IT Service Catalog Design

Last Updated: April 27, 2024

IT Service Catalog Design

A service catalog is an organized collection of all business and information technology-related services that can be performed by the enterprise in question. They act as a knowledge management tool for both employees and consultants, allowing them to route their requests about certain services to the experts who are responsible for them.

A service catalog is, first and foremost, a means of centralizing all services that are important to the stakeholders of the enterprise who implement and use it. These act as a sort of digital registry and a means for enterprises to see, find, and execute services wherever they are in the world. This means that the people in one part of the world can find and utilize the same services that the people in other parts of the world use.

IT Service Catalog Example

IT Service Catalog Template
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Basically, a service catalog is a comprehensive list of its services that an organization offers to its employees and customers. However, this catalog can only show a portion of the company’s exhaustive service portfolio which is published and provided to the customers as a means of communicating the offered IT services.

The catalog includes

  • the service name and a short description of it,
  • all services listed by category,
  • all supporting services to the main services,
  • service level agreements and fulfillment time frames for the services,
  • contacts and escalation points, and
  • service costs.

From a user’s perspective, the IT catalog is simply a manner for easing his way through the services that the company offers, finding out the one he needs, and understanding its descriptions and the method through which he can acquire it. However, for a business unit manager whose job it is to sell the company’s IT services, the catalog is an indispensable tool for publishing appointed services to users.

Modern IT Service Catalog Design

Modern IT Service Catalog Design

Portrait IT Service Catalog Design Sample

Portrait IT Service Catalog Design Sample

Composing Service Catalogs

Service catalogs are often implemented in a way that can accommodate the registration, discovery, request, execution, and tracking of desired services for catalog users. Each service within the catalog will include traits and elements such as

  • clear ownership of and accountability for the service (either a person but often an organization);
  • a name or identification label for the service;
  • a description of the service;
  • a service categorization or type that allows it to be grouped with other similar services;
  • related service request types;
  • any supporting or underpinning services;
  • service level agreement data and information that helps service providers set expectations for their service requestors;
  • who is entitled to request/view the service;
  • associated costs, if there are any;
  • how to request the service and how its delivery is fulfilled; and
  • escalation points and key contacts.

The more descriptive the service details are, the easier it will be for users of the service catalog to find and invoke the services they want.

Sample IT Service Catalog

Sample IT Service Catalog

IT Service Catalogs

An IT service catalog is a subset of an entire enterprise service catalog. It is defined by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library Service Design to be a thorough list of IT-only services that an organization can provide or offer to its employees and customers. The catalog is just a part of the Service Portfolio that is published for customers and is used to support the sale or delivery of IT services. It generally contains information about deliverables, prices, contact points, and processes for requesting a certain service.

Why You Absolutely Need an IT Service Catalog

An IT service catalog will provide tremendous value for the organizations who create and maintain them. By clearly defining and publishing their service offerings, an IT service catalog can achieve the following:

  1. Maximize business benefits. An IT service catalog aims to describe not only a company’s services and its attributes but also its objectives. This knowledge will help you make sure that the IT services you offer are always closely relevant to the important business strategies you always need to work with, and that it will have a considerable contribution to the achievement of your corporate goals on a long-term perspective.
  2. Optimize service delivery. Creating a service catalog can help you gain insight into what better manner you can implement to better allocate your IT resources—both human and technical. It will also create an improvement in terms of responsiveness to the end user base.
  3. Reduce support costs. Through a better understanding of how much your services costs, as well as the returns they deliver, can help companies minimize their expenses in relation to their earnings by properly allocating their funds. It also gets everyone acquainted with the low-value services. This can help the staff to identify which services they should focus on in terms of direct impact on the business.
  4. Build rapport with the end user community. One of the biggest breakdowns in communication between IT and end users stems from the lack of knowledge in the part of the end users about what to expect from IT, so they proceed to set their own expectations. Naturally, these are rarely met by the clueless party. This can all change with the help of an IT service catalog which can open understanding of the services available, and how they will be executed.
  5. Boost IT productivity. An IT service catalog will help identify inefficiencies and inadequacies in the most important services offered so that they can be eliminated. Without them, there will be a drastic improvement in terms of productivity.

IT Service Catalog Template

IT Service Catalog Template

IT Service Catalog Design Bundle

IT Service Catalog Design Bundle

A4 IT Service Catalog Design

A4 IT Service Catalog Design

Steps in Developing an IT Service Catalog

Setting up a service catalog is pretty simple, especially with a whole company filled with capable minds. However, the challenge lies in encouraging customer engagement and setting proper expectations. To make this work, consider the following steps:

A. Identify the services that your business needs in order to operate.

Developing a service catalog is really just an exercise in good communication. It’s a combination of knowing and understanding your company and learning about its wants and needs. Everyone should work together to be able to determine what they need to perform their jobs—business unit managers, stakeholders, everyone.

