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Posted by Stephen Mann on December 24, 2012
This time last year I wrote a blog entitled Top 10 IT Service Management Challenges For 2012: More Emphasis On The “Service” And The “Management,” which has racked up a healthy 10,000+ reads since. It spoke of three high-level challenges:
We are another year older, but are we another year wiser?
What have you done to improve your IT service delivery and better meet business needs? I deliberately chose to use the phrase “IT service delivery” over “IT service management” (or “ITSM”), as one of my many epiphanies of 2012 is that ITSM seems to make many of us focus on the wrong things. A good example being that ITIL, the ITSM best practice framework, adoption continues to be overly focused on the mechanics of “best practice” processes such as incident and change management. Or when we talk of ITSM maturity, it’s about the number of ITIL-espoused processes that an organization operates. So an organization that is doing four processes really well is not as mature as one that is doing ten poorly. And stepping back further, does this ITSM-process-based view of maturity really help the parent business? I’m not so convinced. Surely looking at how we are able to support and adapt to changing business needs must be a better measure?
The analyst’s view of 2012
Forrester clients continued to ask me lots questions via our client inquiry process, but I’ve seen a few changes in what they are asking about:
But there was also a new breed of inquiry, one that is slowly emerging from the large shadow cast by the enormity of an organization’s IT infrastructure. These are inquiries related to understanding what IT achieves rather than what it does, and they come in many forms:
So there is an emerging change in “IT people mindsets.” But don’t get me wrong; there are still many more minds to change (including those of the people that fund IT), and I can’t help but comment on the fact that I see geographical differences similar to what we have traditionally seen with ITIL adoption. Importantly though I am starting to speak with more people who see IT (and ITSM) as the means to an end rather than the end itself.
And so to the Top 10 ITSM challenges for 2013 …
… and yes I know I have continued to use “ITSM” here but it is a necessary evil if I want people to read this blog – phrases like “IT service delivery” just don’t sell virtual copy (yet).
The observant amongst you will have spotted that I’ve only mentioned nine challenges in the preamble and subsequent list (and that this is in part a poor cut-and-paste job from my 2012 blog), so what’s the tenth? Survival. All of the above challenges need to be addressed (as pieces in a larger jigsaw) and the failure to address the demands and issues across the full spectrum of challenges will put the internal IT organization at risk of extinction. I’m not talking about “the death of the internal IT organization” here, but rather that some parent organizations will decide that there are now better ways to source, manage, and deliver IT services having suffered for too long at the hands of a potentially less than business-focused internal IT organization.
It pains me that I felt compelled to reuse last year’s ITSM challenges blog, but what else could I do? What have I seen that allows me to drop one or more of these challenges and replace them with new ones? Not enough unfortunately.
Last year I deliberately excluded “social” from my list. I’ve done the same for 2013, as I think trying to “do social” is like where we were in 2000 when we tried to “do knowledge management.” IMO social is important, but only in the context of everything else that we are doing to improve service delivery, such as improving collaboration within teams and across (or outside of) the organization, facilitating self-help and self-service (if helping to meet a corporate objective or customer needs), and adapting to our customers’ preferred interaction methods. I guess the cliché here would be “outcome-based social.”
And don’t start me on gamification. I love the principle, but how many service desks in particular will be gamified in 2013 without sight of the customer and improved business outcomes? Or will we allow the “wrong sort of person” to continue to fail at the customer interface, but at least they are earning badges while they do it. I await the IT scorecard that includes a “number of badges earned” metric.
Finally, my Christmas gift to you — sources of great ITSM (and IT) insight and information:
Have a happy holiday (he says in a politically correct manner), and please let me know what you hope will change in 2013. “Bah humbug” comments are also appreciated.
You might also be interested in: http://blogs.forrester.com/stephen_mann/13-01-03-it_service_management_in_2013_how_far_have_we_come_since_2009
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