Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Cio icon

Design and Build a User-Facing Service Catalog

Improve user satisfaction with IT with a convenient menu-like catalog.

  • Business users don’t know what breadth of services are available to them.
  • It is difficult for business users to obtain useful information regarding services because they are often described in technical language.
  • Business users have unrealistic expectations of what IT can do for them.
  • There is no defined agreement on what is available, so the business assumes everything is.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Define services from the business user’s perspective, not IT’s perspective.
    • A service catalog is of no use if a user looks at it and sees a significant amount of information that doesn’t apply to them.
  • Separate the enterprise services from the Line of Business (LOB) services.
    • This will simplify the process of documenting your service definitions and make it easier for users to navigate, which leads to a higher chance of user acceptance.

Impact and Result

  • Our program helps you organize your services in a way that is relevant to the users, and practical and manageable for IT.
  • Our approach to defining and categorizing services ensures your service catalog remains a living document. You may add or revise your service records with ease.
  • Our program creates a bridge between IT and the business. Begin transforming IT’s perception within the organization by communicating the benefits of the service catalog.

Design and Build a User-Facing Service Catalog Research & Tools

1. Launch the project

The Launch the Project phase will walk through completing Info-Tech's project charter template. This phase will help build a balanced project team, create a change message and communication plan, and achieve buy-in from key stakeholders.

2. Identify and define enterprise services

The Identify and Define Enterprise Services phase will help to target enterprise services offered by the IT team. They are offered to everyone in the organization, and are grouped together in logical categories for users to access them easily.

3. Identify and define Line of Business (LOB) services

After completing this phase, all services IT offers to each LOB or functional group should have been identified. Each group should receive different services and display only these services in the catalog.

4. Complete the Services Definition Chart

Completing the Services Definition Chart will help the business pick which information to include in the catalog. This phase also prepares the catalog to be extended into a technical service catalog through the inclusion of IT-facing fields.

Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.


Overall Impact


Average $ Saved


Average Days Saved




$ Saved

Days Saved

Oregon Department of Employment





Overall, this engagement was outstanding.

British Columbia Lottery Corporation

Guided Implementation




Seasoned expertise and professional mature behaviors and relaxed demeanor.

Community Health Choice, Inc.





The team appreciated Into Tech modifying our workshop as we already had a service catalog in place. The recommendation provided by Sumit will allo... Read More

Sanmar Corp

Guided Implementation




Great insight into the topic and provided customer experiences on pricing with this vendor. Also, John outlined several alternatives we could purs... Read More

Ontario Power Generation





Sumit was a great facilitator and demonstrated facilitative leadership during the workshops.

Queen's University

Guided Implementation




PGG Wrightson

Guided Implementation




very good initial discussion. It's too early estimating any savings.

Department of National Defence

Guided Implementation




Best part: Follow-up sessions and Getting feedbacks on our progress Worst part: NA

Hernando County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller

Guided Implementation




Ibrahim was very knowledge and took the time to explain the slides and powerpoint. He was able to break down the topics and make them easier to und... Read More

Mexichem Servicios Administrativos S.A. de C.V.





The best was the management of the meetings to get the result and achieve the goal. The worst, is the initial lack of alignment between the expecte... Read More

Waterloo Region District School Board





Appreciated the time to be able to work in collaboration with other staff to get this completed.

State of Hawaii – ETS





The collaboration exchange with the different department stakeholders was a huge plus. On the flip side many departments felt the expectations were... Read More

Health Canada

Guided Implementation




The best part was the reassurance that I have an SME at Infotech to assist and the worst part is getting the basic info from my colleague due to th... Read More

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment

Guided Implementation




Great set of guidelines and templates for us to work with.

Construction Resources Management

Guided Implementation




Oregon Enterprise Information Services

Guided Implementation




Valence was able to traverse both a narrow and wide scope of topics within the service management domain, that was a big help because that's what I... Read More

Vancouver Police Department





Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona

Guided Implementation




Best parts are being able to ask question and get guidance and clarification specific to our organization.

Sun River Health

Guided Implementation




Fullerton College

Guided Implementation




The best part of the experience is that I am able to progress at my own pace and the InfoTech consultant is very patient working with me.

Fullerton College

Guided Implementation




Rosens Diversified

Guided Implementation




City Of Hamilton

Guided Implementation




Tony was amazing!! He looked at my work explained the theory behind Service Catalogues and then pointed me in the appropriate direction and with t... Read More

Kleinfelder Group

Guided Implementation




Surgical Care Affiliates

Guided Implementation




Association of American Medical Colleges

Guided Implementation




Tony seemed to have a hollistic experience of Service catalogs, and was prepared to pick the conversation up from either a Green field perspective ... Read More

Rotary International





Alabama Department of Corrections

Guided Implementation




The amount of content on your website can be overwhelming in a good way.

