Predictions 2015: Make This A Key Transformation Year

In case you missed it, Forrester recently published its predictions on what and how I&O organizations must prioritize in 2015 to pursue the Business Technology agenda. The predictions are focused on how to innovate so that you can meet the speed, quality and agility your business demands. It also discusses the transformation needs I&O organizations are facing across people, processes and technology -- in particular how you must focus much of your efforts on enabling your workforce to be productive. 

As I have been in I&O since the beginning of my professional career (which means forever), I see 2015 as a year to transform our I&O profession and organizations. The opportunities are spanning from partnering with your Application Development & Design team in a new way of operations -- we call this Modern Service Delivery (you might have seen this as DevOps); explore new ways to enable your workforce and how to change your approach to the technology supply chain and ecosystem. See for yourself what our predictions are. The full details can be found here in the November 20, 2014 report, "Predictions 2015: Infrastructure & Operations Prioritizes Pursuing The BT Agenda". 

I&O leaders and members: what are your KPI's and metrics of today and in the future?

Are you struggling with the "right" key performance indicators and metrics for your I&O team/subteam/function?  Let's struggle together and help each other.  We are working on a research project to establish a new I&O Balanced Scorecard for 2015 and we need your help.

We have questions like: 

(1)    What performance does your organization/company require from the I&O organization?

(2)    How do you balance both the performance focus on internal IT (systems of record) with the performance of external (systems of engagement) BT requirements?

(3)    How do you translate these performance needs into objectives for your I&O organization?

(4)    What metrics are key to track to make sure that your I&O organization is meeting its objectives?

(5)    What should a best practice I&O Balanced Scorecard (BSC) look like in 2015?

Help us and help the rest of I&O leaders to develop a new I&O Balanced Scorecard to stay and be relevant to your company.  Reach out to me via a inquiry or email me at eoehrlich@forrester.com and lets talk!

Eveline 

Reflections on CA World 2014: CA Technologies Is Going All Disco

We attended the recently held CA World 2014 in Las Vegas which we estimate had about 5000 customers. Over and over we kept asking: What’s the intention of CA Technologies for this year’s event?

It’s not just that the event had Magic Johnson speaking about his past career and how he transformed from a world class athlete to a successful business man or the Tuesday night music event by Fray, a rock band from Denver, Colorado.  It was the entire atmosphere of the showcase, keynotes and presentation styles which gave us the feeling this is really a new CA – a CA that wants to shed the image of suits and complex solutions and replace it with T-shirts, jeans and cool, digital solutions. 

Envision a large solution floor scattered with CA Technology solutions and some of their partners; coffee, food and snack stations, surrounded by presentation theaters which featured topics like Business Intelligence, DevOps, Mobility, Security and Business Intelligence.  Very different, very vogue and very modern! Most important we saw a CA which stressed that “every company is a software company and innovation is key to create a powerful advantage” (quote from Amit Chatterjee, CA Technologies during keynote on Tuesday).  Sentences like “we are living in the application economy” and “mobile, the new interface for your mainframe” puzzled and excited both legacy installed base, prospects and other clients. 

As analysts we have to say “Well done CA Technologies”.  For attendees , next steps are how to transform into the digital business.  Keynote presenters from Twitter, Facebook, Nike and Samsung made it sound like a walk in the park – reality is proving us differently, but CA is driving innovation in today’s application economy.  

Lost in Service Catalog Taxonomy? Forrester’s Technology Management Service Catalog Taxonomy To The Rescue!

When it comes to your Technology Management service catalog, are you lost in arguments on what to call certain categories of services? What are your service families and what is the next level of service elements?  What are the definitions of the service elements? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg of current projects within I&O organizations in defining the rich and complex world of a technology management service catalogs. I&O teams are struggling to architect foundational service catalogs which will support the standardization and optimization efforts of their service offerings. 
 
With that challenge in mind, Forrester created a I&O Technology Management Service Taxonomy - a collection of many service elements, organized by 13 service families. The research consists of a detailed spreadsheet based tool with a variety of service families, service taxonomies and definitions.  The next steps are to understand the business services and capabilities which are enabled through these technology management services.  Some business services and capabilities are similar from one vertical to another.  Our next endeavor is to capture these services as well.  
 
We'd like to make this a living and breathing Service Catalog Taxonomy and plan to publish updates soon. Please send all comments and suggestions to eoehrlich@forrester.com and cgallacher@forrester.com.

Your Input Required - Service Engineering Role!!

Engaging All Service Engineering Folks: Help Forrester Define “Service Engineering” As A New Role Within Infrastructure & Operations (Or Beyond)! A variety of technology trends such as mobility and clouds are empowering consumers and connects employees who all are interacting and collaborating through apps and devices which are changing the way business is conducted. In response, organizations are forced to accelerate business changes which require the need for agility innovating new technology choices, implementation options, and delivery approaches. In this new pace of change the business demands more of IT to help deliver services which enable and support the age of the customer. Some Infrastructure & Operations teams have made the transformation to manage and support BT services which consist of technology, systems, and processes to win, serve and retain customers. Other organizations still manage and support components which range from operating systems, middleware, general purpose components, applications and custom components built all for specific purposes. I&O teams have become good at building components, but it often lacks the engineering discipline to assemble these components into services that meet specific business needs and are relevant in the age of the customer. To stay relevant and transform Infrastructure & Operations in the age of the customer, I&O needs a new role – service engineering. Service engineers mainly “do” three things:

1. Think and act from the outside-in – this means establishing, managing and continually improving services which are critical and essential for business enablement and business success.

