No surprise: Most people prefer to solve problems themselves—just as they prefer an ATM to waiting in line for a cashier. So, here’s why automated IT service catalogs are key to unburying your service desk:

Self-service catalogs are users’ first choice.

Give employees what they’re looking for and they’ll unbury your service desk for you—and as Gartner points out, most people are looking to help themselves.

It’s quicker and easier than tickets.

Rather than look at self service as ticket intake, look at it as a faster, easier way for employees or customers to consume your services.

Disruption to productivity is minimized.

Self service and service catalogs get users up, running, and working productively far faster than if they have to go through the service desk.

Increases the value of your services without adding headcount.

Service catalogs can widen your range of services to include sophisticated business requests such as employee onboarding—in addition to helping with traditional IT issue

First Steps and Milestones: Mapping the route

Important: Recognize that an automated service catalog is a work in progress. You probably won’t succeed if you try to get it all done in one go—so stage it out, bearing in mind these important steps:

Start with your top five requested items.

Identify the issues that most commonly arrive and that have known solutions—and put them up first in your service catalog.

Canvas your users.

Ask employees what they’d like to see and create your builds based on their replies. In other words, treat them like customers for whom you’re creating products.

Design services users can access themselves.

This may seem self-evident. But your biggest initial bang for the buck will come from capabilities that customers can self-remediate.

Leverage Knowledge Management.

Well over half of users who resolve their own issues do so with a knowledge base—so incorporate it, build on it, create knowledge articles, and curate!


Go ahead, be a madman! Users won’t know about your new catalog unless you tell them. And keep thinking of ways to remind them using social media and calendars, email, etc.

Arriving at the Benefits

On top of everything else, service catalogs also list the benefits you bring your business, reminding senior management (think CIO) of the added value you provide. But the core benefits of service catalogs include:

Shifting to proactive from reactive.

Investing the time to create a service catalog places answers in front of users before they even think of calling the service desk.

Measurability of SLAs.

Listing your benefits and tracking them to catalog usage enables tighter management of SLAs and tracking of external vendors, too.

More productive users.

Self service and service catalogs can enable users to get back to work much more quickly than if they try to solve issues through the service desk.

Your service desk is more efficient.

You as a service desk will have less busy work. This gives you more time to spend on complicated issues— solving them faster and boosting user productivity.

Higher service quality and customer satisfaction.

User self-service lowers strain on your service desk—translating into happier customers.

Can AI-powered ESM help organizations maximize their IT operations to deliver better digital employee experiences? Read our latest report: AITSM: How AI is redefining IT service desk automation

Check out our other posts in this series: