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Manage IT better with the catalog of catalogs




By Sharon Eilon


Head of WW Strategy and Solutions, HP Software Professional Services


In my last blog post I wrote that governance was the secret ingredient to becoming a service broker. A restaurant can have the best equipment in the world, but unless the chefs are in agreement on how to cost-effectively make the diners happy, the restaurant won’t be successful. Similarly, you can have a great piece of software, but for that tool to deliver the maximum benefit, you need to have agreement with business and IT leaders around priorities, costs, performance metrics, and so on. Ideally, the CIO gets everyone on board and the service broker role is mandated by the company’s executives.


But after you’ve had those stakeholder conversations, you need to make service broker real to your end users—your business customers. This is where your service catalog comes in.


Stop managing multiple catalogs

My colleague in Professional Services, Felix Fernandez, has written about how your service catalog should be a single point for both information and requests. It should also be the menu of services IT is providing to the business. Too often, central IT suffers from a credibility gap with its business users. For the business to believe that IT can meet its needs, the experience of making requests and getting information needs to be seamless and intuitive. The model we’re all familiar with from our lives as consumers is an online shopping experience where it’s easy to see what’s available and how to order.


Unfortunately, IT isn’t always able to present that seamless storefront to its end users because it’s maintaining multiple service catalogs. Some companies easily have 50 catalogs or more. When you’re managing that many different catalogs, you’re diverting resources and talent that could be better spent on innovation or focused on delivering the value-added services that make you different. You also create overhead from a reporting and analytics perspective. There are significant benefits, financial and otherwise, to aggregating multiple catalogs into one.


One meaningful entry point

The question for IT is: How do you become the meaningful entry point to all of those catalogs? In other words, can you provide the catalog of catalogs?


The solution for many of our customers is to use an aggregated catalog like HP Propel. You don’t have to get rid of all your catalogs, but the technology aggregates the feeds into one. Business users can order services and find information from one hub. Plus, they get the same interface whether they’re ordering a laptop or a complex service. The design is purposely built to be appealing and engaging to people.


An aggregated catalog also enables IT to monitor what users are requesting. Now that requests are coming from one place, IT can more accurately monitor demand, and moreover it can negotiate potential rates better – after all it sees the full picture. When IT can’t monitor demand, it’s hard to prioritize, and it is wasteful. Which means they can’t meet the agreements you’ve established in your governance. If you’ve done that foundational work, you need your technology to reinforce processes developed at the governance layer. To go back to IT as a top restaurant, you need tools as well as chefs, both working together efficiently, to deliver the best experience possible buying the best produce for the lowest prices, to all those hungry people in the dining room.


You can sign up for a free trial of Propel. Or learn more about the service broker role with this white paper, The New IT: Managing and delivering services in a multi-vendor environment.


Sharon Eilon.JPGSharon Eilon is Head of WW Strategy and Solutions for HP Software Professional Services. Follow him on Twitter at @EilonSharon.


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Jan 30-31, 2018
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