County of Tulare





Pima Community College

Guided Implementation




Manage Service Catalogs

Improve user satisfaction with IT by letting business users know exactly what is available to them in a convenient menu-like catalog.
This course makes up part of the Service Planning & Architecture Certificate.

  • Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Paul Brown, Sr. Research Director, CIO Practice
  • Gord Harrison, SVP of Research and Advisory

Now Playing:
Academy: Manage Service Catalogs | Executive Brief

An active membership is required to access Info-Tech Academy

Workshop: Design and Build a User-Facing Service Catalog

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Launch the Project

The Purpose

  • The purpose of this module is to help engage IT with business decision making.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • This module will help build a foundation for the project to begin. The buy-in from key stakeholders is key to having them take onus on the project’s completion.




Assemble the project team.

  • A list of project members, stakeholders, and a project leader.

Develop a communication plan.

  • A change message, communication strategy, and defined benefits for each user group.

Establish metrics for success.

  • Metrics used to monitor the usefulness of the catalog, both from a performance and monetary perspective.

Complete the project charter.

  • A completed project charter to engage users in the initiative.

Module 2: Identify and Define Enterprise Services

The Purpose

The purpose of this module is to review services which are offered across the entire organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

A complete list of enterprise services defined from the user’s perspective to help them understand what is available to them.




Identify enterprise services used by almost everyone across the organization.

  • A complete understanding of enterprise services for both IT service providers and business users.

Categorize services into logical groups.

  • Logical groups for organizing the services in the catalog.

Define the services from the user’s perspective.

  • Completed definitions in business language, preferably reviewed by business users.

Module 3: Identify and Define Line of Business (LOB) Services

The Purpose

The purpose of this module is to define the remaining LOB services for business users, and separate them into functional groups.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Business users are not cluttered with LOB definitions that do not pertain to their business activities.
  • Business users are provided with only relevant IT information.




Identify the LOBs.

  • A structured view of the different functional groups within the business.

Determine which one of two methodologies is more suitable.

  • An easy to follow process for identifying all services for each LOB.

Identify LOB services using appropriate methodology.

  • A list of every service for each LOB.

Define services from a user perspective.

  • Completed definitions in business language, preferably reviewed by business users.

Module 4: Complete the Full Service Definitions

The Purpose

  • The purpose of this module is to guide the client to completing their service record definitions completely.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • This module will finalize the deliverable for the client by defining every user-facing service in novice terms.




Understand the components to each service definition (information fields).

  • A selection of information fields to be included in the service catalog.

Pick which information to include in each definition.

  • A selection of information fields to be included in the service catalog.

Complete the service definitions.

  • A completed service record design, ready to be implemented with the right tool.

Design and Build a User-Facing Service Catalog

Improve user satisfaction with IT with a convenient menu-like catalog.

Our understanding of the problem

This Research Is Designed For:

  • CIOs
  • Directors and senior managers within IT and the business

This Research Will Help You:

  • Articulate all of the services IT provides to the business in a language the business users understand.
  • Improve IT and business alignment through a common understanding of service features and IT support.

This Research Will Help Them

  • Standardize and communicate how users request access to services.
  • Standardize and communicate how users obtain support for services.
  • Clearly understand IT’s role in providing each service.

What is a service catalog?

The user-facing service catalog is the go-to place for IT service-related information.

The catalog defines, documents, and organizes the services that IT delivers to the organization. The catalog also describes the features of the services and how the services are intended to be used.

The user-facing service catalog creates benefits for both the business and IT.

For business users, the service catalog:

  1. Documents how to request access to the service, hours of availability, delivery timeframes, and customer responsibilities.
  2. Specifies how to obtain support for the services, support hours, and documentation.

For IT, the service catalog:

  1. Identifies who owns the services and who is authorized to use the services.
  2. Specifies IT support requirements for the services, including support hours and documentation.

What is the difference between a user-facing service catalog and a technical service catalog?

This blueprint is about creating a user-facing service catalog written and organized in a way that focuses on the services from the business’ view.

User facing

User-friendly, intuitive, and simple overview of the services that IT provides to the business.

The items you would see on the menu at a restaurant are an example of User Facing. The content is relatable and easy to understand.


Series of technical workflows, supporting services, and the technical components that are required to deliver a service.

