Defining IT Service Management – Or Is That “Service Management”?

IT service management (ITSM) has a number of definitions from a variety of sources. Starting with the ITIL (the ITSM best practice framework)-espoused definition:

“The implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business. IT service management is performed by IT service providers through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology. See also service management.” Source: ITIL 2011 Glossary http://www.best-management-practice.com/officialsite.asp?DI=575004. Where service management is defined as: “A set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services.”

A more “directly customer-focused” definition is provided on Wikipedia:

“A discipline for managing information technology (IT) systems, philosophically centered on the customer's perspective of IT's contribution to the business. ITSM stands in deliberate contrast to technology-centered approaches to IT management and business interaction.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IT_service_management

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The Cult Of ITIL: It Has More Followers Than You Think

OK ITIL, the IT service management (ITSM) best practice framework, is neither a cult nor a religion, but hopefully I grabbed your attention.

The point of this short, but hopefully interesting, blog is that when we usually think about ITIL we normally focus on the IT service management and IT operations organizational domains as its playground. And, while we appreciate that other IT roles might have an interest in ITIL (especially enterprise architects or those looking at DevOps), I imagine most will be surprised at the following percentage readership demographic for my recent “Adopting ITIL” report.

Percentage split of Adopting ITIL readers across Forrester “role types”

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IT Service Management, ITIL, And Enabling Tools In The Middle East

Last week I had the pleasure of attending ManageEngine’s first user conference and training event in the Middle East (Dubai to be specific); with event attendees not only from the UAE, but also Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

The one-day user conference element of the two-day event, offered me both fresh insight into how IT service management, ITIL, and enabling tools are being adopted in the Middle East, and first-hand experience of ManageEngine’s customers within the region.

This quick blog is intended to capture my views, thoughts, and opinions for the benefit of all.

The current state of IT service management in the Middle East?

My previous experiences of IT service management and ITIL in particular in the Middle East had been somewhat limited; but as with most things I had drawn my own opinions and conclusions based on the exposure (the proverbial joining of dots). So before last week I believed:

  • ITIL was talked about but with “implementations” driven from the higher echelons, or even outside, of the IT organization; adoption was slow and susceptible to resistance. It was a “good thing to do” rather than a business-focused means to an end.
  • That while customers (end users) are important the focus was still very much on the IT – the creation of IT rather than the consumption of IT services.
  • Middle Eastern companies value “prestige” and as such were most likely to buy Big 4 solutions for IT service management.
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Enabling Customer Mobility: Why Current Mobile Device Management Thinking Is Flawed

Prior to IBM Pulse 2012 heating up in Las Vegas, I was lucky enough to receive a pre-brief on some of the key messages from this year’s event. One of which is around mobility.

A statistic from the IBM mobility slide deck reminded me of a particular bugbear of mine: that mobility will most likely be yet another opportunity for gifted IT professionals to get excited about technology (and managing the technology) rather than stepping back to appreciate that modern IT is all about the consumption of IT services rather than the technology itself. That mobility is not about mobile devices or apps, that it’s about the consumption of business or IT services on the move BY PEOPLE via fit-for-purpose IT provisioning and IT service delivery.

The IBM Statistic?

In a recent IBM report, it was revealed that the Top Mobile Adoption Concerns are:

  1. Security/privacy (53%)
  2. Cost of developing for multiple mobile platforms (52%)
  3. Integrating cloud services to mobile devices (51%)
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