ITSM

Make Reporting a Part of Your IT Service Catalog

Make Reporting a Part of Your IT Service Catalog

With an effective employee service management strategy, you can ensure that internal resources are aligned across departments. The service catalog lets you create a menu of services for employees to go to for their service requests, giving both the employee and the service provider the resources they need to get their work done.

An essential element of an overall service management strategy, your service catalog is about more than just creating and publishing a list of services for the employees in your organization. It’s also about measuring the value of those services, the effectiveness in which they are delivered, and other important factors, so the service portfolio can be standardized and continuously fine-tuned to best meet employees’ needs.

That’s why many experts agree that reporting and analysis must be an integral part of any service catalog strategy. From budget management to resource scheduling and allocation, service catalog reporting can provide your IT service desk staff with the vital insight they need to provide services in the most productive, effective, and economical manner possible.

What Should You Measure?

Below are examples of key items you should consider measuring and reporting on in order to analyze the overall effectiveness of your service catalog.

  • The costs and expenditures associated with the delivery of each individual service, as well as the portfolio as a whole
    • Are there opportunities to cut costs and save time?
  • Are you getting optimal results and where are areas for improvement (handling times, right people involved, additional steps that can be automated)
    • Could you cut down on the amount of time it takes to complete the onboarding process by including involvement of HR and Facilities?
  • Resources required to fulfill service requests (utilization, availability, etc.)
    • Is your current process causing a bottleneck? Should you modify the process for smoother fulfilment of services?
  • Patterns and trends in service request demand
    • Who’s requesting what, and why?
  • Effectiveness of the service catalog (i.e. employee adoption)
    • Are employees taking advantage of the resources you’re building for them?
  • Frequently requested break/fix tickets to identify opportunities for formalizing new service catalog items
    • What other areas can you optimize using the service catalog?

Provide the Right Data to the Right People

As reports are being developed and rolled out, it’s important to remember that different stakeholders will want to monitor different things. For example, the head of the IT service desk will be interested in performance and financial statistics across the entire service catalog. On the other hand, individual service managers will want to track only those services specific to the teams they oversee. And, application managers and other IT professionals will be most concerned with those services that directly impact the systems they are responsible for.

There are countless benefits to implementing this type of reporting and measurement approach. First, it provides clear, tangible proof of the value the IT service catalog is providing to the business, which can then be shared with senior executives and other corporate management. Additionally, it can help IT organizations to stay focused on the ultimate goal of IT service management as defined by ITIL – continuous service improvement. By understanding what works, and what doesn’t, companies can optimize the relationship between IT and the business by participating in ongoing enhancement of their IT services.

 

This post was originally published on 10/05/2010 and has been updated to reflect the most current ITSM technology and best practices.


Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.