How to Create a Service Catalog Organized for IT

A service catalog initiative can be deceptive. At first glance, it seems like a simple process of listing all the services your organization offers to customers and then using the document to display those services as a menu. However, building a service catalog is sometimes a little more complicated than that.

Your catalog can make or break you, and a well-organized catalog can set your system up for a healthy and strong performance, assisting activities throughout the organization. As an IT leader, your ability to set this foundational change is easier than you might think, and while it can be complicated, you can be sure that with a few key steps you’ll have others asking how to create a successful service catalog like yours.

How to Create a Service Catalog

Balancing the needs of stakeholders, determining the proper language (technical vs. customer-facing) in which the catalog will be written, and where the catalog will be displayed are just a few things to consider.

Some would say that a service catalog is an internal document that is merely a list of services, whether those services are current, retired, or currently being planned for release. A more contemporary understanding of the service catalog is a customer-facing document that lists all of the services that are available from you.

A few critical things to consider when creating this document are:  

  • Balancing the needs of stakeholders. 
  • Determining the proper language in which the catalog will be written (technical vs. customer-facing). 
  • Where the catalog will be displayed. 

Creating Service Catalog Categories

Let’s assume that we are going to build a service catalog that will act as a stakeholder-facing document to some degree. In this case, the first step is to define your service catalog categories.

Think of a clothing store and how it is split up into different departments for menswear, women’s wear, and shoes, among others. Such a layout makes it easy for customers to navigate the store and find what they need.

A similar structure can be applied when it comes to choosing service catalog categories. It is helpful to start with a list of services you currently offer, group them thematically, then create service catalog categories based on those groupings.

The service catalog categories you create will allow you to refine and define your services and where they belong within your service catalog.

Once you have used categories to group your services, you can use them to identify more services that you want to offer as an organization. The exercise will invariably add to and fill out your list of service offerings creating a more complete, customer-centric range of services.

After defining your service catalog categories, it is important that each one has supporting information that explains its purpose. This helps users understand what the service catalog categories are meant to accomplish, who it is offered to, and any other vital details such as associated costs or required approvals. It is also essential to determine which service catalog categories might be available to which audiences in your organization.

Understanding which services can be requested by each of your audiences will lead you to decisions about where and how to publish your service catalog, allowing you to start thinking about integrating continuous service improvement models within your overarching service model.

At this point, you will most likely want to assign ownership of services to people in your organization who are then responsible for ensuring their service catalog categories, as displayed, are up to date and correct.

Even if your organization already has a service catalog as part of your IT Service Management structure, it might be worth revisiting. There are always ways to improve the user experience.

The Importance of Easy-to-Use ITSM for Service Catalog Success

Prior to TeamDynamix ITSM, the State University of New York (SUNY), Brockport, was using an ITSM system that was cumbersome and hard to manage. By making the switch to a system that’s easy-to-use, agile and low code/no code – TeamDynamix’s ITSM platform – they were able to meet the challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced colleges to shift suddenly to remote learning during the spring 2020 semester, IT staff at SUNY Brockport, quickly revised their institution’s service catalog — making it easier for staff and students to find critical support. 

Such a swift response never would have been possible with the IT service management platform the university was using before.  “We wanted to be more timely and agile in making changes,” said Director of Information Technology Services Stephen Cook.  

Cook and his colleagues are glad they made the switch. With TeamDynamix, SUNY Brockport now has a service management platform that’s easier for both IT employees and end-users alike, a no-code solution that doesn’t require much overhead to manage — backed by a company that is a full partner in the university’s success. Add to that, TeamDynamix costs less to license and to operate over time. 

“We realized our ‘super’ users could actually make those changes quickly for themselves because it’s more agile, with a graphical user interface,” Cook said. “That would allow us to make changes on the fly.” 

As a testament to the system’s ease of use, implementation began in April 2019 with a team of four people. By July 1, SUNY Brockport had completed Phase 1 of the implementation process, which included launching the ticketing system, service portal, and knowledge base. 

“We had a service catalog and knowledge base already, but we had to recreate these within TeamDynamix,” Cook said. “We did all of that in less than three months.”

Because TeamDynamix is so easy to use, it’s transforming the delivery of IT service at SUNY Brockport. “We’re revisiting our business processes on the fly, which is improving our service,” Cook concludes. “TeamDynamix allows us to do that. We couldn’t do any of the things we do now with our old system without a significant increase in time and resources.” 

Want to read more about SUNY Brockport’s experience? You can find it here: TeamDynamix’s Ease of Use Helps SUNY Brockport Transform IT Practices

If you are looking for more examples of TeamDynamix customers who have built stellar self-service portals with well-organized, user-friendly service catalogs check out our portals page: Stellar Client Service Portals

This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated with new information. 

You might also like:

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By closing this notice you agree to the use of cookies.