Building a multi-service-provider or Service Integration and Management (SIAM) IT operating model offers lots of potential benefits for your organization. For example, it allows organizations such as yours to leverage commercial advantage from multi-sourcing, as well as buying best-of-breed services and ultimately improving the quality of their IT services. However, creating this operating model is not without its challenges. For example, I’ve written in the past about challenges in the area of service request fulfillment processes.
This is the process through which end users request services from IT. These requests can be very simple, such as a new laptop, or a more complex set of “bundled” services, such as equipping a new employee. Where the service request could comprise multiple hardware items (e.g. laptop, phone, etc.) as well as access permissions and software installations among other things.Here @SteveBMorgan provides his advice on how to build an effective service request process and how to overcome common challenges associated with it #SIAM #ITSM Click To Tweet
In a traditional monolithic sourcing model, or one where IT services are all sourced from a single internal provider, these requests are relatively simple to set up and execute. However, in a SIAM model, they can become more complex, due to several factors:
- Different services from different suppliers may need to be integrated to form the bundles such as the one described above.
- There may be numerous steps involved in the approval of the request which will need to be orchestrated ahead of submitting it to the supplier(s) work queue(s).
- There may be numerous fulfillment steps, some of which are serial, and others are parallel.
How to tackle these challenges with the service request process
We recently worked with two clients who both had a similar challenge – how to build an effective service request catalog in their IT service management (ITSM) tool. To deliver this work, we followed a tried and tested approach which includes:
- Mapping the workflow for each request type by identifying the following requirements:
- Business approvals
- Technical approvals
- Fulfillment/deployment steps
- Using a simple spreadsheet to log this data – which enables us to spot opportunities to rationalize approval or deployment steps. Often, clients can’t explain why a particular service request requires five approvals, other than “It’s always been that way!”
- Grouping – the completed spreadsheet provides the basis to categorize service requests which can then be grouped on the user request portal. This will make the request options easier to locate.
Other aspects to consider when setting up a service request catalog are:
- Entitlement – for each request type, is there a level of entitlement that may prevent certain user groups from being able to order that particular item? This can be enabled in the tooling through menu-based options or, from a more sophisticated perspective, using details of the end user’s role or department from their ITSM tool record/Active Directory records.
- Options/Variations – for each request type, there may be several variations that can be requested. For example, if an end user requests a laptop, there may be a small version for traveling staff, a standard model, and an enhanced specification model for power users.
- Sequencing – with regards to the approval and deployment tasks, consider the sequencing in terms of whether they’re performed in serial or parallel. It’s important to streamline the end user experience of requesting IT services from the catalog.
- Adoption –consider the adoption strategy, through a combination of communication, incentives, and engaging with key influencers in the end-user community to spread the word.
If you’re considering building a service request catalog and would like to find out more, then please contact Syniad IT to discuss your unique requirements. Or to find out how we help organizations such as yours to design and build highly effective IT or SIAM operating models, then please read our Ultimate Guide to Design + Build.
Steve is the Director of Syniad IT, an independent IT consulting organisation, specializing in the design, build, implementation and optimisation of service integration and management (SIAM), IT service management (ITSM), and IT transformational change programmes.