This interview was filmed at the Pink Elephant Conference and features Ian Aitchison, ITSM Product Director at LANDESK discussing the current challenges faced in IT service management, along with the need for IT to stop always focusing on the negatives.
In addition, Ian also talks about:
IT needing to better engage with the business
The ITSM community
How LANDESK interacts with its customers
Please note that owing to this interview being filmed live at the Pink Elephant event, there may be some minor volume issues and background noises throughout this video.
LANDESK Software is an industry-leading provider of solutions that span five key IT management disciplines: systems lifecycle management, endpoint security, IT service management, asset management, and mobility management—all unified in a consistent, user-oriented experience. Visit www.landesk.com for for more information.
About Pink Elephant
A global company with a proud and pioneering 30 year history – the world’s #1 supplier of IT Service Management and ITIL® education, conferences and consulting.Visit www.pinkelephant.com for more information about the company, services and products. This video was filmed at the 2014 Pink Elephant Conference. The 19th Annual Pink Elephant International IT Service Management Conference and Exhibition will take place at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, February 15-18 2015. Registration is now open.
Big ‘ole corporates don’t stick around like they used to. To survive companies must innovate or die. A key part of the innovative process is to be inspired by, mash-up, and build upon previous work.
The Penny Drops
I attended the ServiceNow London forum last year when Frank Slootman urged us to “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way”. For a company whose market valuation and pitch to investors is based on expanding outside IT, the company demonstrated precious little leadership on how a company might actually get there. It was clearly the customers doing the leading.
In the short time since those forums the penny seems to have dropped. Knowledge included a number of initiatives to empower customers and encourage them to borrow (steal) the best ideas from each other and build solutions outside the IT department:
In terms of new features announced at Knowledge14, my personal highlights were the Kanban visual tasks boards and new features to assist Demand Management.
I can see the Demand Management features being a great toolbox and playbook for Business Engagement Managers or those tasked with direct interaction and responsiveness to business requirements. In theory – you could collect all suggestions and develop them right through to delivered services. But also include the reality check of business impact, risk and resource constraints.
Fruition Partners were showcasing the launch of their App Factory with some specialist solutions for the Healthcare market. The ‘Healthcare Management Suite’ is a set of apps built on the ServiceNow platform with Healthcare standards and compliance in mind. More info here.
KPMG stated that they had historically worked with alternative service management software providers but were now a 100% ServiceNow business. To support their growing function the firm announced a ServiceNow centre of excellence in Denver, Colorado.
As an analyst, it’s all too easy to become cynical of events, marketing hype and stock price hysteria in the technology space. With your nose pressed close to the industry effluent pipe, an observer can become jaded from the sheer volume of bilge.
Whilst Knowledge14 had it’s fair share of chest beating and hyperbole, I found the energy and enthusiasm from the event infectious. Cranky Frank the CEO gave us the company perspective and spoon-fed cute lines to journalists, the main man Fred Luddy entertained us and painted a vision of the future – but for me the main event was the attendees.
There was a genuine energy about the place as IT departments were beginning to realize they could perhaps become an enabler again and take a seat at the table of the business. The realization that ITIL and other frameworks are important, but they should be the wiring under the board – not what the customer experiences.
“We have a seat at the table, we are helping the business innovate” ~ Nicole Tate, Metro PCS #Know14
Don’t get me wrong, the streets of San Francisco were not paved with ITSM gold, organizations attending were still facing the same old incident-problem-change daily grind and curve balls as the rest of us – but there is a light at the end of tunnel.
Was it worth it? Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thanks for the ServiceNow team for looking after us at a very well organized event.
We will be rolling out a new Q&A forum and knowledge base for The ITSM Review shortly.
This is a short blog to discuss our goals and direction for the project (code name Angels on a Pin).
Why a Q&A Forum?
LinkedIn and Facebook are proving popular for discussion of ITSM topics. The weakness of these platforms is that a) the good stuff gets lost in the stream and b) common questions get repeated over and over. Noise and ‘the stream’ take precedent.
