IT Predictions: 2021

On Thursday, I tuned into an itSMF/Freshworks sponsored IT Predictions 2021 webinar with presenters Richard Pastore, The Hackett Group; Peter Baskette, Riverbed Technology; and Joy Su, Freshworks. The panelists presented the dynamics shaping 2021 and explored how to harness disruption to drive meaningful change and growth. Discussion centered around the results from the Hackett Group’s Key Issues Study and how organizations plan to adapt to a new normal and how that impacts the workforce and the IT operating model. I was relieved to hear that despite the SolarWinds breach, 2021 is not predicted to be another year focused primarily about security. And I was glad to hear that RightStar (and XTIVIA) are on the right track for 2021. Here are some reasons why.

Most Important Objectives of IT for 2021

Other than security at #1, the top four are:

  • Act as a strategic partner to the business
  • Align IT skills and talent to changing business needs
  • Cultivate a customer centric, innovative IT culture
  • Accelerate IT digital transformation

I was surprised to see that other than security, the next most important objectives are all interrelated and fall, at least to some extent in RightStar’s “wheelhouse.” On the DevOps and Lean Agile PPM side we offer the tools and consulting services, especially with Jira, Confluence, and Jira Align, to not just keep digital transformations moving forward, but also with Jira Align to monitor progress and ensure that the Agile work scales to meet the specific business goals and objectives.

Of course based upon everyone’s current work from home environment, tools like Jira and Confluence promote collaborative team work and offer a unique opportunity to affect change throughout the organization. Indeed, even in the absence of an Agile process focus, just having Agile based toolsets (based upon principles such as keep it simple, automate and optimize, and start where you are) means organizations can become Agile without really having to try.

Most Common IT Transformation Initiatives Planned for 2021

The top three are:

  • Revise/automate workflow to reduce manual dependencies
  • Improve ability of data to enable business value
  • Upskill/reskill IT staff to better support business needs

Richard Pastore discussed the importance of process automation to eliminate manual dependencies and bottlenecks. The Hackett survey found that 73% of IT respondents cite this as a major 2021 initiative. Automation is certainly top-of-mind for RightStar ITSM customers with employee on-boarding the most common digital workflow. A large county made a commitment several years ago to automate key department processes at organizations outside IT like HR and Finance, and we are working on a similar initiative at a similar county, also with the Remedyforce platform as the technology enabler. A commercial organization is standardizing on Remedyforce for its customer care/field service system. With integrations to systems like Replicon timekeeping, they see Remedyforce as a mission critical system to be used by all the support teams within the organization.

How will IT Performance be Judged?

The top four are:

  • Business operations stability/continuity
  • Progress on digital business transformation
  • Cybersecurity incidents
  • Impact on the bottom line

This certainly mirrors Atlassian’s and BMC’s push to the cloud for SaaS delivery of all its current offerings. And what better Agile tool is there than Jira Align to monitor digital business transformation progress.

About dick1stark

I am the President and founder of RightStar, Inc, an XTIVIA company. RightStar is a leading ITSM and DevOps consultancy and BMC Software Elite Solution Provider and Atlassian Gold Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. In 2019, BMC selected RightStar as its DSM North American Partner of the Year for its sales and partnership excellence. Finally, in November 2020, RightStar was acquired by XTIVIA, an innovative IT Solutions Provider. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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