Service Catalog 101 - Lesson 3

Service Catalog, Sunview Software


When you are ready to build your Service Catalog, it is time to develop a comprehensive list of all services that the IT Organization is going to offer to the end user. As I have motioned in the previous posts, Lesson 1 and Lesson 2, you need to consider everything that the end user will need to do their jobs. This should be inclusive of other departments too, from HR to facilities and beyond.  

In Lesson 3, we should consider the content of a Service listing. If you are thinking of building a Service Catalog, you can try the ChangeGear Test Drive which includes a fully functional Service Catalog. 





The Service Catalog is the key point of contact between the IT Organization and the end user.  It is the main place that your customers can access the delivery of IT Services. There are many elements of a Service Catalog, including descriptions of deliverables and their associated prices; how to contact the owner of the process, as well as, ordering and requesting process fulfillment.

The Service Name & Description - The name or term by which the Service will be referred to by the end user, not just the IT Organization. These names may vary, but always consider what your customer would think to call a service. 

An easy to understand, simple, non-technical description of the service is important. Again, not just for the IT staff, but for the entire enterprise. You should write the service description at a high level, a few sentences, or bullet points should do. You also might consider engaging others within the enterprise, maybe communications, to help with the final customer facing name and description. 

The Availability / Target Availability - The service needs to contain details of the service availability. This can be very specific, including business hours and exceptions, such as holidays and weekends. What is the service’s target availability? Consider what the IT Organization is trying to achieve with all business availability, and also consider the criticality of the service, which will be discussed below.

The Owner of the Service - This is the department (the IT organization or other department) or person within that department responsible for paying for the service. 

The Service Desk Analysts - This is the person responsible for either communications between the customer and the person or department fulfilling the service request. This will often times be the Service Desk Analyst, but may also be a Project Manager for large implementations.

The Criticality of the Service - The criticality of the Service needs to be determined for the Target availability or SLA (Service Level Agreement). You should consider the criticality related to the enterprise as a whole, the business and its operational expectations, and can also include prioritization such as VIP status. 

As discussed in the previous lessons, do not try to eat the entire apple, just one bite at a time. Choose the most common services and the ones that can be managed with the Tier 1 support. Also some of the most critical services for the enterprise need to be prioritized into Phase I of the Service Catalog implementation. 


Flickr Image by Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M