The service catalogue is a data base or structured document with information about all live IT services, including those available for deployment. The service catalogue is the only part of the service portfolio published to customers and is used to support the sale and delivery of IT services. The service catalogue includes information about deliverables, prices, contact points, ordering and request processes.
Service catalogs act as knowledge management tools for the employees of an organization, allowing them to route their requests for and about services and services to the subject matter experts who own, are accountable for, and operate them.
It is a means of centralizing all services that are important to the employees, users and management of the organizations which use it. The service catalog acts as a digital registry and a means for highly distributed businesses to see, find, and execute services regardless of where they exist in the world. This means that people in one part of the world can find and utilize the same services that people in other parts of the world use, eliminating the need to develop and support local services.
By centralizing services, the service catalogs also allows leadership and management to more easily identifying service gaps and redundancies that can then be addressed and continual service improvement practices applied. This allows for more effective and efficient use of resources. Additionally it puts centralized request and access controls in place.
Every organization will need to develop a policy of what a service is and how it will be defined and documented in the service catalogue. Over time an organization’s policy of defining and naming services will evolve. The key critical success factor is the extent to which the policy supports increased effective and efficient service provisioning.