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Seven steps to develop an IT service catalog: Template for success

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Optimize business capabilities with a service repository

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Next, consider supporting portfolio analysis in order to help maximize business capabilities. While I never personally have sold commercial service repositories, I've heard from many salespeople that they are very difficult to sell. It's one of those things where there is general agreement that it is a best practice to have a repository of your services, but yet there is little investment in it. I've heard many CIOs complain that IT doesn't have an accurate picture of its software assets, yet fail to put money toward creating a proper repository-based catalog. The way around this is use the catalog as an analysis asset.

Consumers may need to see things on a service-by-service basis, but management needs to see portfolio-wide analysis. How much redundancy is there in your service catalog? A wiki-based or Word-document-based approach may provide what a consumer needs, but it's going to be very difficult to scrape those documents to identify business capabilities associated with each service. You're going to likely need a more structure-based repository to complement the consumer-focused documentation to be able to do this. That could be Excel, a simple database, a Sharepoint list, a service repository tool or an enterprise architecture repository.

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