The Evolution of the Service Catalog

I just returned from an extended trip to Australia and Asia.  I had the privilege of meeting with a number of customers, thanks to our local account teams.  It was almost the corporate equivalent of speed dating, but you could say that we’re already “engaged” with these customers, ha-ha.

Service Catalog was a hot topic.  The majority of customers were planning rollouts over the next 12 to 18 months.  Almost all had plans to go far beyond a traditional IT-centric catalog, and also include other services such as facilities, HR, legal and accounting functions.  And that’s how it should be.  For catalogs to be adopted, they truly need to be a one stop shop.  IT is just one group that supports line-of-business people.  In fact, the average employee probably only submits 4 or 5 IT requests a year.  But if you consider the number of requests they make to other supporting functions, then we’re talking some real numbers – scores, if not hundreds.  Now that’s some volume that can really drive adoption.  On average, only 40% of incidents and service requests come through a catalog or self-service portal.  To get better numbers, consider expanding the types of services you offer to go beyond IT.

Talk of Service Catalog then leads us into the broader topic of Demand Management.  More on that later.  In the meantime, if you’re going to Fusion 12 in Dallas later this month, come see my presentation on Demand Management.  The title is “IT Economics: Mastering Business Demand” and it’s scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Ben Cody is Vice President of Product Management at Serena Software. Ben has a broad background in information technology, with more than 17 years of experience in product development and product management. Prior to joining Serena, Ben was Senior Director of Product Management for BMC’s Service Management product family, including the Remedy product line.


Tom Pick on October 15th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Hi Ben – welcome back! Wondering – have you seen any recent statistics on the adoption of service catalogs in the enterprise? I get the sense we’re somewhere in the mainstream phase, but haven’t seen any recent statistics on adoption.

Ben Cody on October 16th, 2012 at 6:07 am

Thanks Tom. I haven’t seen a report in a while on catalogs, but Eveline Oehrlich (Forrester Analyst) and I were discussing the other day – the space is definitely hot. I think we are well into mainstream for web based self-help, but probably still in the latter stages of early for well thought out enterprise catalogs. I see a lot of organizations start with IT to IT services first. Not sure how I feel about that.

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