Social IT Support: Didn’t We Do This In The 1990s?

A lot continues to be said about the impact of “social” on IT support and for some it is now “so 2009.” To me, it was inevitable in 2009, and I wonder how far we have moved on in reality. Yes, some IT service management (ITSM) tool vendors have added in shiny new capabilities inspired by the adoption of mainstream social facilities such as Facebook and Twitter; but how many IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) organizations really understand social (and how social will impact IT support)? This, however, is the meat for another blog from the Forrester Community deli – today I only have time to drop a few sourpuss-thoughts in “virtual ink.”

So why am I being such a sourpuss?

Firstly, I am burdened by “the collective history of the ITSM community.” How often have we seen a great ITSM idea murdered in its execution? Consider the word “execution” here – it seems somewhat appropriate methinks:

  • What did we learn with the “knees-up” that was CMDB adoption in the late 2000s? It was an expensive party that many would love to forget.
  • How many I&O organizations are now buying service catalog technology rather than adopting service catalog management best/good practice that is supported by technology?
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Are You Sleepwalking Through Twitter?

In September 2009 I wrote a "blog" called "Great ITSM and ITIL People to Follow on Twitter." In stumbling upon it again yesterday I couldn't help wonder:

  • What had happened to some of the Tweeters on the original list?
  • Who do I now follow that I didn't way back then?

In doing this I couldn’t help feel that, while I value Twitter as both an information resource and a workspace, I have been somewhat sleepwalking through it the last two years.

Why am I sleepwalking through Twitter?

It seems a strange thing to admit to, doesn’t it?

I literally “work” in Twitter these days and I would lose a dimension of my capabilities and “personality” without it (or a similar social environ). But the fact that I still place a heavy emphasis on the Tweets of the people below, that an updated list would not include that many more Tweeters, and that I didn’t realize that a few of the Tweeters listed are no longer actively Tweeting is quite scary to me.

My conclusion is that I have been very lazy in my use of Twitter (heaven forbid that people think that “number of Tweets” is a sign of Twitter proactivity).

So what should I do?

My original thinking from nine months or so ago (when I realized that Twitter was becoming a little incestuous in terms of my following of people) was to follow more Tweeters. I think I have nearly doubled the number of people I follow but I am still in the same place in many ways.

For information, my current ratio for @stephenmann is:

  • Following = 767
  • Followers = 2119
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How Do You Value IT Service Management Tool Verification Or Certification Schemes?

In response to a number of Forrester client inquiries and as part of the #Back2ITSM activities, before Christmas I polled a number of IT service management tool vendors about their views on IT service management tool verification or certification schemes such as PinkVERIFY and the OGC ITIL Software Scheme (others are available but these are the main two I receive inquiries on). I have still to analyze the vendor responses having given a response deadline of the 16th January 2012 but thought it wise to get the customer point of view on the value of such schemes.

So where do you stand on the worth of such schemes?

So:

  1. Do you know what the PinkVERIFY and the OGC ITIL Software Scheme schemes are?
  2. Do you place little value in a tool being verified by such a scheme?
  3. Is verification helpful but the lack of it is not a concern in a tool purchasing decision?
  4. Do you consider verification a key part of ITSM tool selection?
  5. Would you not even consider an ITSM tool without such an “independent opinion” on tool capabilities?
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From The Coal Face: Real World IT Service Management And ITIL Adoption Sound Bites

Remember 2011? It seems a long time ago already.

At the start of August, I wrote a speculative blog called Giving Back To The IT Service Management Community which was somewhat of a personal plea for anyone involved in IT operations, IT service delivery, IT support, etc. to “give back” to the larger community. This highlighted (or reminded us of) the need for the creation of lower-level, more granular, and ultimately more practical best practice information that is freely available to IT service management (ITSM) practitioners; as a quick start mechanism and/or to prevent the continued reinvention of the wheel by organizations wishing to better themselves. It all looked good with over three thousand unique views on the Forrester Blog site alone.

In late October (yes, I know I am slow), I published ITSM Practitioner Health Check: The ITSM Community Strikes Back with an associated survey hoping that hundreds if not thousands of ITSM practitioners would offer their views as to where we, as a community, need most help. The results?

ITSM Practitioner Health Check: initial results

Firstly, I need to temper my expectations: the survey was open for two months and plugged by many on Twitter and by organizations such as the itSMF UK, the SDI, and Hornbill but still only 149 people started the survey. Why did I say “started,” because only 76 completed the two “meaty” questions.

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ITIL Global Adoption Rates, Well At Least A Good Indication Of Where It Is At

ITIL is such a commonly used word in the kingdom of IT service management (ITSM) that it is easy to assume it to be a global phenomenon (how many people say “ITIL” when they mean, or should mean, “ITSM”?). After all the Official ITIL Website (http://www.itil-officialsite.com/) cites ITIL as:

“The most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL provides a cohesive set of best practice, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally.”

We know that ITIL exam numbers continue to be strong: with ITIL Foundation Certificate pass rates between January 2009 and July 2011 as follows courtesy of http://itsminfo.com/?p=245:

  • ITIL V2 Foundation: 142,000
  • ITIL V3 Foundation Bridge: 33,000 (existing certification holders updating)
  • ITIL V3 Foundation: 548,000
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