IT Service Catalogs: What Makes Services Different than Requests?

Thought Leadership for
IT Service Management Professionals

IT Service Catalogs: What Makes Services Different than Requests?

Posted by Don Casson

Wed, Jan 27, 2016

As we look at the differences between Services and Requests in the Service Catalog, one that stands out is this:

Services are aggregated, Requests are single threaded. 



The Service Portfolio is the source of the components for the Service defined in the Service Catalog. As an example, I like to think of the Service Portfolio being like a box of Legos. It contains all the components IT has under management. We put these components together (i.e. aggregate) to form Services we publish in the Service Catalog.

Conversely, Requests are typically singular in nature and are not usually combined – unless to enable a particular Service.

As an illustration, consider the example of employee onboarding. This service not only aggregates IT components and capabilities like network, storage and access, it also aggregates cross-functional departments like HR and facilities in the Service.

In comparison, when we look at an example of a request, we generally see singular transactions. For example - I want to print on the third floor printer or I want access the Oracle database, or I want to increase the size of my mailbox. 

If this topic interests you please check out the slides and recorded event from our webinar, Service Catalog vs. Request Portal: 6 Characteristics That Set Them Apart. It covers this topic in greater depth. 


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


Topics: Service Catalog, ServiceNow, Service Request Catalog, IT Consulting, IT Service Catalog, ITSM, IT, Request Portal, ITSM Strategy, Service Catalog Webinar


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