The Capita ITIL JV Wasn’t “Big News,” So What IS Important To Real-World IT Service Delivery?

I guess I should have expected this (but alas I didn’t) – the Capita ITIL, the IT service management best practice framework, joint venture with the UK government wasn’t big news. If anything, the story made ripples rather than waves; and from a UK government “finances” rather than IT service management (ITSM) best practice perspective.

It’s interesting to consider why – particularly when enterprises are so adamant on requesting ITIL-alignment in ITSM tool selection RFPs. But first a few links:

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So Capita Gets ITIL But Will People Finally “Get” ITIL?

It’s not often that I get to write about breaking news in the IT service management (ITSM) world but this definitely is it (I think the last time was this).

Well I say “breaking news,” many of us were talking about the rumor of Capita winning the “ITIL auction” on Wednesday evening while together at the Service Desk and IT Support Show. The odd thing is that it was probably the only time we were talking about ITIL, the ITSM best practice framework, outside of the sessions over the two days (other than some vendors who were still spouting that their tools are “ITIL-compliant”). But that is a topic for a later date.

If you want the “scoop” on the Capita announcement then please look at:

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IT Service Management Benchmarks – For You By You

In a previous blog post, SysAid – a provider of IT management solutions – was kind enough to share some metrics/performance snapshots collected from its customers. As a quick recap, SysAid captures service desk benchmarking information through its customers’ use of its software (on an opt-in basis of course) for the benefit of all.

At some point we should sit down and compare the SysAid stats to those provided by HDI – a great independent source of service desk benchmarks – that’s a challenge to you Roy Atkinson … BTW, I hope the HDI 2013 event is going well in Las Vegas this week (the Twitter hash tag is #hdiconf13 for people, like me, who aren’t there). Anyway, back to those SysAid stats …

A selection of community-based service desk stats …

There are two points to note here: not all SysAid customers participate (according to its website, SysAid now has over 100,000 customer organizations); and I have cherry-picked a handful of the available stats from March 2013. There is also one caveat from me – there is no differentiation of organization size in these stats, we need to drill down further to account for any small or very large organization bias.

Percentage of incident tickets originating from the End User Portal, Average 60.31%

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IT? How about I&T?

This blog was contributed by Mark Smalley, IT Management Consultant at Smalley.IT and Director of Global Promotion at ASL BiSL Foundation … and all-round serious thinker. It was written on the back of a BrightTalk webinar on the future of IT service management.

Mark had proposed the blog be called simply “I&T” but I rightly or wrongly decided to make its topic more explicit. The following are Mark’s thoughts and words with some editing on my part to meet word count guidelines (which I eventually failed to do so) …

What exactly is “IT”?

The term “IT” can be confusing. Does it refer to an organizational entity, e.g. the IT department and if so, does that include the applications domain? Does it refer to artefacts such as hardware, software, and data that are used to enable and support planning, collection, organization, use, control, dissemination, and disposal of information1)? And finally, and this is my main topic, is “information” included in IT, or is it a separate entity?

Why am I asking this now?

While preparing for the panel discussion mentioned above and thinking about the kind of questions that people would and should be thinking about, I decided to ask my personal network about the questions that they thought IT people should be thinking about. This resulted in 67 questions2) posed by 24 experts from 16 countries. Amongst them, Charles Betz noticed that some of the questions touched on “the age-old existential questions about ‘what is IT?’ and ‘what happens if we take IT out of ITSM?’” and referred to his definition of IT value:

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Software Asset Management in 2013: State Of SAM Survey Results

At the end of 2012, Forrester and the ITAM Review, an IT asset management community site, ran a software asset management (SAM) survey to help understand where SAM is going in 2013. The resulting infographic* and commentary is available to Forrester clients here. For non- (hopefully future-) clients I’ve extracted some content to create this blog.

The focus and drivers for SAM have changed

Since the early 2000s, risk-focused IT professionals have voiced their concern over software compliance and the potential for vendor audits, large financial fines, damage to corporate reputation, and even the imprisonment of company directors. But these concerns weren't necessarily shared by the rest of the organization, which also viewed the SAM technology available as too difficult and complex to justify. As a result, SAM was a low priority on the IT management to-do list.

But this is starting to change as IT organizations realize that their software estates and procurement and provisioning processes are in a state of under-management, if not mismanagement. As a result, these organizations are wasting a significant amount of their IT funding each year on license procurement when they don't need to, maintenance agreement costs for more licenses than they actually use, and supporting and hosting software that should have been decommissioned.

Three of the 19 infographic elements:

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ITSM Tools: Is What You Pay Linked To Value?

A little while back Martin Thompson at the ITSM Review wrote an interesting blog on the complexity of IT service management (ITSM) tool pricing:  http://www.theitsmreview.com/2011/09/ouch-o-meter/…I particularly liked his term "ouch-o-meter." It’s well worth a read.

It's something that has continued to puzzle me – what it would cost to buy AND implement an ITSM tool, PLUS any process or people-based change via professional services or third-party consultancy? Oops, I nearly forgot support and maintenance there too. To make matters worse, this is potentially an unknown and unbudgeted for cost that appears every 5-7years due to tool churn if us analyst types are to be believed (I have an outstanding action to include ITSM tool churn-related questions in a survey). But we need to park the churn issue for now and focus on cost or, more specifically, pricing models.

What did an ITSM tool cost in 2008? Or how long is a piece of string?

I cast my mind back to when I started as an industry analyst in 2008 and the complexity of not only which tools/applications, modules, or features needed to be costed-in but also the 30-50% "surcharge" for the professional services and 20-22% for support and maintenance. Then of course we needed to apply volume-based discounts and maybe something else based on the "customer-logo-appeal," the customer’s sourcing and vendor management strength/capabilities, and/or the sales person's need to hit quota at that point in time. I've probably oversimplified this too, feel free to educate me. 

Jumping forward to the Teenies* ...

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ITSM Goodness: How To Up Your IT Service Management Game In 7 Steps

This blog has been contributed by Barclay Rae, an independent management consultant, and is the first of a new series of blogs written by IT service management (ITSM) thought leaders. Please read in Barclay's Scottish brogue ...

ITSMers often need help

Much of the demand for knowledge and support that I see in my regular consulting work centers around a simple request: “what are the key things to be doing for successful IT Service Management?”

People tell me they’ve read ITSM books and been trained (and certified) in ITIL and other frameworks, but because there’s so much content, plus multiple processes and standards. They lack a clear understanding of where to start and how to focus on what is important and successful in practice.

Focus on the critical activities

For me there’s a critical set of activities and actions that need to be achieved in order to deliver quality and effective service delivery – customer engagement, service definition, service desk quality, problem management, reporting and metrics, organizational change, and marketing. For many years this is what I’ve provided via workshops and consulting, and now I’ve turned this into a simple, straightforward, and practical approach and portfolio of knowledge – ITSMGoodness.

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