Higher education technology service organizations share many of the same goals, challenges, and opportunities, one of which is how to best represent the services they provide to their communities by means of the Service Catalog. With all they share in common, a model Service Catalog could be developed for the benefit of IT leaders in the higher ed space—a template from which they can start building out their own distinct solution.
That was the topic taken up by a group of higher education IT professionals in a white paper for the Educause Center for Analysis and Research. With their permission, we have created a full-color infographic of the model service catalog found in The Higher Education IT Service Catalog: A Working Model for Comparison and Collaboration. The infographic and the original white paper are free for you to download on this page.
Below is the infographic and an excerpt from the full white paper, for which Ricardo Chavira was a lead contributor while he was Associate Director of Service Management for Yale University. Today, Ricardo is a Senior Solutions Consultant at Aptris.
Click to View INFOGRAPHIC—Higher Ed Model Service Catalog:
Higher Education Challenges:
(An excerpt from the EDUCAUSE white paper, accessible below. Used by permission.)
The ECAR IT Service Catalog Working Group was formed because of the unique set of challenges that exist in higher education and the effect they have on implementing an IT service catalog. One of the most obvious challenges is the population served by higher education IT. Service catalogs in higher education must address the needs of a broad spectrum of users—including students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and donors—as well as customers (e.g., governance committees, administrative departments, academic departments, legislatures, and others). The population is broad, heterogeneous, and constantly changing. Indeed, it is the nature of higher education to have a regular influx of new students (and, to a lesser extent, faculty, researchers, staff, etc.) and to see a significant portion of the population leave annually at graduation. This provides unique and continuing challenges for the promotion of IT services and for making the IT service catalog known to new students and faculty; essentially, a continual communications campaign is required, with a major relaunch annually.
Another considerable challenge is that many higher education institutions have a mix of central and distributed IT services. How do you provide a single service catalog to a wide variety of users across multiple schools, campuses, and departments, each with access to a distinct set of services delivered by a variety of service providers?
Finally, higher education is a collaborative enterprise, built on consensus. But determining how this plays out when developing a unified and authoritative IT service catalog can be a significant challenge. How do we define a service? How do we handle conflicting or competing services? What governance is in place, and who makes the final decisions? What works in a research university may not work at a regional university or for a community college. Ultimately, each institution will have to consider the needs of its own specific environment.
Because of these unique challenges, the working group recognized the importance of developing a model catalog that would acknowledge the special nature of working in higher education while being flexible enough to be adapted to a wide variety of institutions.
SOURCE: The Higher Education IT Service Catalog: A Working Model for Comparison and Collaboration, ECAR Working Group Paper, April 10, 2015. Copyright © 2015 EDUCAUSE. Used by permission.