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Functions of a Service Catalog in IT Services

Imagine how much margin for error or misinterpreted expectations there would be if the ITSP did not understand what your business services are and how critical they are for business operation.

In ITSM, Service Catalog will follow on from an IT strategy to further define how IT services will be provided to the business. Service catalog is a term used within the ITIL best practices and the ITSM industry to depict a listing of services that an IT service provider offers to a customer. It is written in business terms and contains some standard information. It is embedded within the service portfolio and is the portion of the portfolio reflecting live services the business can actively use.

Consider this. This simple list of business services forms the basis of everything else that follows, including

  • The level of response you can expect to recover from service disruption
  • How technical changes that affect your services are managed and when
  • When business services are available and when they are not
  • What the impact of service failure is to your business
  • How much your IT services will cost, who pays, and in what form
  • The level of security required
  • The type of compliance and audit needed
  • The governance policies that apply
  • What return on value and investment you can expect
  • How you can lower your cost and increase your profit

Although this seems straightforward and you think you’ve got it covered, let’s take a closer look at how interpretation can change things. A service provider might look at the list of business services and form a basic understanding of needs, but will likely require further clarifications.

  • “We still aren’t clear on availability. The list mentions three countries and local time zones. What countries and what time zones?”
  • “We aren’t certain what you mean by extended hours? Is it a half hour, 24 hours, or something in between?”
  • “The list mentions bi-weekly, but which week is which? With whom is this agreed?”

This is a great example of what often happens between the suppliers and the customer. The customer thinks they have been explicit, but they haven’t understood how literal an interpretation the stated requirements will go through. This teaches us that we need to develop requirementsHealth Fitness Articles, and then have a dialogue to see how they are interpreted before they are agreed upon. You can surmise what could result if no further dialogue occurred in the given examples.

The ability to articulate your business services to your IT service providers is the single most important first step in creating the basis for successful ITSM. It can make or break the success of how your business services are managed and how your customers perceive the quality of them. Articulating business services and how they are used becomes the essential foundation of how the IT service provider forms the IT strategy.

Article Tags: Service Catalog, Service Provider, Business Services

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Author is a techno savvy person. He loves to do research and write about the various tips and tricks for business management using information technology and gadgets. In the above article he has explained about the functions of IT service providers.

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