A simple IT Service Catalog Taxonomy

So, I just did what will  possibly be the most useful bit of thinking I've done in a few years, on a problem that should have been completely solved by a quick search of the Internet.  But apparently my google-fu is weak.

I've been searching for a simple, easy-to-use reference for ITIL-oriented IT service taxonomy.

This is a common problem in IT and R&D shops, so I thought I'd find hundreds of references.  What I found is a number of customized service catalogs, but no easy to use list that you could, for instance, copy-and-paste into Excel to begin categorizing your own services (or vendors) into some standard taxonomy.

So I built one of my own.

I used Freemind to do it.  There's a JPEG of the mind map in-line below (click to embiggen), and more usefully the bullets formatted as HTML, that you could, for instance, copy and paste into your own taxonomy. Use it in good health...

IT Services Taxonomy

Business Software (ERP)



Human Resources


Learning Management

Applicant Tracking System

Performance Management

Payroll System

Customer Relationship Management

Sales Automation

E-Commerce and B2B

Data Warehousing


Business Intelligence Systems

ETL Systems

Report Services


Supply Chain Management

Inventory Control

Core Business Services

External Web Presence


Load Balancing

Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems

File Transfer (FTP)

Office Services

Printing Services

Fax Services

Telco Services

Managed Service

PBX Equipment
Voice Mail Services
Phone Equipment

Hard line Provider Services

Long Distance Service


Voice Conferencing
Video Conferencing

Spend Management

Mobile Services

Mobile Voice

Mobile Data Provider

Mobile Devices

WAN Cards
Other Mobile Devices

Intranet Infrastructure

Intranet Software

Social Networking


Content Management

General Computer Software

Operating System


Unix - Other



Unified Communication


Web Access
Spam Filtering


IM / Chat

Video Chat

Personal Productivity

Word Processing



Project Planning


Video Editing


Computer Hardware

Personal Computers




Device Repair & Maintenance


Device Repair & Maintenance


Device Repair & Maintenance


Tape Drives

R & D Software


Project Planning

Test Management

Test Automation


Defect Management

Build Management and Automation

Release Management

License Management

Software Distribution


IT Support Systems

Remote Management Services

Remote Monitoring

Remote Support

System Imaging


Asset Management

Storage Management

IT Service Desk

On-site break/fix

Call desk software


E-mail Support

PMO Services

Compliance Management

Resource Management

Project Planning

Change Management

Data Center Services

Network Infrastructure

WAN Bandwidth Provision

Data Line Provider

Content Distribution

Application Acceleration

Network Management


Bandwidth Shaping

Core routers and switches

Network Gear

Support and Maintenance

DNS Services



Domain Name Registration

Network Security

Firewall Services

Access Management

Application Scanning

Pen Testing

Intrusion Detection / Prevention


E-mail malware scanning

Safe computing and SSL Certificates

VPN Access



Data Protection

Backup and Recovery

PC Backup

Server and Application Backup

Offsite Data Archiving

Business Continuity

Power Conditioning and UPS

Data Encryption

Data Replication


Book Review - Presentation as War

About two and a half years ago I was working on selling a book about outsourcing. During this period I made the acquaintance of Chuck Boyer, a fellow New England resident and a professional writer.  At the time Chuck was working with his co-author (Bill Dunne) on a great book about presentation skills, cast as battlefield tactical theory.  The book, which I was lucky enough to read in galleys, is called Presentation As War - Battlefield Tactics for Pitching to the Wired Audience.  It's finally on the shelves!

Chuck was a US Army Ranger, Bill was a Marine.  Both have long and distinguished private sector careers.  Their book is a great, quick read that will help anyone who has to stand in front of people and talk.  To quote:
This book is for team leaders, task-force point people, managers, directors and vice presidents - the people who don't usually make State of the Union addresses but who are called upon to make those bread-and-butter presentations that drive an organization forward. 
It takes a straight forward approach to structuring your thoughts and message, condensing the presentation to a an easy and understandable sequence:

  • Reconnoiter
  • Plan
  • Rehearse
  • Execute
  • Commit
  • Secure your objective
  • Declare victory and rally

With entertaining chapters on each of these phases, it's a great guide to force you to think about how you approach presentations. Coupled with a healthy dose of hatred for PowerPoint, this will make you a better leader.  You can buy it at Amazon.  And congrats to Chuck and Bill for getting it published and on the shelves!


Blowing off the dust

Blogging is an interesting form of introversion.

In some cases, with critical mass, I guess you can make the case that blogs are in fact an extroverted form of communication.  But most of the entries and essays in this collection were written to help me organize my thoughts.

I obviously haven't been writing much here recently, but I contend that there are many good (and timeless) ideas and insights in this collection.  I've left it up in case someone with good Google fu stumbles into my content and finds it useful.

It turns out, that was a good call. Most recent case in point, Nick Krym, author of the excellent blog Pragmatic Outsourcing apparently found his way to my little archive. He thought it useful enough to rank me among the top 50 or so blogs in existence on the topic of IT outsourcing.  Given that the list contains blogs authored by corporations and advisory consortia with lots of resources, I think this is great company! I'm very gracious to be thus ranked!  Thanks Nick!  And to any of Pragmatic Outsourcing's readership who find their way here, welcome and enjoy.

Anyway, for a well-curated blog roll, check out the listing here.


Managing expectations...

This week, I said good bye to an old friend. For years, I worked on a product called Connected Online Backup. (Connected was bought by Iron Mountain, then sold to Autonomy. Autonomy is being bought by HP.) I've been using this backup product for years, and have needed to recover files maybe twice. But given the change of ownership, and the fact that I was using a "friends and family" free service that was part of an employee benefit package from 2002, I thought maybe I should actually upgrade to a backup service that I, you know, paid for.

So I looked around, and liked what I saw from Carbonite. They recently went public, and raised a decent bit of money, and probably helped enrich the lives of a number of software professionals in and around Boston.

Their software was easy to download, easy to install, nice modern user interface. But what struck me about something they did was how well they managed user expectation. Backup technology hasn't really changed much since I worked at Connected, and all the problems that Carbonite must struggle with are the same problems we struggled with. One such problem was the duration of the first backup. (First backups are "full" backups, everything else will be block-level incrimenetals, which means that unless you download or create several GB of data a day, your second, third, and etc. backups will be quick, especially compared to the first one...)

We always fought against the sales objection of "the first backup takes too long." We put significant work into speeding that process up, invented block-level checksum analytics to backup "symbolic links" to common files, to reduce the size of the first backup. We sweated this problem, and made it better by small percentages over many long years.

Carbonite took a different approach. They put, front and center - in their Buy page, in their FAQ, in their EULA, in their application - text to the effect that THE FIRST BACKUP COULD TAKE DAYS, OR EVEN A WEEK. Mine took a day. I suspect most take a day. But this is just brilliant expectation management.

Product Development Moral: If something is likely to take a day or two, tell the user it may take up to a week. Then, when it only takes a day, instead of viewing the performance as a reason not to buy, they'll be happy!

I wish I'd thought of that - maybe Connected Corp. would have made a big splash with an IPO!


pretty pictures

apropos of nothing...

I picked this up off another blog I read, and thought it was a really interesting and beautiful slide show. It's a short series of photos from NYC and Bombay, showing the relatively striking similarities in daily life in the two big cities...

One Life Photos 2011

Click through, and enjoy...