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Service management, new UIT website roll out

More choices to be added as service management matures

When University Information Technology flipped the switch to make its new service management platform public on March 10, the organization was able to put a check mark next to one of its top priorities. But that doesn’t mean it can cross it off the list.

The first iteration of the ServiceNow service catalog rolled out along with a much-needed new UIT website, but there will still be room to grow as customers offer feedback and more modules go online.

“We know the way we’ve set up the service catalog isn’t optimized,” said project manager Earl Lewis. “It’s good; we got a great start on it. It’s helping us codify these things so we can take the next step in maturing.”

The first run includes more than 30 services, said service manager Josh Wall, which allowed UIT to retire the OrderIT site used since 2009. Lewis built the backend database of that product, be he isn’t sad to see it go.

“It’s served its purpose. It gave us the background to jumpstart where we’re heading now,” he said.

The knowledgebase and service catalog will be run through ServiceNow initially, with fulfillment and support staff juggling the incident management portion through the ServiceDesk system for a short time until the fully integrated solution is ready.

“I would love to see incident management released within 90 days from March 10, but I’m not sure if that’s possible,” Lewis said. “We’ve done a lot of groundwork already. What’s left is some process work and testing, and maybe some workflow. I also want to get through the bug list from this initial release in that timeframe.”

Wall and Lewis hope to maintain a steady cycle of improvements and additions based on feedback from customers and analysis of metrics.

“There are built-in dashboards in ServiceNow that tell us about any aspect of the tool we implement,” Lewis said. “The flexibility of the platform hopefully lets us optimize things a lot more quickly for users.”

The metrics will also reveal which services may no longer need to be offered, Wall said. “We’ve got stuff in there that frankly I’m not sure we’re ever going to get requests on. And if that’s the case, we need to pull it out.”

Employing a full-featured service management platform will change the way UIT does business with customers throughout campus and force it to be as efficient as possible.

“I think just the fact that were now trying to finally be deliberate about the services we provide will help us get to that next step with campus departments because we can be more clear about what we do and ask them, ‘Is this what you need?’” Wall said.

He and Lewis stressed the key to making ServiceNow successful will be fleshing out the variety of services offered and having UIT staff point customers to the site for fulfillment.

“Right now it’s a phone call, it’s the help desk,” Wall said, “there’s any number of ways to get a request in.”

The first batch of services are skewed toward infrastructure and communications, but future releases will include Teaching and Learning Technologies, University Support Services, and more.

Lewis sees this as a big step forward in how UIT conducts business.

“I think it’s where we’ve needed to go for a long time,” he said. “I think people are ready for it.”

Last Updated: 5/7/21