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April 9, 2007

The Service Portfolio and the Service Catalog

Molly By Molly Holladay

Out of sheer curiosity, I searched Wikipedia today for information on Service Portfolios… and boy was I ever disappointed. No results for Service Portfolios, and the article on Service Catalogs is lacking to say the least.

I won’t argue that managing service requests is “a” benefit to having a service catalog, but how much do your executives really care about service requests? Are you talking to your CIO about how your service catalog has brought benefit to the organization through allowing your customers to make more well-defined requests of you? Probably not, or I submit you shouldn’t.

A Service Catalog and Service Portfolio are as much about managing service requests, as the CMDB is about storing inventory. There are a number of service catalogs on the web that you can look at… but what I'm rarely seeing is the ‘business perspective'… where are the examples and case studies of organizations using their service catalog to “Manage IT Like a Business”?

True, Service Catalogs are the perfect way to go about establishing standards amongst IT offerings, but even more importantly, the Portfolio takes that catalog to the next level by separating supply from demand and furthermore enables highly structured evaluation of:

  • IT Spend Data - Classifying and analyzing IT service costs facilitate highly focused cost improvement and reduction opportunities.
  • IT Budgeting Data - Understanding the cost drivers underlying the supply and demand of IT services allows us to get to the root of improving our cost structure.
  • Organizational Consumption Data - Providing discrete costs to the IT customer for each class of service consumed makes improvements to the IT cost structure possible by changing the demand side of IT.
  • Service Capacity - When IT is able to provide customers with real-time information on their consumption of services they’re able to more accurately charge for current usage as well as determine future service levels & costs to customers

In light of the need for visibility into these valuable metrics, I foresee the tactical, request-centric Service Catalog of the past being left behind by the strategic demand planning and financial management capabilities, among others, built into the Service Portfolio. Keep an eye out for more information on Service Portfolios and benefits from us and from ITIL v3 just one more month!

Posted on April 9, 2007 | Permalink


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service portfolio is a fairly new spin on "IT portfolio management" - I think the Wikipedia article on that is OK, but then I wrote a lot of it...


Posted by: charles betz | May 23, 2007 10:36:28 PM

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