how, by creating a service portal, by moving to service request management and integrating with other processes, and by automating provisioning and integrating across the lifecycle, IT organizations can align IT services with business strategies, help executives understand the costs of IT services, and prepare for private cloud deployments. The challenge today IT complexity is only increasing. New technologies like composite applications, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), and virtualization offer cost and performance advantages but also drive an unprecedented degree of integration and interdependency that makes IT management incredibly complex. At the same time, the evolution of business models like off-shoring, outsourcing, and cloud delivery while they promise to reduce costs and simplify IT operations in many cases create risk and obscure actual costs by depriving internal IT organizations of the ability to monitor and manage business-critical IT services. According to an independent Forrester Research report, The vision and purpose of effective IT service management is to efficiently develop, operate, and deliver services with value and alignment to the business. To do this, IT must transform itself from an organization with many silos of technical and functional silos into a business with reliable and cost effective service offerings. The attitude, behavior, and culture of the organization must shift to a service provider organization. The first step in this transformation is to develop a service catalog that describes the IT services supporting the business services and in turn the business process. 1 According to Gartner, Defining a portfolio of IT services and decomposing them into a catalog of standard, repeatable services is a required step to align IT services with business value. 2 1 Service Catalog Your Prerequisite for Effective IT Service Management, Forrester Research, Inc., October, The Fundamental Starter Elements for IT Service Portfolio and IT Service Catalog, Gartner, July 1,
3 As you can see, having an automated catalog and request management can help IT organizations enhance service cost and quality by streamlining and standardizing processes, and reducing the number of services available to improve quality. It can enable them to manage the entire service lifecycle, from initial demand to retirement, using automated processes that relieve IT staff from manual processes and detail management. It can give them the visibility into request volume and expectations that they need to fulfill service request quickly. And it can give their business customers a single, always-accessible portal where they can find clear service descriptions and where their requests can be fulfilled and managed. The service catalog also enables IT to define a portfolio of business services and decompose them into a catalog of standard, repeatable IT services. This enables the IT organization to document and automate repeatable service-delivery processes to reduce errors, identify bottlenecks, and uncover opportunities for improving efficiency. By presenting a single face of IT to customers for all kinds of interactions such as incident logging, change requests, service requests, project requests, and new portfolio requests, IT can simplify the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction. In addition, understanding costs and communicating the price for standard services on supported architectures helps develop a shared understanding of the increased costs of ordering custom services that are not in the catalog, and reduces the volume of exception or ad hoc service requests. Why traditional approaches fail The service catalog is not a new concept, but it is a concept that has evolved along with the requirements it addresses, and early-generation approaches no longer work. The earliest service catalogs were point solutions that typically only addressed the management of initial demand. They provided simple shopping cart access to a list of goods, and did not cover service-related aspects like knowledge management, service support requests, fulfillment, and social networking. Typically, consumers were limited to bundled kits rather than being allowed to select individual service components. Later designs allowed consumers to configure service requests with custom options, and even later versions made it possible to automate fulfillment workflows, increasing efficiency and reducing the burden on IT resources. But by and large, service catalogs still lacked the crucial trait of customer centricity. Even today, a typical service catalog fails to unify service support, knowledge, lifecycle, and so forth, so users have to go to different websites for different functions, and are unable to leverage common information from system to system. The next generation of service catalogs needs to place the services and their consumers at the center, to improve customer experience. This means the service catalog has to communicate in language that business customers understand rather than in IT jargon. It has to be simple and user friendly, and service delivery has to be timely and predictable, with consumer visibility into delivery status. It also has to be able to leverage information about each consumer, such as what the consumer already owns, additional services he is entitled to, consumer preferences and profiles, and service-level compliance and customer-satisfaction history. Service portal in action One IT organization followed this process to rationalize and consolidate the services requested from it. First they identified over 2,000 different variations of requests that IT was managing, all tied to disparate fulfillment workflows and without any centralized and consistent approach for approval and access certification. By consolidating request types, they were able to narrow the number of offerings to 450 within a catalog portal. While the fulfillment of the requests was at first still managed in a large number of systems, the organization undertook a secondary consolidation aimed at reusing common workflow tools wherever possible. The single requesting portal also provides a new consistent enforcement of catalog offering access policies backed by a centralized approval workflow. This can reduce the number of calls in average by about 50 percent, and lead to total cost savings for service delivery of up to 70 percent. 3
4 Figure 1: Three steps to better service catalog and request management Service Lifecycle Automation Automated provisioning Integration with SLM, CMS, SPM Become a service broker Time to value Service Portal Single point of access Knowledge access Become a 21 st century IT Integrated Service Request Management Standardize on services Integration with incident, problem, change Become a service provider Capability A state-of-the-art solution needs to provide full management of the service-lifecycle experience. Beyond service requesting, service consumers need support across the lifecycle from request to retirement. Three steps to better catalog and request management Fortunately service catalog technologies have evolved to support self-service request management processes. IT organizations do not need to implement all three steps at once. They can get started and get value early, and then build on the success of the first step of the process to continue to add value. Step 1: Create a service portal The best way to get buy-in from business users is to start delivering value quickly. And the best way to do that is to focus first on providing an