Service integration (SI) is already one of the IT buzzwords of 2013; you might also hear service integration and management (SIAM) which brings in an IT service management (ITSM) perspective. However, just because it is one the most talked about ideas in the IT industry does not mean it is understood.
For now let’s just say that if you could take your E2E IT operations and the complex multi-supplier environment in which it sits and give that pain to someone else to manage while you concentrate on what you do best, on your customers and their needs, then why wouldn’t you? This, in essence, is what pure-play SI is (Stephen – at Forrester we are also speaking to clients about internally operated SI).
Sounds attractive, doesn’t it? The good news is that it can be. The bad news is that my experience to date has shown SI implementation can be a painful experience if those involved are not prepared.
Planning for service integration
The transition to an SI model is a lot easier if time is invested upfront to:
Housekeeping key areas of the IT environment
Engaging a potential SI provider earlier to work with the organization – to help organize and plan for transition readiness.
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:
“If you are in the tech business, you need to be willing and able to change”
This statement was made by Michael P Gregoire, CA Technologies’ (CA) new CEO and it pretty much summed up the vibe at CA World 13 this week. I have to admit, as I sat with my fellow Forrester colleagues, Eveline Oehrlich, Courtney Bartlett, Peter O’Neill and Glenn O’Donnell, waiting for the opening keynote I had thoughts in my head of the CA of old. These were formed during my time as an enterprise management consultant in which I saw CA make numerous, good acquisitions but struggle to keep their promises of integration and simplicity – two key ingredients for good enterprise management solutions. To be fair, this has not just been a problem for CA though, as many of the other large solution providers in this space have tripped over the same hurdles.
But, times are changing and the IT Management market is experiencing a renaissance with innovative new solutions that aim to accelerate I&O professionals adoption of Business Service Management (BSM). BSM until now has been a utopian dream but with the increased complexity of IT, from a people, process and technology perspective, means that this now has to become a reality for enterprise IT organizations. Encouragingly, some solution providers in this space are rising to the challenge and judging by the vision and energy portrayed by CA execs over the course of CA World 13 – CA could end up being one of the front-runners of the pack.
I’d not been to Norway for 32 years (I’m now embarrassed to say), so I really didn’t know what to expect as I travelled to the annual itSMF Norway conference in Oslo last week. I certainly didn’t expect the high price of just about everything; and I wondered if I would get a true picture of Norway in an airport hotel (in Oslo) with over 600 IT and IT service management (ITSM) professionals.
Now this is where my blogging could get me into trouble (or even more trouble), as I make a few personal observations as well as ITSM observations. But please humor me – they are all said in a very positive manner as I wonder what I missed in the Norwegian-language sessions and what those outside of Norway miss everyday. I’ll also write a second blog to cover some of the valuable content as soon as I make time.
My initial observations …
Firstly – “Wow, over 600 attendees for a country the size of Norway.” According to Wikipedia, Norway has five million citizens. You can do the math (or, as I would say, “maths”) relative to other countries. We have 63 million citizens in the UK …
It's not controversial that business success today depends more than ever on IT performance. Business processes and IT operations are highly interdependent and tightly linked. Alignment between the two is no longer an option—it’s a requirement to stay competitive. Your business customers won’t succeed in today’s dynamic economy without IT behind them, but business customers care about outcomes, not technologies. The more you can think like they do, the better your relationship will be, the better your outcomes will be, and frankly, the better your future job prospects will be.
Forrester calls the evolution of IT from a provider of technologies to a broker of business services the “IT to BT (business technology) transformation.” Key to this shift is rethinking IT’s role in the enterprise and, in particular, rethinking current IT processes and the tools used to support them. Many IT organizations have improved workload, application release, run-book, data transfer, and virtual machine management processes, to name a few, through automation—yet still fail to deliver the agility and responsiveness their business customers demand.
You think that this blog title is bad? Be thankful that I didn’t try something like: “There’s No Obit For COBIT.”
Anyways, today sees ISACA (an international professional association for IT Governance) release COBIT 5 – the latest version of its internationally recognized “Business Framework for the Governance and Management of Enterprise IT.”
“COBIT 5 builds and expands on COBIT 4.1 by integrating other major frameworks, standards and resources, including ISACA’s Val IT and Risk IT, ITIL (“the IT service management best practice framework”) and related standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).”
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:
Cost of developing for multiple mobile platforms (52%)
Integrating cloud services to mobile devices (51%)
In IT service management “circles” there’s a lot of talk about Social Media (with new terms like “Social ITSM”) and Cloud (with debates such as “Is Cloud the death knoll for ITSM and ITIL?”), but what about another aspect of the changing business and IT landscape that doesn’t get enough attention – Mobile?
We all have mobile devices (and I am deliberately stressing “devices” here), I don’t know whether I am a good or bad example having travelled recently with a work laptop and BlackBerry along with personal Android and iPhone devices, and an iPad. I know, how sad. But mobile devices, and their use and management, pose a serious challenge to I&O organizations.
“Enterprise Mobile Technologies: Individual employees are able to put the latest mobile devices and apps to productive business use faster than their employers can. Our data suggests the most highly mobile (and highly paid) employee segments (33% of the information workforce) already embrace these tools to make themselves more productive from work, from home, and from the road. What it means: Companies have little control over who uses these.”
We are sometimes so focused on details that we forget to think clearly. Nothing new there; it’s still a story about trees and forest. A few years ago, this was clearly the case when I met with one of the first vendors of run book automation. My first thought was that it was very similar to workload automation, but I let myself be convinced that it was so different that it was obviously another product family. Taking a step back last year, I started thinking that in fact these two forms of automation complemented each other. In “Market Overview: Workload Automation, Q3 2009,” I wrote that “executing complex asynchronous applications requires server capacity. The availability of virtualization and server provisioning, one of the key features of today’s IT process [run book] automation, can join forces with workload automation to deliver a seamless execution of tasks, without taxing IT administrators with complex modifications of pre-established plans.”In June of this year, UC4 announced a new feature of its workload automation solution, by which virtual machines or extension to virtual machines can be provisioned automatically when the scheduler detects a performance issue (see my June 30 blog post “Just-In-Time Capacity”). This was a first sign of convergence. But there is more.
Automation is about processes. As soon as we can describe a process using a workflow diagram and a description of the operation to be performed by each step of the diagram, we can implement the software to automate it (as we do in any application or other forms of software development). Automation is but a variation of software that uses pre-developed operations adapted to specific process implementations.