Service Catalogues Vs App Store: An Easy Choice For Business Cloud Computing

Service Catalogues

There is a general confusion and lack of understanding by businesses when it comes to cloud technologies. Often blinded by the projected cost savings, businesses are failing to take advantage of the full scale of cloud services available, implementing those that are basic in management and low in cost.

As employees, we are now a generation learning IT through our smartphones and expecting the same level of efficiency from the workplace. Mobile devices have become so firmly embedded in our lives that our behavioural patterns have dramatically altered with the number of mobile phones expected to exceed the world population this year.

The core of our consumption is the app store, arguably one of the most effective and innovative retail business models since the introduction of the traditional supermarket. As a result Gartner estimates that 25% of enterprises will have implemented an app store of some kind by 2017, a direct impact of what has been dubbed the ‘Consumerisation of IT’.

But is an app store the best solution when enabling long-term employee management, business growth and efficiency? Cloud is essentially a people led solution, with businesses only set to gain its benefits if organisations truly have the knowledge and understanding of the most effective solutions available, across market verticals.

With the introduction of any cloud service, the objective should be to change and adapt processes in order to create an entirely new business model that influences internal behavioural patterns. Whilst an app store is certainly a step in the right direction and helps cope with the influx of BYOD, it only provides content and is basic in terms of achieving long-term business objectives and growth projections.

On the other hand a service catalogue provides organisations with a clear picture of the services in use, while delivering and managing performance, quality and the overall efficiency of these services. An IT service catalogue is a list of available technology resources within an organisation, containing information about price, contact points and business outputs. Despite its seemingly simple format, a service catalogue allows the deployment of new business models internally, therefore changing and adapting behaviour to new technologies, long term.

Firmly integrating IT staff, the use of a service catalogue allows the provisioning of new services, such as BYOD quickly and effectively. It also has the power to affect all aspects of the business, with users only consuming what they actually need increasing overall productivity and efficiency.

The beauty of the service catalogue is it has the power to cut across all departments and while an app store is a tactic for use in response to the consumerisation of IT, a service catalogue combines this while enforcing compliance and governance. The ability to reuse licenses, prevent backdoor access and manage mobile access makes the service catalogue an almost obvious choice for any growing and reactive business.

With a flick of a button, a business can protect company assets and manage the turn of employees automatically protecting assets across devices, terminating licenses and offering valuable information as to where growth and development is needed. Having the power to save businesses thousands in IT expenditure, why is the service catalogue not being embraced by organisations and hailed as best practice in employee management?

It is simply lack of knowledge and confusion, businesses and even IT don’t know the difference between an app store and a service catalogue. Whilst an app store is 25% of the solution, a service catalogue offers an additional 75% in benefits, from social media to content deployment available across an entire customer base.

Those that are aware are saying they want to hold off implementing until the economy is more stable. Those organisations that are buying service catalogues are at the forefront of the economic revival and are reaping the multiple benefits of cloud technologies. The moment organisations start buying and deploying service catalogues they will preform better financially. An even stronger statement is that those that do will help in the upturn of the economy through intelligent, reactive business growth.

Mark Keepax

Mark Keepax is senior vice president UK & Ireland, ASG. Mark is responsible for ASG’s business growth and development in the UK and Ireland as well as establishing and cultivating client relationships. An expert in ‘all things cloud,’ Mark has more than 25 years' experience in IT sales and alliance management, and a proven track record of business success in the enterprise sector. Past roles include serving as a sales specialist for Fujitsu and two years as Account Director at Centralis. Areas of specialty for Mark include desktop transformation, big data, green IT and HPC computing.