2.8 Service Portfolio

Service portfolio complements demand and development portfolios with a service operations perspective. Service portfolio provides visibility on service status, lifecycle and business value. This kind of overview is required for governance, optimisation and risk management purposes.

Service portfolio steering reviews the service status and business value and makes lifecycle decisions such as approving new services and service retirements. Service catalogue lists the major services and provides a structure for service status reporting that makes sense for the business.

Service status includes the following information:

  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) status: green / yellow / red or not known
  • Cost status: in / over / under budget or not known
  • Lifecycle phase: in pipeline / in production / retired / archived on not known
  • Business criticality: low / moderate / high or not known
  • Business continuity: high (mirrored) / normal (recovery) / low or not known.

Measuring the business value

Although it is sometimes difficult to measure the business value of information technology solutions, the following three main categories can be used:

  • Business product: Information technology is a key element (like a mobile application) in a customer product or service with measurable business value such as revenue
  • Business assets: Information technology is a key asset (like an enterprise management system) in business operations and can be allocated a portion of the business value
  • Business enabler: Information technology has an enabling role (like laptops and other user services) in business. The business value is calculated based on the alternative cost of either not having it or replacing with another solution or service.

The service lifecycle defines four phases as illustrated in the picture below. The service portfolio interest covers phases from ‘in pipeline’ to ‘in production’ and ‘retired’. In some regulated businesses, the retired phase is followed by the archive phase. The archive phase means that the service is kept accessible for regulatory traceability purposes even when it is no longer in operational use.


Figure 2.8.1 The service lifecycle


Service portfolio steering is chaired by the Business Technology Management Officer (BTMO).


Service catalogue

The purpose of the service catalogue is to describe the business technology services available for the business and service users. The catalogue provides clarity on service (ownership) structure and is thereby an effective communication tool in business relations. It illustrates the diversity of the services, which is usually wider than generally assumed by the business leaders. The service catalogue also includes many service management topics explaining full scope of the services, and as such, gives a better understanding of total costs of the services which is essential information for the business.

Service catalogue:

  • Forms a comprehensive picture of services provided to business and service users
  • Improves communication by providing better understating of business technology scope
  • Provides clarity in service ownership between different organisations and role holders
  • Provides a structure to follow up and report business technology costs
  • Helps to identify and remove unnecessary solutions and services
  • Accelerates self-service and service automation.

A complete service catalogue consists of an overview of business technology services, service brochures for users and service requests and order catalogue for self-service purposes.



Figure 2.8.2 Different catalogue perspectives