My 2011 Blog Of Blogs: Hopefully The “Important” ITSM, ITIL, People, ITAM, SAM, ITFM, Etc. Stuff

Top 10 IT Service Management Challenges For 2012: More Emphasis On The “Service” And The “Management”

As we approach the holiday season and possibly the end of the financial/budgetary year, let’s pause for a moment to think about 2012. For many IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals, 2011 was a challenging year; the bad news is that 2012 isn’t going to be any easier. With the pressures of the continued mandate to “deliver more with less” added to by increased business demands on, and scrutiny of, IT service delivery; all against a backdrop of increased business and IT complexity.

The high level view

  • Increased business scrutiny: IT cost transparency and value demonstration. One could argue that the challenges listed as “increased expectations” next will also increase the scrutiny of IT performance.
  • Increased expectations: agility, availability, “hardware,” and support and customer service.
  • Increased complexity: cloud per se, mobility, and compliance.
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The ABC Of ICT - The Top 10 People Success Factors For IT Service Management

In a previous blog (The ABC Of ICT - The Top 10 People Issues), Paul Wilkinson of GamingWorks and I shared how the “ABC of ICT” (the Attitude, Behavior, and Culture issues), or the “people factor,” is a critical success or fail factor in IT, and particularly IT service management (ITSM), operational and improvement initiatives.

In this blog, we want to move on from the “resistance areas” and share the top 10 critical success factors for dealing with the ABC of ICT. These are borrowed from the ABC of ICT - An Introduction to the Attitude, Behavior and Culture of ICT book by Paul and Jan Schilt so that, as Paul likes to say, “We can make a difference together.”

Top 10 people critical success factors for IT

  1. Involve all functions in design. Involve and include all functional units, development and operations. Bringing people together in face-to-face meetings, workshops, forums, and simulations to stimulate discussion, engagement, involvement, and address resistance. Resistance is a fact; you will encounter it. Bringing people together helps to make it visible, helps to create buy-in, and empowers people to change their own ways of working.
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ServiceNow Knowledge11: ITSM And Social Learning For Us All

Just a quickie blog as the ServiceNow Knowledge11 European annual user conference draws to a close in Frankfurt. It’s been a whirlwind three days so far and I still have a couple more sessions to attend including my own (a panel session about working effectively within the information blizzard that is the modern “workplace” … obviously the session has a far flasher title than this … “Information Consumption At The Speed Of Light”).  The other is the sexily-titled “Mobility, Cloud, And The Coming Singularity” by Chris Dancy.

For more details see the Twitter #know11 stream http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23know11 and/or read a couple of other related Forrester blogs:

http://blogs.forrester.com/john_rakowski/11-12-08-good_tidings_we_bring_as_the_customer_is_king

http://blogs.forrester.com/stephen_mann/11-12-06-newsflash_for_the_itsm_community_saas_is_a_red_herring

So what did I learn?

A lot, on many levels; the difficulty is where to start and what to “log” in a short space of time (this needs to be quick).

Anyway, here we go:

  1. ServiceNow’s customers love them and their stuff (I knew this from the last two European events but it is good to double-check). See my previous blog as to why.
  2. ServiceNow’s latest release (Aspen) focuses on increased resilience and availability – an end user experience “enhancement.”
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Good Tidings We Bring….As The Customer Is King

As well as an adaptation of a festive song this could be one of the guiding jingles for ServiceNow.

This week I have been attending, along with my colleague Stephen Mann, the Knowledge11 conference in Frankfurt. ServiceNow is one of those companies that ITSM practitioners have an interest in because of their phenomenal growth and go-to-market model.

So what are their secret ingredients that make the solution so appealing?

Is it simply, that their key differentiator is that they provide a SaaS-based model and have experienced a bit of luck with the ‘cloud’ computing phenomenon? Is it that they have a great company name which lends itself well to becoming a brand? Is it that their sales and account managers have mythical powers?

My answer to you, after spending time with their clients, is that, firstly, they have inherent or at least portray a focus on the end ‘customer.’ They understand that their customers are looking for fast integration that will link in and improve their current ITSM and other business workflow processes. Also, the majority of their customers adopt the SaaS-based solution; it means that they can’t hide behind the age old cloak of “It must be the users infrastructure/network/environment/processes, etc.” If there is a problem with the software they have to fix it because the chances are that another customer will experience the same issue.

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Newsflash For The ITSM Community: “SaaS” Is A Red Herring

Yes, there I said it. I can see the “Cult of SaaS” snipers congregating on the rooftops. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

In all seriousness though, when ServiceNow was quick to achieve success with its “SaaS-delivered IT service management goodness” at the tail end of the noughties, it was all about the SaaS (and customer satisfaction of course). It differentiated them from the ITSM tool vendor pack.

The "SaaS for ITSM" evolution

In a previous life I wrote about the potential for SaaS-delivered ITSM capabilities: SaaS and ITSM – a Marriage Made in Acronym Heaven? Who would have known that Service-now.com, as was, would have done so well, so quickly? I trust that their own projections were somewhat exceeded.

Some on-premise ITSM tool vendors said “unpleasant things” in the early days, but nigh on all of the major and minor ITSM vendors have since followed suit with their own SaaS offerings. In the spirit of the BBC and product endorsement I have to say that “other ITSM tools are available.” Check out some of the newest SaaS ITSM tool additions from Hornbill, LANDesk, and Numara.

Why is SaaS for ITSM a red herring?

Anyway, cutting to the chase … what sells a SaaS ITSM tool (or platform) such as ServiceNow? Many would think it is the fact that it is SaaS. I disagree.

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