2. Participate and support the DevOps journey – business agility in large parts depends on technology today. The DevOps team plays a large role in the quality and speed of technology delivery.

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The New Identity Of The Service Desk

Service support functions have many names. Some of them are called a help desk, and others have moved on to be a service desk. But there is more out there to tackle! Is your service desk ready for a new identity? I am a huge fan of the IT support organization, as they help us when we need them . . . but to call them a help desk or a service desk . . . Really? Think about all the things we want and need them to do for us — I think this important function should get a new name!

Here are some new functional names that we (Forrester) came up with. Please tell us which one you like! Or tell us a name you like! As Victor Hugo said, “The future has many names: For the weak, it means the unattainable. For the fearful, it means the unknown. For the courageous, it means opportunity.” Looking forward to hear from you.

The Future Of ITSM Drops The “IT” And Replaces It With Automation

 

Here’s the hard truth:IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams are becoming less relevant. This will only accelerate now that we are in what Forrester calls “the age of the customer” where bring-your-own-technology policies and “as-a-service” software and infrastructure proliferate.

In this new world, developers still need compute and storage to keep up with growth. And workers need some sort of PC or mobile device to get their jobs done. But they don’t necessarily need you in corporate IT to give it to them. Case and point: employees pay for 70% of the tablets used for work.

At the end of the day, if you can’t deliver on what your workforce and developers care about, they will use whatever and whoever to get their jobs done better, faster and cheaper.

Much of this comes down to customer experience, or how your customers perceive their every interaction with the IT organization, from your staff in the helpdesk to corporate applications they access every day. Here’s a proof point on how much customer experience matters from Forrester’s soon to be published book, Outside In: over a recent five-year period during which the S&P 500 was flat, a stock portfolio of customer experience leaders grew 22% percent.

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Tips For Your ITIL Journey

Embarking on your ITIL initiative can be daunting. Often, the breadth and scope of ITIL can leave I&O departments struggling to create a solid road map -- Where do I start? Can I pick and choose ITIL principles? Do I even need ITIL? Without answers, any one of these questions can put up a roadblock on your journey to smooth service management, so here are some tips to put you on the right track:

Pre-Race Checklist

  • Make sure you take the time to define and understand exactly what problem you're trying to solve -- many companies who skip this step end up regretting it.
  • Before you can decide where you want to go, you need to know where you’re coming from. Measure your ITSM maturity level, and then define where you want to go and how much you want to improve.
  • Once you know your ITSM baseline and the problem that you want to solve, you can figure out the best place to start in the ITIL v3 framework.

Start Your Engines

  • Keep in mind that technology or domain silos don’t work, and process silos don’t work either. Switch to a hybrid model for best results.
  • When determining who your process heads should be, incident and problem management should NOT be rolled together under one person. Incident management is about fire-fighting, and problem management is about root cause analysis -- two very different competencies. 
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Staffing Your Service Desk Analysts

 

Question:

How do you schedule your service desk staff to ensure excellent staffing and achieve service-level targets? Does your service desk solution cover this?

Answer:

The effective staffing of service desk analysts can be complicated. Leveraging historic volume levels for all of the communication channels is one way to plan ahead. Additionally, having insight into planned projects from other groups — e.g., upgrades of applications or other planned releases — is important as well to plan ahead. 

Service desk teams should start automating the workforce management process as much as possible in order to meet the customers’ expectations. Some service desk solutions have the workforce management as part of their functionalities already. If this is a challenge for you today — make sure that you include this key requirement into your functionality assessment list. Use the ITSM Support Tools Product Comparison tool for your assessment. 

In the past week I have been briefed by one vendor who has incorporated workforce management into their solution. helpLine 5.1 Workforce Management allows for optimized planning of the service desk team.

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The ITSM Selection Process

Almost every day I get the question: “We want to replace our ITSM support tool; which vendor should I look at?” There are many alternatives today and each vendor has certainly done a great amount of work to position themselves as the best. The success I had in consulting with these clients, and the knowledge I carry with me now, is thanks in part to the clients with whom I have discussed the ITSM space. They have all confirmed that the functionality across these vendors is very similar. This, however, does not help in decision-making — so I’m especially excited to have authored a three-piece research document which might take some magic out of the decision process when selecting ITSM support tools in the future.

This Forrester report is called Eliminate Magic When Selecting The Right IT Service Management (ITSM) Support Tool.  It’s an overview of the process decision-makers need to follow and the important — but sometimes overlooked — other criteria to keep in mind as they work toward launching or engaging with the ITSM vendor community.

I identified four phases of the evaluation process that should be followed:

Plan: Lay the groundwork, set objectives, explore existing conversations, and make necessary early decisions.

Assemble an evaluation team: Putting the right people together to understand the use cases and requirements is critical before the next step.

Define your requirements: Use the ITSM Support Tools Product Comparison to define your requirements.

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