It sounds like the start of a bad Christmas cracker joke. Maybe the title of this blog should actually be, “Why Should Buying An IT Service Management (ITSM) Tool Be Like Buying A Car?” but let’s see where this goes. I'll deliberately avoid talking about salespeople.
I sometimes talk about new application development in the context of acquiring a car: in that the business often says “we want a green car” to IT rather than saying “we want a means to get from A to B that is aesthetically pleasing.” What I realized responding to a Forrester client inquiry this morning is that the same is true in selecting an ITSM tool.
How should one buy a car?
Let’s look at ITSM tool selection in terms of needing a new means of transport/business support, as you might not actually need a car:
Work out what you need it for (is the need for a car, tractor, plane, or pony?)
Identify the features you need based on what you need to achieve rather than what is available (will you use 16 cup holders?)
Identify what features you need/value most and don’t lose sight of them
Work out what you can afford (this might impact the above)
Speak to your “personal network” about their experiences with particular models and vendors
Look at what is being said on the Internet (the social commentary)
Consult aggregators of opinion and experiences (analysts and some consultants)
Speak with existing customers (and not just the ones that the car sales person points you at)
Ask for what you actually need
Always, always have a test drive and kick the tires (that is a test drive by the people who will be driving the vehicle in their job rather than the people who watch them drive). Get a pilot implementation