By Dick Stark
In April, EMA, an IT consulting firm, released a study, “What Is the Future of IT Service Management? Since the answer to this question is important to RightStar, I downloaded a copy. EMA surveyed 270 organizations with more than 500 employees actively engaged in ITSM. Fortunately, the answer was, “ITSM is more needed than ever as IT seeks to become a truly service-aware, business-aligned, enterprise-facing organization.” Let me share some specific findings as they apply to RightStar.
The practice of IT service management (ITSM) is to help deliver technology services better, faster, and cheaper. To succeed with ITSM, organizations rely heavily on fit-for-purpose ITSM tools such as Remedy, Remedyforce or FootPrints. The practice of ITSM (or ITIL) is sometimes viewed as a necessary evil, that frequently slows down IT decision making and problem solving. ITSM, however, should be viewed as a value center, aligned with the needs of the organization. Indeed, poor ITSM can lead to outages such as what caused the four hour shut-down last week at the NYSE, attributed to a “configuration issue.” Translated that could mean poor change or configuration management. At any rate, here are several EMA ITSM strategic findings:
Improved end-user experience, internal to the business. The most important metric for any service desk is customer satisfaction so ITSM tools and processes should focus on ways to improve the user experience. Of course, a well-designed service catalog should improve the user experience as long as it is easy to use. bmc’s MyIT, also focused on improving the end-user experience, is a purpose built mobile app for employees to search the knowledge base and submit and check on tickets. A high price tag initially scared off early adopters, but since the non-premium package is included at no charge, demand has increased.
Integrate ITSM and Dev Ops. The EMA study reported that ITSM and DevOps are coming together with a focus on scheduling, workflow, and feedback loops. One new RightStar customer asked us to integrate FootPrints to JIRA, presumably to link change requests in FootPrints to the JIRA work flow and development. The good news is that RightStar is now both a bmc and an Atlassian partner.
Improved Analytics, also known as “big data for IT.” During a recent customer visit, the IT Director was very concerned about benchmarking his metrics against other similar organizations as continual service improvement is a key success factor. Their acquisition spree of other hospitals means more work for their centralized IT organization. Having good metrics allows their IT organization to monitor progress.
Improved operations-to-service desk integrations. The report underscored the importance of integrating application and performance monitoring tools into a “more unified whole” than in the past. Proactive monitoring may help fend off network or application errors before they escalate into an outage such as that experienced by United Airlines or the NYSE.
What does the future look like? More not less ITSM tools, processes, and integrations. The end result– improved staff productivity, heightened quality of services, and reduced operational costs should make ITSM a value center, not a necessary evil.