The ITIL framework clearly differentiates the stages in which the Service Portfolio, Service Catalog and Request Portal operate.
The Service Portfolio is aligned with Service Strategy. The Service Catalog aligns with the Service Design stage. And Request Fulfillment aligns with Service Ops.
Service Strategy defines how an IT organization defines its services that empower business customers to achieve the desired business outcome. The Service Design stage creates service solutions that meet ever-changing business requirements. It does so by defining the Service and requisite processes, policies and governance thereby facilitating the introduction of new or modified services to the catalog.
In contrast, Request Fulfillment is a primary process of the Service Operations stage. Clearly, this stage supports the daily operation and coordination of activities, tasks and process required to deliver and support the operations by executing such fundamental processes as incident, Problem and Event Management.
Enterprises that use price, chargebacks or showbacks can influence the demand for each service. It's an economic principle and can be used as a tool to steer business customer behavior toward services the organization prefers over other choices. This might include such things as a particular mobile phone type, operating system or laptop.
Requests, on the other hand, are generally not influenced or governed by price or cost – often they are simply required. Attributing cost to a request could have value in conveying the true cost of a given request, but it could also create unhappy customers if the customer has no alternative choices.
At the end of the day, IT's business customer will prefer a solutions provider that offers "cost transparency" and a range of viable alternatives. Cost transparency is the term used to identify the costs associated with delivering and maintaining a given IT service. In today's marketplace the line of business can choose vendors outside the internal IT organization, so whenever possible IT should provide its customers a variety of priced choices.
Click here for the final post of this series.
You may also want to learn more about Service Taxonomy, which is a key connection between a Service Portfolio and a Service Catalog. It is a framework of categories, groups and sub groups that help you to organize and manage your services. We have built an extensive Service Taxonomy on an easy-to-use Mind-mapping technology.
About the Author
Don Casson is CEO and co-founder of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm leading
Fortune 500 companies to dramatically transform their IT operations. Feel free to contact Don at