Bimodal IT and the Service Catalogue

Service Catalogues are not going away, but they are evolving. Service Catalogues provide numerous benefits to IT departments and end users, including reduced costs, improved delivery times and enhanced service quality. From a broader perspective, the service catalogue can radically alter the role and perception of IT within an organisation.


End User behaviour and new technology are driving rapid acceleration in the growth and pace of business. In turn, these rapidly changing business demands are pushing enterprise IT to the limit. Business users want utility IT services faster and cheaper, and they want innovative new services that drive business performance and increased output to gain a competitive edge.

For IT departments to address these demands, they have implemented a well-defined Service Catalogue and adopted a bimodal approach to application and service development. The one bimodal leg consists of the fast-paced, agile application development and the other leg is home to a more stable, structured approach for the organisations mission-critical applications. The introduction of the Service Catalogue catering to the needs of both bimodal legs will improve service delivery for the organisation and have a positive impact on the ROI.

Service Catalogue

The Forrester Research white paper Master the Service Catalogue Solution Landscape 2013 (Forrester, 2013) identifies key reasons for introducing a Service Catalogue, as well as the benefits gained from the initiative, some of the benefits are listed below.

Facilitate self-help
Shifting the Service Catalogues service and support to the left even level 0 (Poole, 2012) saves money and in many cases accelerates issue resolution and creates a more positive user experience. According to Poole, “Level 0 is all about creating an environment where the user can commence and, with the right tools, resolve an incident or fulfil a request WITHOUT having to involve the conventional support and fulfilment teams.”

Centralise request management
One of the key benefits of the Service Catalogue is the “one-stop shopping” for business users. There is no longer necessary to learn and use a multitude of systems to request services from finance, IT, HR, facilities or other departments.

Simplify user experience
Users are only interested in having their request fulfilled; they are not interested in what happens behind the scenes.

Enable Agile Business Processes
It will be wise to examine the agility of your service request management system because conventional methods of designing and deploying Service Catalogues takes weeks or months.

Instead of coding, forms service requests are cloned and modified from existing re-usable templates, speeding up the entire process.
Non-IT administrators control the request management workflows and processes, thus keeping pace with continually changing user requirements.

Instead of being tied to one IT Service Management (ITSM) Platform, request management processes can be integrated into any corporate ERP, HRM, CRM or ITSM system and made available to the user familiar with the system, allowing scaling across the enterprise.

Support IT governance
End-to-end process governing and tracking the way assets enter and exist in the organisation are essential to achieving the highest return on investment (ROI) for the lowest cost. Proper IT governance and risk management not only reduces costs but also supports business growth.

Inspire business process improvement
Forrester calls “the need to map business capabilities to business services perhaps the most important need and the reason for Service Catalogues. Business Service Catalogues describe and define IT’s deliverables from a business perspective. “

Help standardise Offerings and Improve Efficiency

Standardise business efficiency for both the agile and the legacy legs of the bimodal organisation by addressing the following issues.

Provide end-to-end visibility into the value chain
When the service catalogue is not just an accessible front end but also automated and integrated with a variety of IT processes, IT operations teams can
monitor, manage, and report on requests from start to finish. A service request from a business user sets off a value chain that is tracked within the entire IT organisation.

Reduce service costs
Forrester notes that globally, help-desk ticket volumes are increasing, not only because of business growth but also due to an increasingly mobile workforce. (Shadow IT post to follow soon.) According to the white paper, “Forrester Research data shows growth from 15% to 29% in U.S. and European information workers working anytime and anywhere. Inserting a service catalogue that allows this mobile workforce to receive, manage and consume business and IT services, reducing the cost of the service support team.”

Increase user satisfaction
Customer experience is more than just closing tickets. Establishing a single place for your business users to go where they can request and receive services from either a business team or IT has an immediate impact on customer satisfaction and customer experience.


What many organisations want, and are trying to move to, is automated self-service for requests, with a single intuitive interface through which users can
find any service, make a request, and get the service delivered with no manual interaction. The service catalogue must be actionable and not merely defining services; it must extend beyond IT into services delivered by other functions, and it must be capable of managing complex processes spanning multiple departments and business functions while shielding the business user from that complexity.


Forrester, 2013. Available: Master the Service Catalogue Solution Landscape 2013 [2016, May 11]

Poole, 2012. Available: What is This Level 0 thing [2016, May 11]


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