SaaS for ITSM: Getting Past The Hype

I recently recorded a SaaS-related on-demand webinar with Patrick Bolger of Hornbill and as with my recent blog on service catalog with ServiceNow it seemed an easy opportunity to turn some of my slides into a quick-and-dirty blog (aren’t they all?).

Much has been said about the benefits of “SaaS for IT service management (ITSM)” …

For many organizations, the key benefit of SaaS is its simple, subscription-based pricing model that provides a lower and consistent level of expenditure which is Opex rather than a Capex investment – highly suited to those organizations wishing to invest limited Capex into business innovation projects rather than into IT. I deliberately haven’t stated that SaaS is cheaper as “it depends” ... Many tools have a “breakeven point” in the three to four year timeframe where SaaS becomes more expensive to customers than on-premises.

This simplicity of pricing can also be viewed from a value-for-money perspective, in that a per-seat subscription will usually cover access to capabilities across multiple ITIL (or ITSM) processes rather than the traditional need for organizations to buy multiple licenses across multiple ITSM products (or modules), giving an organization the freedom to increase its ITSM maturity without extra cost (unless additional people need access to the solution).

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Staffing For IT Service Delivery Success: Think Employee, Think Customer, Then Repeat

People-related IT service management (ITSM) blogs seem to be popular. Two based on the ABC of ICT work of Paul Wilkinson and his GamingWorks colleagues are amongst my most popular and more recently one detailing future ITSM roles (stolen from the Forrester Service Management And Automation Playbook writings of Glenn O’Donnell) is also proving to be very popular (it is also a good pre-read to this blog).

Hence I’m now stealing some people-related guidance from Eveline Oehrlich’s “Evolve Your Service Management And Automation Skills And Staffing” report to look at staffing for ITSM success, starting with career development.

Architect a service management and automation (SMA) career development plan

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What's Your IT Service Management Strategy (If You Actually Have One)?

Unfortunately I don’t often hear “strategy” and “IT service management (ITSM)” in the same sentence, unless of course someone is maligning the ITIL 2011 Service Strategy book or if an organization is justifying a significant investment in a new ITSM tool (to me this is too often the breeding ground for failed aspirations). Alternatively we often talk about (and are consumed by) tactical ITSM issues and our tactical responses. So where and what is your ITSM strategy? And where is your ITSM strategic plan?

If you have answers to these questions you probably don’t need to read this blog so feel free to choose another. If you don’t, don’t you think you should? I’ve stolen some written-word from my colleague Jean-Pierre Garbani to get you thinking.

What’s your strategy for ITSM strategy?

I’m not going to answer this – I just thought it a funny question. Better starter questions are probably: “What do I mean by strategy?” and “What is strategic planning?”

I can’t help but use the ever-useful Wikipedia for the first:

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Prepare Your People For The Future Of IT Service Delivery

At our core we are “IT people” (hopefully you are shouting at your screen, “No, I'm a business person!” but please bear with me), so it is all too easy for us to look at the future of IT service delivery purely from a technology perspective; that is, to be absorbed by the opportunities and challenges such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD), mobility, social, shiny SaaS ITSM tools, and cloud per se.

For instance, my colleague Glenn O’Donnell can often be heard saying that “the future of service management is an automated one,” and, unless you have access to the report from which I lifted this quote (and much of this blog), it is too easy to forget about how the “yellow brick road” to the future affects our people. Glenn’s report covers this in some detail, and I have politely stolen some of it to include below.

Looking at the future from an employee perspective = fear

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