ITSM advances set to empower and engage users in 2013

Adam Holtby, ITSM Research Analyst, Ovum

Through discussions with vendors, clients, and research into technology trends and disruptors, Ovum has identified what it believes will be the key IT service management (ITSM) advances of 2013. More detailed information and analysis can be found in our recently published report, 2013 Trends to Watch: IT Service Management.

Technology is evolving to assist with changing business demands

Technology continues to advance, and we are finally starting to see some good ITSM tool innovations around technology disruptors such as social and mobile. For example, BMC recently announced MyIT, an enterprise IT helpdesk solution that was developed with the objective of empowering users through giving them more visibility and control over their IT services from any device.

As a market leader, it is encouraging to see BMC make such a bold move in embracing and investing in mobility and social technology. BMC was slower than some other vendors to the SaaS market, so embracing social and mobile in this way is certainly a good differentiator.

BMC’s move with MyIT, along with its recently announced new ITSM strategy, is further evidence of how vendors are exploring others ways to differentiate their offerings. Since ITIL v3 was published in 2007, ITSM tools have largely cited the number of ITIL processes that they support as differentiation, with the tools that offer greater process support viewed as more functionally capable. However, this is now changing, with social and mobile two examples of the way in which ITSM vendors are broadening their toolset capabilities.

ITIL is still the most widely used and understood ITSM process framework, but others can also add value

From a process perspective, the majority of organizations we speak to still very much embrace ITIL, with their predominant focus and efforts still revolving around core processes such as incident management, change management, and problem management. Although the relevance and importance of ITIL is subject to constant and ongoing debate within the ITSM community, we believe that many organizations recognize and understand that there is no silver bullet and they therefore tailor the framework to their own needs and culture.

Continuous service improvement (CSI) will be a greater focus for organizations in 2013. Ovum believes this is partly a result of the benefits of CSI being more widely understood, but also because vendor ITSM technologies are incorporating some innovative ways of helping enable CSI within IT departments, such as, for example, ServiceNow’s new coaching loops functionality.

The release of Cobit 5 in 2012 was also positive from a process perspective, particularly the way in which the framework complements the more granular guidance of ITIL. The goals cascade is especially useful and has the potential to help IT departments better communicate the value they deliver in terminology that the business can understand.

Further empowering and engaging people should be a key focus for IT managers

Too often, acquiring the reports that one requires or could benefit from can be a laborious task, or is the responsibility of only a select few. Reporting tools on vendor product roadmaps for 2013 are quite exciting and will help extend the availability of information that in turn can leverage greater levels of productivity and speed up decision-making.

Workforce demands continue to change, and the rise of the IT consumerization trend is testament to this. A large proportion of people now entering the workforce have grown up with the Internet. This generation is one that has been engaged with technology their whole lives, yet management methods and the way people are engaged at work can still be quite archaic. Feedback delivery is good example of this.

In their recreational lives, this generation is accustomed to gaining regular and instant feedback in everything they do. In the workplace, however, monthly, quarterly, or annual reviews are still the predominant method of gaining insight into performance. Managing behaviors can be challenging with this infrequency, and can result in a lack of engagement, and gamification and coaching loops are two good examples of how this can be addressed.

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10 Dec 2012, 1:39 p.m.

Thanks for the insight Adam.
Continual Service Improvement is gaining traction in many of the IT organizations that I've come across. Having a framework to instil a repeatable improvement process is how IT can move away from daily fire fighting and toward improving the efficiency of the bushiness and driving innovation. Learn more about CSI, in this eBook:

Best Practice Insights - Focus on: ITILĀ® Continual Service Improvement