The recipe book with cooking instructions is an example of Technical Facing. This catalog is intended for the IT teams and is “behind the scene.”

What is a service and what does it mean to be service oriented?

The sum of the people, processes, and technologies required to enable users to achieve a business outcome is a Service.

A service is used directly by the end users and is perceived as a coherent whole.

Business Users →Service = Application & Systems + People & Processes

Service Orientation is…

  • A focus on business requirements and business value, rather than IT driven motives.
  • Services are designed to enable required business activities.
  • Services are defined from the business perspective using business language.

In other words, put on your user hat and leave behind the technical jargons!

A lack of a published user-facing service catalog could be the source of many pains throughout your organization

IT Pains

  • IT doesn’t understand all the services they provide.
  • Business users would go outside of IT for solutions, proliferating shadow IT.
  • Business users have a negative yet unrealistic perception of what IT is capable of.
  • IT has no way of managing expectations for their users, which tend to inflate.
  • There is often no defined agreement on services; the business assumes everything is available.

Business Pains

  • Business users don’t know what services are available to them.
  • It is difficult to obtain useful information regarding a service because IT always talks in technical language.
  • Without a standard process in place, business users don’t know how to request access to a service with multiple sources of information available.
  • Receiving IT support is a painful, long process and IT doesn’t understand what type of support the business requires.

An overwhelming majority of IT organizations still need to improve how they demonstrate their value to the business

This image contains a pie chart with a slice representing 23% of the circle This image contains a pie chart with a slice representing 47% of the circle This image contains a pie chart with a slice representing 92% of the circle

23% of IT is still viewed as a cost center.

47% of business executives believe that business goals are going unsupported by IT.

92% of IT leaders see the need to prove the business value of IT’s contribution.

How a Service Catalog can help:

Use the catalog to demonstrate how IT is an integral part of the organization and IT services are essential to achieve business objectives.

Source: IT Communication in Crisis Report

Transform the perception of IT by articulating all the services that are provided through the service catalog in a user-friendly language.

Source: Info-Tech Benchmarking and Diagnostic Programs

Increase IT-business communication and collaboration through the service catalog initiative. Move from technology focused to service-oriented.

Source: IT Communication in Crisis Report

Project Steps

Phase 1 – Project Launch

1.2 Project Team

The team must be balanced between representatives from the business and IT.

1.2 Communication Plan

Communication plan to facilitate input from both sides and gain adoption.

1.3 Identify Metrics

Metrics should reflect the catalog benefits. Look to reduced number of service desk inquiries.

1.4 Project Charter

Project charter helps walk you through project preparation.

This blueprint separates enterprise service from line of business service.

This image contains a comparison between Enterprise IT Service and Line of Business Service, which will be discussed in further detail later in this blueprint.

Project steps

Phase 2 – Identify and Define Enterprise Services

2.1 Identify the services that are used across the entire organization.

2.2 Users must be able to identify with the service categories.

2.3 Create basic definitions for enterprise services.

Phase 3 – Identify and Define Line of Business Services

3.1 Identify the different lines of business (LOBs) in the organization.

3.2 Understand the differences between our two methodologies for identifying LOB services.

3.3 Use methodology 1 if you have thorough knowledge of the business.

3.4 Use methodology 2 if you only have an IT view of the LOB.

Phase 4 – Complete Service Definitions

4.1 Understand the different components to each service definition, or the fields in the service record.

4.2 Identify which information to include for each service definition.

4.3 Define each enterprise service according to the information and field properties.

4.3 Define each LOB service according to the information and field properties.

Define your service catalog in bundles to achieve better catalog design in the long run

Trying to implement too many services at once can be overwhelming for both IT and the users. You don’t have to define and implement all of your services in one release of the catalog.

Info-Tech recommends implementing services themselves in batches, starting with enterprise, and then grouping LOB services into separate releases. Why? It benefits both IT and business users:

  • It enables a better learning experience for IT – get to test the first release before going full-scale. In other words, IT gets a better understanding of all components of their deliverable before full adoption.
  • It is easier to meet customer agreements on what is to be delivered early, and easier to be able to meet those deadlines.
This image depicts how you can use bundles to simplify the process of catalog design using bundles. The cycle includes the steps: Identify Services; Select a Service Bundle; Review Record Design; followed by a cycle of: Pick a service; Service X; Service Data Collection; Create Service Record, followed by Publish the bundle; Communicate the bundle; Rinse and Repeat.

After implementing a service catalog, your IT will be able to:

Use the service catalog to communicate all the services that IT provides to the business.

