Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), defends that services catalogue should be a function of the customer’s IT assets. This approach does not bring value to the customer with the looming of cloud computing, where IT infrastructure and IT platform are becoming an utility and can be self-provisioned and completely automated. Assets are virtual and its management follows robotic rules.
ITIL bible on Service Strategy defines:
Customers own and operate configurations of assets to create value for their own customers. The assets are the means of achieving outcomes that enable or enhance value creation
The design of the IT service catalogue becomes easier when it is possible to define the customer values they facilitate (a framework for value proposition definition can be found here). The service discovery is then created by building a relationship network, of the necessary service categories (also called business functions) that may realize one or more business services. The service fulfills a need for a customer and should exist to assure that set of values to be accomplished.
Imagine the scenario around a government agency that is pursuing a e-government strategy. By the scanning of the strategic drivers, value proposition is discovered by inference.
The next step is to design the IT Service catalogue that realize the values.
In a cloud era, assets are not anymore the specifications of the servers, the routers, applications provided to the customers are. Pursuing a obsessed value proposition offering that links services features, chargeback mechanisms and service level agreements, represents a higher level of aggregation, vertical integration and cross sell, which can often lead to the discovery and pursuit of unique and highly differentiated services.