Portal offers central catalog of IT services

Lunch and learn more

IT Portal demonstrations via Webex:

Service requests, equipment ordering and technology how-tos are a few of the things moving from the information technology services (ITS) website to a central home hosted on the ServiceNow platform. Unlike the current patchwork of programs, the new IT Portal provides a service catalog with everything in one place for users.

"People can browse for services by category or simply do a search for what they need. For example, if they know they need something network-related, they can search 'network' and up pops all the network-related service requests," said Michael Lohrbach, ITS director of enterprise services and customer success.

The ServiceNow platform, launched at Iowa State last year, is used by ITS and the finance and human resources specialists on WorkCyte service delivery teams. The IT Portal broadens the platform's use beyond the "incident" submissions that generate service tickets.

Lohrbach said the IT Portal provides a better user experience, with a friendlier look and feel than the ServiceNow application accessible through your Okta dashboard. He said users have the ability to drill down into the service catalog and a collection of knowledge-base articles. Access to the IT Portal is available by clicking on "Products and Services" near the search box at the top of the redesigned ITS webpage. Users also can use the "Add Apps" option to create a link from their personal Okta dashboards (search "IT Portal").


The knowledge-base articles provide a repository of information to help users troubleshoot and solve common tech issues. Lohrbach described the growing collection as a mix of frequently asked questions, how-tos and standards, and said job aids could be added in the future.

"Our focus is to enhance our self-service capabilities," he said. "Over time, we'll continuously add knowledge-base information, including the documents our IT Solution Center uses to help faculty, staff and students across campus. This is something we felt was overdue to get to the end users -- to give them tools that are readily available." 

Other service catalog capabilities include ordering/installing equipment, moving phones and computers, and requesting help -- for example, with granting ADIN system access, acquiring physical servers or purchasing Smartsheet licenses. Lohrbach said the IT Portal also can be used for initiating solution center help.

"The idea is to push the solution center traffic to the portal," Lohrbach said. "If users have an issue, they'll be able to create a ticket right from the portal -- just click the 'Get Help' button and submit your issue."

Why the change?

Better customer service is a big reason for creating the IT Portal. Users can browse available services, request service or ask for more information. Lohrbach said it also provides better visibility for users and IT staff to see the progress and status of requests in real time. 

"One of the primary reasons we're moving this direction is to better track the requests we get as a unit and to collectively have all of those requests living inside one system," Lohrbach said.

If users have questions about services that aren't available through the IT Portal, Lohrbach recommends contacting the solution center. 

"Users can create a ticket right there in the IT Portal, or submit the question by email (solution@iastate.edu) or phone (294-4000)," he said.