6 years, 10 months ago

The Difference between Service Catalog and Service Portfolio

Last week I talked about Business Transformation. This week is about Service Catalog and Service Portfolio. Do you have to have both or are they the same thing?

A service catalog is not the same thing as a service portfolio, but both are extremely important and essential to a successful business transformation.

What is a Service Catalog?

A service catalog is an exhaustive list of IT services that an organization offers to its employees or customers. In other words, this list covers all the current services that are offered by the organization including new hardware or software. Notice how I stated it is a list of “current” services. This catalog does not list planned services nor retired services.

What is a Service Portfolio?

As you might have guessed, a Service Portfolio is a complete list of services regardless of where they are in their life cycle (i.e. planning, development, production, retired).  The Service Portfolio includes the service pipeline, a service catalog, and a list of retired services. This portfolio is great to understand how an organization has evolved and plan for what needs to be offered tomorrow.

Can there be one without the other?

While it might be argued that having a Service Portfolio without having or planning to have a Service Catalog, makes no sense; the Service Catalog and Service Portfolio can absolutely be one without the other. Nevertheless, they are more powerful together.

A service catalog by itself can provide great value to an organization by helping the business to identify the range of business and technology services available. When used in conjunction with a service portfolio it increases the visibility for the business to understand where they come from and where they want to go.

As an organization becomes more mature, Service Catalog and Service Portfolio enable the following.

  • Complete understanding of what capabilities are being enabled by one or more services.
  • More visibility into the cost and benefits of specific services to the organization.
  • Alignment between business strategies and goals with the services offered.
  • Greater visibility into the business.
  • Better decision making.

The Big Picture

If you have been reading my blogs over the last year, you know that I believe that Enterprise Architecture should help the business get a holistic picture of a fully connected enterprise. What does this mean? Enterprise Architecture should help the business answer key questions and make strategic decisions to transform the organization.  A service catalog and a service portfolio are paramount to enabling this connected enterprise.

I know this is just a brief introduction to a service catalog and portfolio, but I hope it gives you a better understanding of their differences and their importance to your organization.

Please join in the conversation and let me know if you are interested in learning more about this.

See you next week, same time, same place.

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