A mature service catalog includes services that are fully described in concise business language, terms and conditions, information regarding how to order, contact information for the service owner, the cost of the service, service options, links to available related knowledge, service level information, and historical service level performance. In addition, customer segmentation is in place to ensure that end users accessing the catalog can only see information about services that are available to them in their current role.
Maturing a service catalog is a step toward transforming IT’s relationship with the business. It is all about transparency. By providing the information above, IT is stepping out from behind the curtain. They are taking the time to build a catalog that helps to educate the business on expectations, process, technology, and cost.
-Clear service descriptions, terms and conditions, and ordering information make it easy for the end users to conduct business with IT. Ends users know what to expect.
-Contact information for the Service Owner provides an option for users that need additional information about a service or if they need to explore their options.
-Service level targets, agreements, and historical performance helps the business customer and end user understand IT’s commitments and performance. This data allows the business to hold IT accountable for performance but it also holds the business accountable for the service level agreements meeting the needs of the end users.
-IT services may or may not charge back to the business. Providing cost information helps the business understand the cost implications of their choices on the overall organization and their division. Service options provide opportunities for the end users and the customer to select only the type and level of service needed which helps to optimize the IT spend.
Service catalog maturity takes time and in some cases, substantial effort. Consider introducing a catalog merely with the goal of making it easier for the end users to do business with the IT organization. Additional incremental improvements in the areas noted can occur over time…..just be sure the organization doesn’t lose focus on maturing the catalog. Further development of the catalog will have a positive impact on IT’s relationship with the business.