When You Play The Game Of Service Management, You Evolve Or You Die

Valar Morghulis, service management professionals.*

If you're reading this blog, chances are pretty high you're a nerd. Therefore chances are also high you're at least aware (or a fan) of author George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire now adapted into the dark and stormy HBO series: Game of Thrones. Now, chances are slightly less high you're the kind of fan who has crafted a dragon headdress made out of construction paper in anticipation of this weekend's premiere of season four, but I digress...

Whether you're a (big) fan or not, much can be learned from the trials, tribulations, betrayals, deceptions, swords, and sorcery surrounding the characters of the "known world" as they jockey for the right to rule the seven kingdoms and sit upon the iron throne. And you needn't speak Dothraki to be able to understand the (fairly non-spoilery) lessons below culled from Game of Thrones, and practice them in the game of service management:

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Revolutionize Your IT Service Management Journey: Focus On Your Customers!

The update to the Benchmarks report for Forrester’s Service Management & Automation (SMA) playbook is now live and with its publication marks a change in how we at Forrester - and you - should look at SMA.  

Past efforts in IT service management have brought some changes, but as our survey done in conjunction with itSMF USA indicates, not much has changed. Service management has focused too much on internal infrastructure and internal operations (IT), and while this is still important, the demands for technology to acquire and retain customers, which Forrester calls business technology (BT), must be addressed to leverage and apply technology to advance, not hinder or stifle the business we enable.

The world we support is progressing exponentially while ITSM is progressing linearly, arguably statically – please see the report for further evidence. Being linear is being human; the exponential comes from harnessing technology, and radically shifting our focus towards service management and automation topics essential to being partners with our business teams.

In lieu of data, here are three concepts from the report that promote a new way of thinking:

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itSMF FUSION 13 – GRADUATION AND REVOLUTION

Last week, Forrester’s Service Management and Automation team attended FUSION 13, an annual conference jointly hosted by itSMF USA  and HDI, in Nashville, Tennessee.  FUSION is a key conference for IT Service Management professionals - for three days ITSM pros are immersed in a content rich environment where they're encouraged to share knowledge and learn from one another, as well as from a plethora of industry experts, practitioners, vendors, and thought leaders alike.  It's impossible to leave without having made new friends and new discoveries in the realm of IT Service Management.  Approximately 2000 ITSM professionals attended the 2013 conference, with the theme "graduate to better service management."

The buzz of this year's event can be easily put into two terms: revolution and status quo.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And while these two terms are quite contradictory, when put into context they actually are somewhat related - don't worry, we'll explain.  First, the status quo:

At FUSION 13, we presented the results from our third annual ITSM survey Forrester does in conjunction with itSMF USA, and not much changed year-over-year.  Aside from a few minor rumblings, ITSM maintained the status quo, and in this case, no news... is news:

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THE FUTURE OF IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT - WHAT WILL IT BE?

It's that time of year again - the US Open is under way in New York City, the end of summer looms, and Forrester Research's third annual joint survey with itSMF-USA to understand the state of ITSM is out in the field and calling for your participation!

Last year, the year-over-year data collected gave us some good and not-so-good news.

The good:

  • Compensation for ITSM professionals overwhelmingly increased.
  • ITIL's positive influence on the organization was compelling with over 70% of service management professionals agreeing the best practice framework improved productivity, and 65% finding it helps to deliver better service quality.

The not-so-good:

  • 25% of survey takers did not know whether their incident mean time to resolution (MTTR) had increased, decreased, or remained the same over the past year.
  • A whopping 31% of them did not know what percentage of incidents were the result of a change to infrastructure, applications, processes or tools!
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