I ran across this article the other day by Doug Mueller and it reminded me of the multi-layer Service Catalog. I’m not sure if this is an actual term or not, but it’s a good description of what it is. If you take a very large organization that is broken up into distinct areas such as the teams that support:
- Hardware & Operating Systems
- Technologies (web servers, databases, messaging bus, etc)
- Applications (email, timesheet, payment processing)
For mature IT groups, they typically will drive towards a list of supported hardware and support operating systems, they will also typically drive towards a list of support technologies that will be supported within the environment. On top of these, some common applications (or services) are then provided to the employees such as email and the corporate web server.
If you walk through this, each of those teams has their own Service Catalog (and as Doug said, a Service Request Catalog). Someone in the technology area, after significant research wants to make this new technology available for sharing documents. The person requests from the hardware group for hardware and an operating system to be provisioned for this technology to run on.
Someone in the application area then decides to tie the document sharing, email, web and video together for a collaboration solution, so they in turn request services. The end users then request access to the collaboration service.
I have seen a few different approaches to this such as different links on the internal website to request hardware w/OS and another set of links to get applications/technologies installed to simple help desk requests. Regardless, while it may not be a full fledge electronic Service Request Catalog at each layer, there are lists of approved hardware, operating systems and technologies for many companies.