easy-to-use single point of access for all types of IT service requests. This would include a catalog of goods and services, access to service-related knowledge, and social networking tools presented in a service context. It should go beyond basic requests to include supports request, fix support, collaboration with other consumers, and return capabilities. It should also include surveys asking users how valuable the services are, and ratings based on their responses, so that prospective new users can evaluate services before selecting. The completion of this first step enhances the IT organization s standing within the business in several ways. For one thing, the business at large will begin to perceive the IT organization as an innovative, progressive part of the business. The service catalog will give IT the chance to communicate with business users in language they understand, and users will have greater insight into service delivery, which will itself be more predictable. As a result, they ll understand IT processes and concerns better, and trust them more. The total experience that business users have with IT will improve, increasing end-user satisfaction. Step 2: Move from service requests to integrated service request management With the service catalog in place and significant gains already made, the next step is to expand both capabilities and benefits by moving to service request management and by integrating the request process with other processes. 4
5 During this step, IT implements the ability to track and manage all service-related requests, to put an approval process in place and to govern the delegation of tasks. All these capabilities help to optimize service delivery through consistent delivery speed and SLA compliance, reduce support costs by reducing the service desk workload, and shorten time to value. At the same time, service-catalog functions need to be integrated with change management and incident and problem management to foster effective communication between IT and its consumers and to manage support-related processes. Service request management and its integration with other processes further boosts IT productivity, and at this point in the process, IT is well on its way to assuming the role of service provider to the business. In addition, IT productivity will be higher, service support costs will be lower, and the whole service request management workflow will be simpler. The IT organization will enjoy better deployment of its resources, and the business will see faster deployment of the services that drive its success. Step 3: Automate provisioning processes across the service lifecycle The final step consists of further integration and of automated provisioning specifically, the integration of demand, supply, requests, approval, and fulfillment, and the automation of provisioning for virtualized assets and services delivered via the cloud as well as physical assets. By linking the service catalog to service-level management processes, IT can track and measure service delivery and fulfillment, govern ongoing service support and availability, and enhance the quality and cost of services. By linking service offerings in the catalog with technical services managed in the configuration management database (CMDB), IT can provide visibility into the complete ecosystem. And by integrating with service portfolio management processes, it can manage the entire enterprise lifecycle of services, understand their total cost, consolidate, improve, and refresh services as needed, and publish or retire offerings linked to services in the portfolio. With the final step completed and a fully functional state-of-the-art service catalog in place, IT can tightly align the services it offers with business strategies, improve decision making, refine compliance, respond more quickly to audits, and gain clear visibility into costs. HP approach to service catalog and request management Based on years of experience in helping large IT departments with IT service management, business service management, configuration management, and application lifecycle management, on the expertise that made us a major contributor to the development of ITIL v3, and on input and advice from our customers, HP has developed a service catalog solution that meets all the requirements of today s IT organizations. Service catalogs in the age of virtualization and the cloud Any IT solution today has to take into consideration the special requirements for cloud delivery and virtualization. Both promise big benefits to IT organizations and the businesses they support. Both have the serious attention of every large IT organization. And both present special requirements that an effective service catalog solution can help IT fulfill. Two key requirements are standardization and automation. Both virtualization and cloud delivery add complexity that demands new approaches if IT is to successfully manage service delivery and get the desired ROI from its investments. Self-service catalogs and request management solutions give IT the agility and speed to effectively support public and private cloud initiatives and manage virtualized infrastructures without driving up costs and complexity. They also enable IT to act as a broker, dealing with approvals and contracts for external cloud services to promote quality and prevent rogue buying by the business organizations. 5
6 Figure 2: High-level service catalog architecture Web 2.0 interface App server Integrations Service management Asset management Project and portfolio management Cloud Other Our solution integrates service catalog, request, and knowledge management functionality to help your IT organization boost productivity and build a trusted relationship with business users. It delivers proven cost reduction through strong self-service capabilities, service sharing across the organization, and a common service context that makes it possible to base every function from definition to Service Level Objective (SLO) monitoring on the same service data. It supports cloud-delivery and hybrid IT delivery (IT delivered by multiple sources) by connecting multiple back ends, such as asset management and the service desk. And it takes advantage of a federated configuration management system built on the HP Universal Configuration Management Database to provide a comprehensive map of your IT infrastructure and interdependencies. What customers are saying about HP Service Catalog Thanks to HP Service Catalog, Qtel s customers experience better service delivery, and everybody has a clear understanding via a common language. As we continue our BTO strategy, it will be interesting to see how these components lower maintenance and support costs via improved workflows. Adel Boday, Manager of IT infrastructure and operations management, Qtel 6
7 HP Service Catalog helps us understand our entire delivery portfolio. In the future, the software will bring even more value by enabling Lubrizol to more effectively depict the cost of various services. It will serve as a tool for account managers, allowing them to direct customers to request and consume standard service offerings in the breadbasket of our IS organization s capability. Claudia Euse, ITSM program manager, Lubrizol To know about how HP can help you implement an effective service catalog solution at a pace that matches your requirement, putting a service catalog in place and then integrating and automating to gain further benefits and plan for cloud initiatives, visit
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