What’s a service catalog? Is it iTunes for the enterprise? Is it an online directory? Is it a resource for developers? Is it one of the stipulations of ITIL/IT service management best practices? It’s actually all of the above — and building and making one available will greatly enhance IT’s relationship with the business.
That’s the word from Sharon Taylor, former chief architect for ITIL and president of the Aspect Group. In an informative white paper just published on the subject, Taylor states that a service catalog, a critical part of IT service management, serves as “the means by which we, as IT service providers, articulate what we can do for our business customers. It seems a simple enough concept yet so many of us get it wrong over and over again.”
Taylor points out that there are three types of service catalogs: the business service catalog, which is tied to specific business lines; the user request catalog, which is a self-service venue; and the technical services catalog, which addresses service level agreements, configuration information, and security and access information.
There are several steps that need to be taken to developing a well-functioning IT service catalog, Taylor explains: