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Barclay Rae: Assessment Criteria for Service Catalogue

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Editor’s Note: We are very pleased to welcome Barclay Rae as Analyst and contributor to The ITSM Review. Barclay is a well respected pillar of the ITSM community and we look forward to publishing his first analysis.

I will soon be started a competitive analysis of Service Catalogue offerings in the ITSM market.

As with previous reviews completed on The ITSM Review my goal will be to highlight the key strengths, competitive differentiators and innovation in the industry.

The criteria I will use for my assessments are published below, if you have any comments or recommendations please leave a comment below or contact us.


Service Catalogue Assessment Criteria

Service Catalogue Products

Offerings should provide the following high-level functionality:

  1. Service Design – the ability to create a database of service records, containing a number of business and technical attributes, processes and workflows
  2. Service Structure – the ability to organise and structure these services into a hierarchy of services and service offerings, ideally useable in a graphical format
  3. User Request Portal – a user friendly/external facing portal that provides users with an intuitive User Interface to request services
  4. Request Fulfilment – request management workflow functionality that can be easily used and configured by system users
  5. SLA and event management – the ability (in the software or by integration) to define universal and bespoke levels of SLA which are then automated and escalated though an event management process – ideally linking with Incident, Problem and Change Management functionality
  6. Demand Management – the ability to provide real time allocation and monitoring of Service consumption, with financial calculations
  7. Dashboard – real-time user-friendly graphical monitoring and analysis of usage, trends and metrics across services and to various stakeholders
  8. Service Reporting – the ability to present output that summarises individual and bundled service performance, consumption, SLA and event performance, in user-friendly, portable and graphical format

Specific Requirements

  1. Service Design – the ability to create a database of service records, containing a number of business and technical attributes, processes and workflows, including:
    • Service design form – to create a service
    • Add attributes – e.g.  description, user groups, business owner, service owner, type, portfolio status, SLA details, Key metric details, cost/price, support model details (1st/2nd/3rd level), warranty details, vendor details, resolver group details, escalation, CIs and technical details, parent and child services, offerings, unit cost and price, user-created attributes
    • Creation of services in hierarchy – sub-services and service offerings (specific tasks)
    • Provide pre-filled service form templates
  2. Service Structure – the ability to organise and structure these services into a hierarchy of services and service offerings, ideally useable in a graphical format
    • Create a hierarchy of services, subservices and service offerings
    • Present this hierarchy in a graphical format
    • Link the service structure to internal or external CIs and CMDBs
    • Be able to access (drill down) service information via the graphical hierarchy
    • Provide pre-filled service structure templates
  3. User Request Portal – a user-friendly/external facing portal that provides users with an intuitive User Interface to request services
    • Intuitive UI – look and feel of commercial shopping sites
    • Ability to present short simple options for service fulfilment – based on ‘bundled’ services where appropriate (e.g. new user)
    • Ability to present variable options and presentations based on login/access
    • Shopping basket
    • Option on full set of individual services
  4. Request Fulfilment – request management workflow functionality that can be easily used and configured by system users
    • Task management – creation of standard tasks and assignment to owners
    • Ability to cope with multiple task types and associated variable SLAs
    • Escalation and notification of task breaching
    • Output to portal for users to be able to track progress
    • Internal dashboard facility to track progress of requests and SLA progress
    • Provide pre-filled workflow templates
  5. SLA and event management – the ability (in the software or by integration) to define universal and bespoke levels of SLA which are then automated and escalated though an event management process – ideally linking with Incident, Problem and Change Management functionality
    • ITSM process linkage to manage events against service definitions
    • Real-time links to event management across internal and external ITSM systems
  6. Demand Management – the ability to provide real time allocation and monitoring of Service consumption, with financial calculations
    • Ability to set budgets and allocated consumption levels for services and offerings
    • Monitoring and analysis capability to track consumption and escalate thresholds and breaches
    • Financial analysis of supply and demand on services
    • Provide pre-filled budget model templates
  7. Dashboard – real-time user-friendly graphical monitoring and analysis of usage, trends and metrics across services and to various stakeholders
    • User-configurable views
    • Ability to track multiple views on service, SLA, demand consumption etc
    • Provide pre-defined and configurable dashboard templates
  8. Service Reporting – the ability to present output that summarises individual and bundled service performance, consumption, SLA and event performance, in user-friendly, portable and graphical format
    • User-configurable views
    • Ability to track multiple views on service, SLA, demand consumption etc.
    • Ability to combine multiple metrics into service bundles
    • Set thresholds for RAG indicators
    • Provide pre-defined and configurable dashboard templates

General Requirements

  1. User-configurable forms, tables, workflows
  2. Role-based security access – to allow control of available requests
  3. Integration with ITSM tools event management and CMDB (for SC only products)
  4. Integration with CMDB (ITSM tools)and ability to link CI components into Service Bundles
  5. Open system for real-time integration with financial management and other monitoring tools
  6. Vendors (SC only and ITSM tools) should have established proven links with other ITSM, CMDB and financial management packages
  7. Product should provide templates and pre-filled forms and structure to act as basic starting date where possible – service structure, service attributes, SLAs, workflows etc.
  8. Vendors should provide expertise and guidance in the implementation of the tool and relevant processes and project requirements around Service Catalogue – e.g. with workshops and training as well as implementation consultancy

What is your view, what have we missed?

Please leave a comment below or contact us. Similarly if you are a vendor and would like to be included in our review, please contact us.

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  1. […] in the ITSM market, Barclay Rae outlines the criteria he plans to use for the assessments. Assessment Criteria for Service Catalogue [] (The ITSM […]

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