IT can improve their “customer experience” with a service catalog


For any organization in today’s digital world, moving IT from a back office function to a true business partner within an organization has significant benefits. A strategic roadmap that integrates IT at every stage ultimately improves business results.

Jonathan (Jono) Jones, a technology business management expert from Synergy Group, works with IT leaders to maximize the value of their IT investment. He says that a true “IT company” sees its users as customers and then provides them with the services they need. And progressive CIOs know that a particularly useful tool for providing these services is a user-friendly service catalog.

Know what users want

“When IT departments establish themselves as a customer-centric business partner, with the customer being an internal or external IT user, they can better match supply to demand,” says Jono. “Yet we see too many organizations falling at the first hurdle of not being able to define what they are delivering.”

Being able to make a clearly defined list of IT products and services is one thing, but it has to match the real needs of customers. “It means providing users with services that they choose to consume based on the price of the service and their desire to consume at that price. This process of matching supply and demand within an organization (business and government) can bring enormous benefits in terms of promoting efficient use of IT resources while raising the status of IT. IT in the organization.

Keep it simple

A service catalog of hundreds of IT products and services can be intimidating for users, especially if users aren’t always sure what they need. “We often see organizations overcomplicating service descriptions and confusing the customer,” says Jono. “The first step is to group IT into services that are meaningful to the customer and organize them into a business-oriented service catalog. ”

“Think about how the services are bundled together so that the user gets what they need in as few steps as possible. For example, if a customer wants to order a laptop computer, they may not realize that they also need to order network access and messaging to get a working device. The catalog must bring together the right services and simplify the ordering process as much as possible. ”

“Create a simple interface rather than a confusing mix of items so it’s clear what they’re ordering,” says Jono. “Think of it as an online shopping cart experience where the service is clearly defined, they know what they will get, when it will be delivered and what level of service to expect. ”

A simpler service catalog based on user needs also makes significant service costs more achievable. “This in turn provides the internal customer with greater assurance that they are getting fair value and can make decisions about what IT services they need and what they don’t need.

Language matters

Many organizations also make the mistake of describing their services in computer language rather than plain language. “We saw a client with over 400 departments with technical details that the end user didn’t understand or care about,” says Jono. “With smarter packaging, the company reduced the number of IT departments to 50, while simplifying service descriptions. ”

Integrating packaged services into an enterprise service catalog in a well-defined user language makes a big difference to the end user. But Jono also suggests not completely throwing out the tech catalog.

“There is still room for a technical catalog. Technical details can be organized within a framework with lower layer technical services providing the building blocks of business services. At this level, it’s easier to define and commit to service levels (often referred to as operating level agreements) because they are measured in terms that make sense to the operations team.

“The framework identifies technical service dependencies to support service levels agreed with the customer. This not only helps in evaluating the costs of services, but it ensures that service levels are built on a foundation that operations can track and support.

“There are a lot of other things to consider when managing IT as a business. Setting up a reliable service catalog is just one way to demonstrate IT excellence and efficiency, ”concludes Jono.


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