IT Governance

The IT Service Catalogue: What’s on Your Menu?

Mohammed Arshad writes in an article for on how to get the most out of your “menu,” the IT service catalogue. While an IT service catalogue might remind one of the menus handed out at restaurants, it is more than an enticing picture and a brief description of what lies in store. You’ll need this information to convince your executive management to pick up the tab.

For starters, a service catalogue can provide the full profile of services offered, insight into valuable resources, a comparison point for cost or returns, a means of streamlining IT, and a window into everyday operations. It is also the primary sales platform of IT.

6 Steps to Making a Menu

  1. Frame the concept.
  2. Uncover business requirements.
  3. Define the services.
  4. Link services to devices.
  5. Publish the catalogue.
  6. Maintain the momentum.

The truth is that many businesses have no idea what to do with an IT service catalogue, let alone how to properly define one. If you’re creating one for the first time, it’s better to know where your business stands and deliver to them a more concise version, more like a proof of concept than an actual full service catalogue. Since it is the business to which IT is providing these services, then it is the business from which IT must solicit (wrestle, conjure, cajole, pry) the service requirements. This involves a meeting about what kind of technology will give the business a competitive advantage over its competitors.

The next step is critical, since it is where most IT service organizations fall flat on their collective faces. Defining services comes down to discovering the current and potential capabilities of IT. Those services must be accurately matched with the business requirements obtained in Step 2.

The link between IT services and business requirements is, of course, the device. (In ITIL speak they’re called “configuration items.”) Once you’ve selected the appropriate devices, Step 5 involves the actual configuration and publication of the service catalogue. Just remember to use customer feedback to make it the best catalogue possible!

Lastly, your job might seem like it’s finished. It’s not! After the appropriate self-congratulatory victory dance / ice cream binge, it’s time to get back to work–improving the service catalogue with user profiles and access levels, financial information, and a team to manage updates.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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