Avoid ITSM failures – Bring in a new Model

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ITSM processes

In the past, we have written about the importance of ITSM in the overall role of an organization.  This was expressed recently in our article, “How the CEO Views IT”.  Quite simply, IT consumes a lot of dollars and the role of IT Service Management (ITSM) is to make sure IT works for the business, and that it is done efficiently.  This concept is generally one that is agreed to by almost everyone involved.

Given that the importance of ITSM seems to be commonly accepted, one might think that ITSM programs would be fairly uniform in their adoption of commonly known best practices.  The reality is that this is far from the truth.  In fact, ITSM is one of the most heterogeneous aspects of IT that we know of.

One might ask why is this the case.  The consultants and industry experts write research on it, the users go to conferences to discuss and explore.  What gives?

Part of the answer is that, ITSM resides mostly in people and process and there is no silver bullet to solve the ITSM riddle – “how do we effectively execute ITSM to deliver better business results and use IT efficiently”.  Everyone knows or has seen the frameworks for best practices, but it is in the execution of ITSM where it usually falls apart by not meeting expectations.

So, how can ITSM be more effectively implemented?  Let’s start by talking about some of the more common approaches.

One approach that is often used to help implement service management is the engagement of outside experts.  This is used quite extensively, and our firm has been a successful part of that solution.  However, this might not be as effective in the longer-term if the IT organization brings in outside help but doesn’t transfer the knowledge and know-how to their own people.  There are many examples of successful ITSM projects that lose traction because the expertise of ITSM is not incorporated in the IT and business culture.

Another approach we’ve seen is that many organizations are either setting up, expanding or developing their ITSM program offices. They know that ITSM is there to produce business results and to use resources efficiently, and they want to reap the benefits. We believe that this is a very important step, as ITSM needs to be developed and adopted internally to get results – ITSM is not a one-off proposition.

A catch, and one that we have written about in the past, is that ITSM does take time and effort.  Much of the problem lies in the fact that the ITSM group has to do many things to be truly successful.  They need to assess the organization, design custom processes to fit the business, make sure they are implemented properly and then they have to be monitored.

Communication and training are also a big part of the puzzle.  Mature programs require additional abilities such as monitoring, compliance, and audit.   Lastly, all of these essential parts need to be linked for consistency and efficiency.

All of this takes a lot of time and effort.

Our approach….

At Navvia, we have significant experience in the implementation of ITSM, and we know the headaches and the successes.  A big improvement in the delivery of ITSM, is the automation and linkage all of the relevant processes. Information should be held in a single repository and easily delivered to the organization. Input from assessments needs to be captured and organized for maximum efficiency. Processes have to be built to fit the business, not the software.  Documentation needs to be simplified. Audit and monitoring, need to run smoothly.  Pertinent information needs to be shared with all stakeholders, not just the ITSM folks, to ensure success. Communication, collaboration, training and education need to reach into the organization for all stakeholders.

At Navvia, we understand there are many ITSM tools out there to enter tickets, track changes, and manage assets, for example, but there are no ITSM tools to help the program office. We built a software solution that embodies this holistic approach and makes ITSM a lot easier. In essence, we have created a hub for an ITSM program.

The future of ITSM will have to answer many challenges. Much is at stake as the ITSM department holds a very powerful and important seat in the allocation of an organization’s resources.  We look forward to this challenge!

Tony Richards, Chairman

As a seasoned finance and investment professional, Tony brings a complementary skill set to round out the Navvia management team. He has over 35 years of experience in finance, research and risk management.

• Posted by Tony Richards, Chairman on Jan 09, 2014
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