Observations in the ITSM world
Observations in the ITSM world
I was recently asked what trends I was seeing in Service Management, so I put pen to paper and then asked James Gander to cast his seasoned eye over my thoughts - he has added some words of wisdom so I hope you enjoy this commentary and find our collective observations interesting.
• We are seeing more and more focus on aligning the support capability of the Operations group with what “the business wants”. This translates into wanting to reduce risk to the business through planning, design, change management, effectiveness of support and the improved handover of projects to support.
• Managing facilities as well as technology is also happening more often where the value of an asset management and incident management tool appeals to finance as much as it appeals to IT
• At an organisational structure level we are seeing greater clarity of the roles and responsibilities within the support teams which reduces friction and increases speed to resolution. This move to a less generalist approach aims to improve customer service and is often welcomed by the support team themselves who can take greater ownership of issues.
• The creation of formal OLAs is often a secondary focus but more often than not, it is just a clarification point that has not previously existed. It is interesting how often this simple clarity delivers significant improvements in customer experience through better expectations management.
• On the process front, pragmatism is the word of the day. We are often asked to apply ITIL-based processes using a healthy dose of pragmatism as our clients tell us they don’t want to be buried in ITIL but they do want the value right-sized internationally recognized “best practice” processes bring. We help them achieve this by customising the ITIL framework, adopting the elements that are right for them and leaving those that aren’t.
• The pragmatic adoption of process also leads to a pick and mix approach where clients are selecting elements of ITSM that work for them
• The tools are getting more capable and more affordable. Low cost utilities to automate simple processes and address frequent support calls such as password resets also have a significant positive impact on the service delivered and the time available to the support team.
• The value of free software is also increasingly being questioned, it might be free, but if it doesn't do what you need then why spend time (and money) installing it?
• Our clients are challenging the support they get from outsourcers – but interestingly the big one-stop shops are growing and doing better than ever! So presumably as many outsource contracts are being signed as we see being cancelled!
• Good, fit for purpose reporting helps explain quantitatively what the Operations team are doing and why they can’t respond to calls when they are already working on other priority events. This understanding by the Executive significantly raises the credibility of what IT does: but you have to have your facts and have them right.
• Achieving sustainable change in the behaviour of the support team is a real challenge: it needs the ongoing focus of the leadership team through reinforced communications, leadership, training and the celebration of success. Without it old habits will return and the adoption of good practice and tools will go out the window. As will the hard fought for budget they just spent.