Nice article from James Urquhart and a nice shout to newScale there!
Apps.gov, a federal government initiative out of the General Services Administration, demonstrates several concepts that have been the dream of many private enterprise IT departments for some time, but have been successfully executed by very few.
I blogged this last week, but I thought it was worth adding a couple of thoughts.
First, it positions the service catalog as the central interface between customers and service providers. Message is: We are not going back. James Urquhart wrote about the five ways it's a trendsetter:
The IT service catalog. For years, business managers--sick of the bureaucracy inherent in most service provisioning processes--have imagined a world in which they could select desired IT services from a catalog and click a button to complete the transaction. This Amazon-like service acquisition experience has many appealing advantages over process-heavy provisioning processes.
For one thing, it demonstrates the power of applying superior consumer Web experiences to traditionally human IT processes. However, it also enables--heck, encourages--agencies to explore and validate the cost savings that are purported to be inherent in cloud computing.
This should be great news to IT service catalog vendors like NewScale and the like. When CEOs see the App.gov interface--rightly or wrongly--many will wonder why they can't give their organization the same experience.
I agree with James. The second point, "applying superior consumer Web experiences to traditionally human IT process," is food for thought for ITIListas every where. Here's why.....
Last week, in the UK, I co-lead a webinar on service catalogs.
An attendee (delegate) asked a consultant there, when asked, how to get started with a service catalog; he immediately recommended a static-web based catalog. Heck, I'm standing right there, and of course I am going to disagree.
So I asked one question of this consultant: "How many actionable service catalogs using technology has he implemented." Answer: 0, none, zip, zilch, nada.
And that's when it dawned on me that this People, Process, Technology mantra had lost one spoke with this particular ITIL expert. He did not use technology; was quite unfamiliar with actionable service catalogs, and in fact, had never worked on one.
So it makes sense that he would never recommend a project to make a real service catalog.
I asked the customer, "why do you need a service catalog? What are you going to do with it." Answer: make it easy for customer to find and request services from IT.
So there I am, looking at Apps.Gov service catalog, which looks pretty cool (very much like a newScale type catalog):
And this ITILista's business, I thought, is dead.
It can't be that people, process is all about stopping technological innovation. It won't work. Cloud is here, Virtualization is here, and they urgently need an operational service catalog. Not another MS Word document in the F: drive. Or customers are voting with their wallets and dial those 16 digits to freedom.