Improve IT’s visibility within the organization by creating a single source of information for all the value creating services IT has to offer. The service catalog helps the business understand the value IT brings to each service, each line of business, and the overall organization.

Concentrate more on high-value IT services.

The service catalog contains information which empowers business users to access IT services and information without the help of IT support staff. The reduction in routine inquiries decreases workload and increases morale within the IT support team, and allows IT to concentrate on providing higher value services.

Reduce shadow IT and gain control of services.

Service catalog brings more control to your IT environment by reducing shadow IT activities. The service catalog communicates business requests responsively in a language the business users understand, thus eliminating the need for users to seek outside help.

After implementing a service catalog, your business will be able to:

Access IT services with ease.

The language of IT is often confusing for the business and the users don’t know what to do when they have a concern. With a user-facing service catalog, business users can access information through a single source of information, and better understand how to request access or receive support for a service through clear, consistent, and business-relevant language.

Empower users to self-serve.

The service catalog enables users to “self-serve” IT services. Instead of calling the service desk every time an issue occurs, the users can rely on the service catalog for information. This simplified process not only reduces routine service requests, but also provides information in a faster, more efficient manner that increases productivity for both IT and the business.

Gain transparency on the IT services provided.

With every service clearly defined, business users can better understand the current support level, communicate their expectation for IT accountability, and help IT align services with critical business strategies.

Leverage the different Info-Tech deliverable tools to help you along the way

1. Project Charter

A project charter template with a few samples completed. The project charter helps you govern the project progress and responsibilities.

2. Enterprise Service Definitions

A full list of enterprise definitions with features and descriptions pre-populated. These are meant to get you on your feet defining your own enterprise services, or editing the ones already there.

3. Basic Line of Business Service Definitions

Similar to the enterprise services deliverable, but with two separate deliverables focusing on different perspectives – functional groups services (e.g. HR and finance) and industry-specific services (e.g. education and government).

Service Definitions & Service Record Design

Get a taste of a completed service catalog with full service definitions and service record design. This is the final product of the service catalog design once all the steps and activities have been completed.

The service catalog can be the foundation of your future IT service management endeavors

After establishing a catalog of all IT services, the following projects are often pursued for other objectives. Service catalog is a precursor for all three.

1. Technical Service Catalog

Need an IT-friendly breakdown of each service?
Keep better record of what technical components are required to deliver a service. The technical service catalog is the IT version of a user-facing catalog.

2. Service-Based Costing

Want to know how much each IT service is costing you?
Get a better grip on the true cost of IT. Using service-based costing can help justify IT expenses and increase budgetary allotment.

3. Chargeback

Want to hold each business unit accountable for the IT services they use?
Some business units abuse their IT services because they are thought to be free. Keep them accountable and charge them for what they use.

The service catalog need not be expensive – organizations of all sizes (small, medium, large) can benefit from a service catalog

No matter what size organization you may be, every organization can create a service catalog. Small businesses can benefit from the catalog the same way a large organization can. We have an easy step-by-step methodology to help introduce a catalog to your business.

It is common that users do not know where to go to obtain services from IT… We always end up with a serious time-crunch at the beginning of a new school year. With automated on- and off-boarding services, this could change for the better.Dean Obermeyer, Technology Coordinator, Los Alamos Public Schools

CIO Call to Action

As the CIO and the project sponsor, you need to spearhead the development of the service catalog and communicate support to drive engagement and adoption.


  1. Select an experienced project leader
  2. Identify stakeholders and select project team members with the project leader
  3. Throughout the project

  4. Attend or lead the project kick-off meeting
  5. Create checkpoints to regularly touch base with the project team
  6. Service catalog launch

  7. Communicate the change message from beginning to implementation

Identify a project leader who will drive measurable results with this initiative

The project leader acts on behalf of the CIO and must be a senior level staff member who has extensive knowledge of the organization and experiences marshalling resources.

Influential & Impactful

Developing a service catalog requires dedication from many groups within IT and outside of IT.
The project leader must hold a visible, senior position and can marshal all the necessary resources to ensure the success of the project. Ability to exert impact and influence around both IT and the business is a must.

Relationship with the Business

The user-facing service catalog cannot be successful if business input is not received.
The project leader must leverage his/her existing relationship with the business to test out the service definitions and the service record design.

Results Driven

Creating a service catalog is not an easy job and the project leader must continuously engage the team members to drive results and efficiency.
The highly visible nature of the service catalog means the project leader must produce a high-quality outcome that satisfies the business users.

