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Service Catalog 101 - Lesson 1

Welcome to the ITIL class on Service Catalog – in your syllabus you see that the class is named Service Catalog 101. Over the course of these blog posts, you will gain a greater understanding of all things Service Catalog.

In the first installment of Service Catalog 101, you will get a basic education on the use of a Service Catalog. As we progress, we will discuss the steps that it takes to build this valuable IT Organization tool for your enterprise. This will help you to eventually become a Service Catalog Ninja.

If you are new to ITIL and the Service Catalog, then check out this great offer:

I like to start all courses with the basic overview either from ITIL or in this case, Wikipedia.

A service catalog (or catalogue), as defined in Information Technology Infrastructure Library Service Design, is a list of services that an organization provides, often to its employees or customers. Each service within the catalog typically includes:
  • A description of the service
  • Timeframes or service level agreement for fulfilling the service
  • Who is entitled to request/view the service
  • Costs (if any)
  • How to fulfill the service

There are 2 very different views of a Service Catalog, the end user and the IT business team. It is imperative that the builders of the Service Catalog have a focus on the end user. This is not an afterthought – this is your primary target.

From the User Perspective
The Service Catalog is the place to find the services needed to perform their role within the enterprise. They may need physical access to certain premises or computer access to servers and programs. Their current search may be for employee benefit information or collateral for a trade show; a reimbursement form or incident request. The list of available services will be built from the entire enterprise; this is not just an IT exercise but includes Facilities, HR, IT, Finance and more.

The IT Organization needs to gather consensus from the entire enterprise, this is your opportunity to drive enterprise wide process improvements. Take the time to build a full spectrum of services – everything the users would ever need to do their jobs.

  • What will the employee need and who will provide the service?
  • What processes are required to fulfill the request?
  • Can elements be automated in order to improve the overall efficiency of the service?

All of these factors will be part of the process of building a fully functional Service Catalog that will be ready for today and able to be continually improved for tomorrow.

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