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Posted by Stephen Mann on January 18, 2012
A lot continues to be said about the impact of “social” on IT support and for some it is now “so 2009.” To me, it was inevitable in 2009, and I wonder how far we have moved on in reality. Yes, some IT service management (ITSM) tool vendors have added in shiny new capabilities inspired by the adoption of mainstream social facilities such as Facebook and Twitter; but how many IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) organizations really understand social (and how social will impact IT support)? This, however, is the meat for another blog from the Forrester Community deli – today I only have time to drop a few sourpuss-thoughts in “virtual ink.”
So why am I being such a sourpuss?
Firstly, I am burdened by “the collective history of the ITSM community.” How often have we seen a great ITSM idea murdered in its execution? Consider the word “execution” here – it seems somewhat appropriate methinks:
Are we not destined to follow suit and buy social technology without seeing the bigger, people and even process-encompassing, picture? Ooh shiny technology anyone? Followed by mass distraction? Ooh technology is a weapon of mass distraction.
Our inherent technology-bias aside, think about the potential adverse impact of social IT support on the business. Think about the knowledge management failures of the early 2000s (sorry, I know you don’t like to admit to them or any other IT-related failures). Think about the behaviors of, and impact on, people:
I have also seen organizations destroy social. It all starts well enough then corporate busybodies (probably those that do little more than send and receive emails all day) think that it is necessary to tell people what they can and can’t do with social, or how they must do things, or that they must do things. It is a social-killer. Sadly, my bet is that I&O (without proper guidance) will do one or more of these.
Finally, I don’t believe I&O organizations can do social IT support if they don’t understand social. I always ask the attendees of my presentations (IT people) how many are using Twitter: it is rarely more than 5%. Who really does understand social?
Subliminal message: please vote in the poll to the right.
Notwithstanding the above, the business will demand (or at least expect some form of social IT). However, like a good Saturday morning TV serial I am going to leave you hanging. I will return, at a time of my choosing (and based on the discussions this blog initiates), to consider what needs to be done. If you want to contribute, please add your thoughts below.
A Jerry Springer-like final thought though: would it be too much a risk to unlock people’s corporate machines so that they can do more to help themselves when an issue arises? It would be nice for them to get better use of their business “hard-to-use-ware” before it is replaced with their personally-provisioned device(s).
As always, your thoughts, opinions, barbs, and financial donations are all appreciated.
Please check out my latest blog ... http://blogs.forrester.com/stephen_mann
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