You can start by differentiating between the services that you currently offer and start analyzing what could be missing from that aspect. Once you identify them, think: are they essential to your company and do they align with your company goals, or will you survive another healthy set of years without them?

B. Define security and access permissions.

Creating any sort of restriction for accessing the service catalog and any other specific services is important. You need to establish who will have access to it and who should stay out. This is simply a manner of ensuring that your sensitive processes are only accessible to people who can be trusted with it.

C. Simplify the search process.

Categorizing services with your end users in mind is the only way to proceed with this. Keep technical jargon to a minimum and simplify whenever you find the chance. Remember that confusion can only create dissatisfaction, and that will only defeat the purpose of your service catalog.

D. Optimize the user experience.

Needless to say, aim for a user-friendly experience, one with an easy-to-access service portal with options that are easy to navigate and contains all of the services that they will need to do their jobs.

E. Roll out in phases.

Conduct a test on a representative portion of your user pool with a small selection of services. This way, you can find out what works and what doesn’t. It will help you identify the errors so that you can solve them right away.

F. Invest in automation.

Once you feel confident in the design of your service catalog and the processes that support it, you can proceed by selecting a software product that can best manage your company’s specific service needs, and automate delivery whenever possible.

Summer IT Service Catalog Sample

Summer IT Service Catalog Sample

Black & White IT Service Catalog

Black & White IT Service Catalog

IT Service Digital Product Catalog

IT Service Digital Product Catalog

Minimalist IT Service Catalog Designs

Minimalist IT Service Catalog Designs

Tips in Developing an IT Service Catalog

By sticking to these steps with discipline, one can increase his chances of success when it comes to creating a service catalog.

#1. Service catalog best practices: Know your audience.

It never pays to create anything customer-related if you don’t know who your audience is in the first place. There’s a reason why all these software developments have artifacts like use cases and user stories. They even have an entire discipline focused on human-computer interaction an user experience.

All of this is for a reason. If you don’t have a good grasp of the type of people who patronize your work and create a solution that will be useful to them, it’s not going to be successful. It’ll be so easy for you to get caught up in the tiny internal details of how to build the solution, but you will always fail when it comes to the actual implementation of it because you are incapable of delivering a solid user experience.

#2. Effective service catalog management includes focusing on your primary audience.

The whole world is your audience. But you must never forget to go back to your primary audience: your service consumers. When it comes to service catalog management, you should always aim for whatever will make things easier for them. If you fail in that, if you neglect to provide information that can make services easy for your primary audience, they will move on to look for a different path, and that can only spell trouble for you.

Before you add even the tiniest piece of information to your catalog, first ask yourself, “Does a consumer need to know this?” Taking the time to answer and understand this will help you filter things down to only the really important information.

Put yourself in the shoes of your external consumers. If you were them, what things would you want to see for you to have the confidence in that enterprise? A common wrong that people in this industry make is how they treat everyone as if they’re all internal consumers. They’re not. And they don’t have the patience for it. Think external first. Make using the catalog a positive experience for your primary audience.

#3. Consider product customization software.

Don’t be the guy who tries to create a single solution for all possible user problem. You are an IT company, not God. Instead, look for ways to customize. If you choose to use a single system of record, don’t sacrifice your user experience just to accomplish it.

#4. Be mindful of data organization and define services.

Take data organization seriously and define what a service exactly is—all the information you want to capture about it. Start creating taxonomies for data organization, and map out all of this information to the different roles that will use the catalog so that you can customize each view.

IT Service Product Catalog Example

IT Service Product Catalog Example

Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating a Service Catalog

There are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to implementing your IT service catalog. You can help it achieve a maximum level of success by avoiding the following mistakes:

  • Don’t use tech-talk to describe services. Avoid technical language, and keep details simple to ensure that your customers are perfectly aware of exactly what to expect.
  • Don’t limit your services to what you think your customers need. Instead, offer the services that your customers are looking for to do their job.
  • Don’t set access boundaries for internal office staff. Make sure that the catalog is available anytime, anywhere.
  • Don’t respond and deliver only when you feel like it. Be responsive to the needs of your customers, make commitments, and keep them.
  • Don’t stop communicating after a request is received. Provide your customers with a timeline for service delivery, and keep them apprised of status throughout a process.

There are many promising advantages to having an IT service catalog for your own enterprise. Conduct and maintain one to have the chance of earning the benefits that are waiting for those who do.

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