By Lisa Erickson-Harris, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)
Service management has been maturing now for over a decade. It has served as an educational tool for IT to help technical staff understand the need to meet business goals and objectives. At the same time, the use of service management toolsets is expanding outside the boundaries of IT to serve the needs of any department, managing any type of service. The human resources department may still rely upon IT to deliver a laptop to a new employee, but other requests—such as payroll submissions and employee training—go beyond IT’s jurisdiction. Some service delivery technology is flexible enough to operate both inside and outside of IT.
Services take countless forms. Corporations address the needs of employees, customers and partner networks. Government agencies serve constituents (vehicle registration, license renewal), employees (booking inmates, tracking evidence), and the private sector (corporations). The common denominator for these entities is a need to expedite service delivery without relying solely on the IT department. Users, employees, customers and partners all request services in order to transact business with any organization. Similarly, they need a mechanism for requesting and receiving those services. The service catalog can be used to represent available services to various constituencies; Service Request Management (SRM) applications address the automated delivery of those services for any and all service-oriented departments within an enterprise. Service catalogs and SRM tools empower the requestor, and at the same time improve levels of service quality, ultimately improving the credibility of operations.
Many benefits result from the use of both technologies. First and foremost, the user now has visibility into what services are available and can autonomously initiate requests for those services. Using service delivery technologies, users can create a complex service model that represents real organizational needs. Features typically include the ability to segregate services by user population, track associated costs by service, and access a business-driven service model. Kinetic Data has developed an application that allows users to request, track and receive services without undue reliance on IT staff.