Imagine going to a really nice restaurant, expecting a wonderful meal and this is all you see when you get your menu: Meat. Fish. Poultry. Vegetables. Beverages. Salad. Desserts. Appetizers. You don’t get a list of specific choices in each category and you don’t even know the prices!  You don’t know whether the meat is a hamburger or a steak and you can’t tell if it is broiled or barbequed. That’s why you’re wondering how you can possibly make an intelligent decision about what to order without having to ask the waiter to verbally go through every single offering on the menu. Is this any way to run a business?


And what does ordering dinner have to do with IT? Or is this just the babble of someone (me) who is hungry and thinking about what kind of pizza I’m going to order tonight? No, it’s not the ranting of a hungry woman. It’s really about the service catalog. Your service catalog is your menu of business services from IT and the technical services that support them. And if your business users don’t know what specific services you offer, or what it costs to provide those services, you’re going to spend a lot of time and energy needlessly explaining this to them. If you don’t make it easy for your business users to find this information on their own, the services available to them will be underutilized. Finally, if your service catalog doesn’t reflect the value that you offer the business, then your business users may be more likely to look for other ways to meet their requirements.


IT must use the service catalog to proactively identify ways to support products and capabilities and deliver the applications and systems required for the business to seize opportunities. A mature service catalog can help IT prioritize spending based on the most critical services.


Many services catalogs lack the level of detail required to meet the goals of IT and the business. That’s why you should consider transforming your service catalog into one that delivers the desired results. This transformation requires obtaining clear answers from service owners about the value they get from their services. It also requires the software, such as the proper tools to identify, relate, track, and monitor the IT infrastructure.  Check out this article by experts from BMC’s Consulting Services group, which discusses best practices on how to get started with service catalog transformation: Transform the Service Catalog to Transform the Business.