Info-Tech’s methodology helps organization to standardize how to define services

Industry Municipal Government
Source Onsite engagement

Municipal Government
The IT department of a large municipal government in the United States provides services to a large number of customers in various government agencies.
Service Catalog Initiative
The municipal government allocated a significant amount of resources to answer routine inquiries that could have been avoided through user self-service. The government also found that they do not organize all the services IT provides, and they could not document and publish them to the customer. The government has already begun the service catalog initiative, but was struggling with how to identify services. Progress was slow because people were arguing amongst themselves – the project team became demoralized and the initiative was on the brink of failure.
With Info-Tech’s onsite support, the government was able to follow a standardized methodology to identify and define services from the user perspective. The government was able to successfully communicate the initiative to the business before the full adoption of the service catalog.

We’re in demos with vendors right now to purchase an ITSM tool, and when the first vendor looked at our finished catalog, they were completely impressed.- Client Feedback

[We feel] very confident. The group as a whole is pumped up and empowered – they're ready to pounce on it. We plan to stick to the schedule for the next three months, and then review progress/priorities. - Client Feedback

Industry Healthcare
Source Onsite engagement

Healthcare Provider
The organization is a healthcare provider in Canada. It treats patients with medical emergencies, standard operations, and manages a faculty of staff ranging from nurses and clerks, to senior doctors. This organization is run across several hospitals, various local clinics, and research centers.
Service Catalog Initiative
Because the organization is publicly funded, it is subject to regular audit requirements – one of which is to have a service catalog in place.
The organization also would like to charge back its clients for IT-related costs. In order to do this, the organization must be able to trace it back to each service. Therefore, the first step would be to create a user-facing service catalog, followed by the technical service catalog, which then allows the organization to do service-based costing and chargeback.
By leveraging Info-Tech’s expertise on the subject, the healthcare provider was able to fast-track its service catalog development and establish the groundwork for chargeback abilities.

"There is always some reticence going in, but none of that was apparent coming out. The group dynamic was very good. [Info-Tech] was able to get that response, and no one around the table was silent.
The [expectation] of the participants was that there was a purpose in doing the workshop. Everybody knew it was for multiple reasons, and everyone had their own accountability/stakes in the development of it. Highly engaged."
- Client Feedback

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

Guided Implementation

“Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”


“We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”


“Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Launch the Project

Identify Enterprise Services

Identify Line of Business Services

Complete Service Definitions

Best-Practice Toolkit

1.1 Assemble the project team.

1.2 Develop a communication plan.

1.3 Establish metrics for success.

1.4 Complete the project charter.

2.1 Identify services available organization-wide.

2.2 Categorize services into logical groups.

2.3 Define the services.

3.1 Identify different LOBs.

3.2 Pick one of two methodologies.

3.3 Use method to identify LOB services.

4.1 Learn components to each service definition.

4.2 Pick which information to include in each definition.

4.3 Define each service accordingly.

Guided Implementations Identify the project leader with the appropriate skills.

Assemble a well-rounded project team.

Develop a mission statement and change messages.

Create a comprehensive list of enterprise services that are used across the organization.

Create a categorization scheme that is based on the needs of the business users.

Walk through the two Info-Tech methodologies and understand which one is applicable.

Define LOB services using the appropriate methodology.

Decide what should be included and what should be kept internal for the service record design.

Complete the full service definitions.

Onsite Workshop Phase 1 Results:

Clear understanding of project objectives and support obtained from the business.

Phase 2 Results:

Enterprise services defined and categorized.

Phase 3 Results:

LOB services defined based on user perspective.

Phase 4 Results:

Service record designed according to how IT wishes to communicate to the business.

Design and Build a User-Facing Service Catalog preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.


Overall Impact

Average $ Saved

Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 9 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Launch the project
  • Call 1: Identify the project leader with the appropriate skills.
  • Call 2: Assemble a well-rounded project team.
  • Call 3: Develop a mission statement and change messages.

Guided Implementation 2: Identify enterprise services
  • Call 1: Create a comprehensive list of enterprise services that are used across the organization.
  • Call 2: Create a categorization scheme that is based on the needs of the business users.

Guided Implementation 3: Identify line of business services
  • Call 1: Walk through the two Info-Tech methodologies and understand which one is applicable.
  • Call 2: Define LOB services using the appropriate methodology.

Guided Implementation 4: Complete service definitions
  • Call 1: Decide what should be included and what should be kept internal for the service record design.
  • Call 2: Complete the full service definitions.


Paul Brown

Kimberly Jiang

Ryan McCrea


  • Boyd Gaming
  • James Hardie
  • Vidant Health
  • Los Alamos Public Schools
Visit our Exponential IT Research Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019