Our new forum aims to curate and moderate discussions and tag and categorize content for future reference.
The ITSM Review Q&A Forum
Our objective is to provide a useful, independent resource for worldwide ITSM professionals.
Actively moderated to remove spam or promotional messages in accordance with an open published code of conduct
Moderated to tag and categorize questions to avoid duplicates and allow the good stuff to be found
Curated to generate knowledge base articles for most popular topics and discussion areas
Game mechanics – proactively reward participation and the best answers
All content published creative commons / [UPDATE] non-commercial license
Free to access
Respect Intellectual Property – Give credit where it is due, only link to content that is freely accessible
Egalitarian – everyone has a voice. Provide a destination for newcomers and experts alike.
Knowledge Management – proactively clip the best content into a knowledge base for easy navigation.
I would appreciate your feedback to this project. Good, bad or indifferent.
Yesterday, AXELOS launched a brand new competition aimed at helping IT professionals kick-start and/or revive their ITSM initiatives.
With the help of independent, industry experts, AXELOS will be providing entrants with a list of tasks, along with practical guidance on how to successfully complete them in order to start people out on their journey of ITSM improvement.
AXELOS’s objective with this competition is to show how ITSM improvement initiatives can be agile, iterative, and business focused, and that CSI is an integral part of all processes and activities. There is no need for a huge 2-year-long project plan to kick things off – a few enthusiastic people with proper guidance can achieve a lot! The outcomes from this competition will serve as the basis for each participating organization to create their own prioritized list of improvements – a proper CSI register. The prizes that AXELOS has selected for the most impressive ITIL journeys will help to engage the whole organization at the next level, and to build the momentum.
The competition, otherwise known as the “ITIL Journey”, will be divided into three 2-week sprints, each of which will have a specific focus. In order to participate you will need to download the AXELOS foldable prism.
The sprint topics will be:
Sprint 1 – Listening and Engagement – May 12th – May 25th 2014
Sprint 2 – Quantifying and Reviewing – May 27th – June 8th 2014
Sprint 3 – Prioritizing and Planning – June 9th – June 22nd 2014
Each set of tasks for individual sprints focuses on the theme of the sprint and builds on the previous sprints. The tasks for each sprint will be revealed in the beginning of that sprint.
By the end of the competition, when all three sprints are completed, you will have a prioritized list of improvements that is based on actual data and business requirements, rather than just on hard-to-prove gut feeling. You will also have shown, by completing a few low hanging fruit improvement tasks, that the initiative does bring value – and this helps to build a momentum in your organization. All tasks from previous sprints will be available in an ordered ‘backlog’ – this way, you can include them in your sprints along the way.
The competition is not UK-only-based and you can take part from anywhere in the world. All you need to do to enter is submit a photo of your completed prism along with any documentation that you have created to AXELOS by 30th June 2014.
You don’t have to have been involved from the start to join in either. You can essentially even join in the third sprint, you will just complete less tasks. For maximum value to your organization and for the best chance to win the competition, we highly recommend that you start your ITIL Journey now (or at least as soon as possible).
The three best submissions will receive a voucher for a full-day in-house ITIL simulation game from one of the following Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs): G2G3, Gamingworks and Simagine.
In a nutshell
Find out how to engage with your customers and understand their needs
Review and evaluate your current processes and metrics
Identify quick wins to address first and get buy-in from stakeholders
Map your activities to value your customers expect
Make use of free-of-charge insights and guidance from industry experts
Win a full-day ITIL simulation for your organization
For more information about the ITIL Journey competition, including how to take part and submit please visit the website.
This ITSM event, which is the largest in the southern hempishere, brings together more than 500 IT professionals, with over 50 keynotes and breakout sessions – covering a wide range of subjects that are at the heart of our industry.
