Even while traveling through sunny Southern California this month, I couldn’t help but notice the fog from cloud computing is growing even thicker. The scramble for IT service providers to understand what the cloud is, teach what the cloud is and bring cloud offerings to market is in full swing. Perhaps most interesting is how the cloud hype has attracted all the attention, with managed services moving into the background.

At the conference for MSPs I attended in Orange County, there was even a track solely devoted to cloud. However, just as with other industry disruptors like managed services, Application Service Providers (ASPs), Software as a Service (SaaS) and the host of marketing spins on IT service delivery offerings, the cloud will eventually quiet down, and reality will set in. In the meantime, how can we cut through the clutter and just make the cloud part of what we do every day?

Every successful IT service provider—no matter what business model they follow—must have a well-defined catalog of offerings. That catalog has to contain the various products and services clients can buy and service providers can deliver to meet their clients’ business objectives. Defining items in a catalog is no simple task. It is so important to the success of IT service business, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) dedicates two of its five books, Service Strategy and Service Design, to provide best practice guidance on this initiative.