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Product Catalog, Service Catalog or Service Portfolio

Dirk Ronsmans Community Leader Sep 23, 2021

Hey everyone,

So I'd like to see what the broader point of view is on these topcis.

Throughout my network and colleagues the terms Product and Service (and Portfolio) seem to be used almost as interchangeable pieces of terminology but when asked what the difference would be between a 

  • Product Catalogue
  • Service Catalogue
  • Service Portfolio

the answers are often high level, or very phylosophical. 

Hence my question to start some discussion, how would you describe these 3 pieces of (IT)SM Catalogues and what are the main differences between them?

I've often considered it as follows:

Service: this is what we would offer to the business client and we would differentiate between Business and Technical services. (meaning the technical ones are more supportive of the Business ones)

Products: these are the building blocks of a service. I tend to think more in terms of physical assets (al be it virtual or truely physical)

Service Portfolio: well no clue here, for me a higher level above the Service Catalogue but not sure on how to interpret it.

Looking forward to hear what everyone else thinks!

1 comment


The Services Portfolio encompasses your Services Catalogue, the Services that are no longer offered(disabled) and the Services that you are working on and not yet available: ergo your portfolio of all thing services from the past, present and futur :)

Dirk Ronsmans Community Leader Sep 23, 2021

I see :)

I never really thought about the things that are no longer relevant. Interresting. For me they were just part of the Service Catalogue but "no longer offered".

Thanks for clarifying that!

Any thoughts on Product vs Service? I feel especially with ITIL4 those have just been become synonymous. 

I did my ITILv4 Foundation certification 2 years ago and I don't recall anything about it and we don't use a "Products Catalogue", it is a new term for me. I know that BMC and ServiceNow refer to this but other than that I have no idea. 

As for the services that are no longer "relevant" it is not unknown to disable a service and reactivate it 6 months later. There is lots of cases where you have to do that.

Dirk Ronsmans Community Leader Sep 23, 2021

I guess it's mainly because the idea of a Product vs a Service is often used without a distinction. Therefor there might not be an official Product Catalogue but to me it sounds like it is just a different name for the Service Catalogue.


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