What is the difference between Technical Service Catalog and Business Service Catalog?

Dear Wiz,
I've heard people talk about Technical Service Catalog and Business Service Catalog but I don't really understand the difference

Walt Nordheim
ITIL Consultant and Executive Coach

Dear Walt,

It is simple really: the Business Service Catalog or BCS describes the services we deliver to the business and the TCS (guess what that stands for LOL) describes the services we have in IT. The sum of the two is the Service Portfolio.

So for example, business services are things like email and laptops and support, and technical services are things like storage and continuity and security.

See it is not so confusing when explained properly is it? I wish the Service Operation book explained Catalog this clearly - we wouldn't have so many confused readers like you Walt.

Good luck
The ITIL Wizard



I'm going to assume that you prepared this answer minus coffee or much too late at night.

The Business Service Catalog (BSC) contains information about the IT services that are delivered to or available for selection by customers (including 3rd party services). It also contains information about how these services relate to each other. The BSC is the Customer facing view of IT Services.

While it might be possible to include laptops in the BSC, I've never seen that included in any of the Service Catalogs I've seen. I've also not seen support listed as a service, but as a part of the information available with descriptions of each service.

The Technical Services Catalog (TSC) contains information same information that is part of the BSC PLUS information the Customer doesn't need (e.g., supporting services (again, including 3rd party), Configuration Items necessary to support the services and the business, etc.). At a very high level, the TSC describes the "glue" or "backroom" support necessary to provide the IT- based services to the customer.

ITIL is quite specific (ref: Section 4.1 in the SD volume) that the TSC underpins or supports the Business Service Catalog and is not be part of the customer view.

The sum of the two is NOT the Service Portfolio, it is the Service Catalog.

Note the Service Portfolio contains the Service Catalog plus the Service Pipeline AND Retired Services.

I'm sure you know this already and couldn't edit it after the fact. I know that can be difficult because there have been times when I've wanted to edit my responses and not see the "Edit" link.


redundancy causes inconsistency

I presume by SD you mean Service Design? I've never had any call to reference that volume before but I took a look. It makes it all very complicated doesn't it? Some of the graphics in 4.1 look more like fireworks displays haha

I think you may have misread it though. Figure 4.3 clearly shows Business catalog sitting on top of the services and Technical catalog sitting on top of Support Services, Hardware, Software, Applications and Data. You see?

Surely there would be no point in two different documents describing the same services. Not normalised you know: redundancy causes inconsistency. Basic principle of IT really.

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