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Service Catalog: The Center Of Universe In The Modern Business

Service Catalog: The Center Of Universe In The Modern Business
August 23, 2017

This is a continuation of my previous blog, New Avatar of Service Catalog and Self-Service and I would like to start with a question:

Why enterprise IT is struggling to publish a service catalog of 400 items (typical number in an enterprise IT) for a user base of less than 50,000 (typical number, again), while Amazon.com is successfully publishing and maintaining a catalog of 12 million items for a 244 million user-base? And that is not all, Amazon is also successfully delivering all orders originating from that catalog.

Let’s dig into the details of the above case –

It is Building Vs Aggregating

Amazon is not really building and publishing the catalog. It is actually aggregating catalogs – an important difference in the approach as against the traditional legacy practice of building a catalog on your own. There are thousands of supplier catalogs beneath the system that are not visible to buyers. Amazon itself is one of those suppliers. In other words, catalog building and maintenance is virtually outsourced. However, the main success lies in designing a catalog model and structure. In addition, the UX and UI of the IT service catalog are also essential to accommodate vast and diversified product categories.

It is fulfilling Vs orchestrating

Catalog aggregation is only a part of the business, one cannot make money unless the orders are delivered. The Amazon approach is unique in this area, it does not deliver the packages but orchestrates the delivery from the suppliers. The reason behind the success of such a model lies in clearly defined policies for the supply chain and interfacing points.

Can enterprise IT replicate this Idea?

Replication of the above model is not difficult for enterprise IT, if the CIOs are willing to adopt it. This is not easy, but it’s worth the effort. Typical challenges, which may come along the way, are:

  1. Tool/Platform - Traditional ITIL-based tools are conditioning implementers, devised to design and publish ‘form-based’ catalog items. One has to adopt service-architecture based approach, which will establish a single generic model and structure across all services. It will also standardize the IT service catalog structure. Adopt service-architecture based approach, which will establish a single generic model and structure.
  2. Organizational Culture- Individual technology tower has to come out of the technology management mindset and think of itself as part of the service supply chain, which is either creating a service or delivering it.

How can HCL help?

HCL has developed ServiceXchange, the new generation XaaS orchestration platform for the two fundamental functions as described above – catalog aggregation and fulfillment orchestration. It is based on HCL XaaS service architecture, which is capable of bringing diversified services under one catalog structure. Built-in service supply chain structure includes roles such as service creator, service operator, service provider, service broker, and service integrator. Combined with HCL consulting service for XaaS migration, HCL offers turnkey solutions to enable customers to embrace future proof next generation XaaS operating model.