What you can expect
Generally regarded as one of the best itSMF-hosted conferences in the world, you’re in for a treat with this year’s agenda which includes (but is not limited to):
A choice of 7 pre-conference workshops including “building agile virtual teams” and “real techniques to achiever a successful ITSM implementation”
A jammed pack social programme providing an array of opportunities to connect with your peers and the service management community, from the standard welcome drinks and networking evening to gala dinners, a social dinner and games night and a post conference winery tour through the Yarra Valley.
Ceremony for the 2014 itSMF Industry Awards
Join in the fun
Considering attending but not quite sure yet? Or crying that you can’t go and are going to miss out on all the fun? Why not get involved with one of the Twitter chats that will be hosted by itSMF Australia in the run up to the event?
Big Uncle: Benevolent Security and The End of Privacy
Getting Started with Continual Service Improvement
Leading ITSM from Scrum to Kanban
Service Integration and Management: SIAM
Working Smarter at the Service Desk to Engage the Business
Get the most out of #Leadit
ITSM Review is flying longhaul!
Two of our team will be in attendance (we haven’t yet finished arguing about who gets to go on such an amazing trip), and if you’d like to schedule a meeting with us whilst we’re out in Australia please email me.
We also intend to make the most of our trip across to the other side of the world and in conjunction with the wonderful James Finister and Stuart Rance we are hoping to be able to run a series of ITSM community initiatives whilst we’re out there (let me hear you cry “the Brits are coming”). Not just in Melbourne, but potentially anywhere in Australia (within reason – it’s a big country) and even potentially en route as well. We’ll provide more information on this as/when things get confirmed, but in the mean time please let us know if you have any ideas related to this or would like to see us whilst we’re visiting.
The ITSM Review team will also be making a trip to India in conjunction with our visit to itSMF Australia, so we urge our readers in that part of the world to also get in touch.
itSMF Australia Annual Conference (LEADit)
The Pullman Melbourne Albert Park Hotel, Australia
The conference runs from Wednesday 13th August to Friday 15th August, with a range of pre-conference workshops taking place on Tuesday 12th August.
Hear from practitioners and industry experts on topics such as problem management, IT costs, service catalog, the future of the service desk, IT security, metrics and KPI’s, delivering service excellence and more
Both Rebecca Beach and I will also be in attendance. If you would like to schedule a meeting with either of us at the conference please email me. We are interested in hearing from all attendees whether you are a vendor, practitioner, consultant or other!
EMC Corporation’s IT organization (EMC IT) has been on a multiyear transformational journey, transitioning to a virtual and private cloud infrastructure and modifying its operating model to be one of a competitive service provider. They have also been working to unlock the capabilities to deliver more agility to its business customer through optimized service delivery and modern application development aligned to IT trends of cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data. But, the company’s IT service management (ITSM) processes lacked agility to meet the evolving needs of its internal customers. Couple this obstacle with unstable, obsolete, and unintegrated technologies that lacked mobility, community, and self-help functionality. EMC IT launched its UnITy program to address this significant challenge.
The UnITy program began in July 2012 to optimize ITSM processes, replace its previous ITSM technology platforms, and transform IT into a customer-focused organization committed to consistently delivering collaborative support.
To start, the team conducted more than 100 interviews and numerous workshops to collectively understand the challenges IT faced and secure leadership support for the problem, business drivers, critical success factors, and solutions. From these sessions, the team defined the program’s vision as: “To delight EMC IT’s clients by transforming their IT service experience through optimized service management processes and technologies.”
The program then set out to address four key points in EMC IT.
Enhance the customer experience for EMC’s 60,000 users by evolving IT’s to be service-focused and allow the customer experience to drive prioritization and responsiveness.
Enable IT to operate as a business by optimizing processes and improving transparency through service metrics and better service quality.
Align IT’s resources with customer expectations and improve capabilities such as self-service and the availability of better decision making data.
Optimize IT support so the company will, in time, realize millions in annual savings by reducing the use of in-house production support and managed service providers, decommissioning redundant IT systems, and using self-service to reduce calls to the service desk.
In Phase I, the program released the new ITSM platform along with three processes – incident management, request fulfillment, and knowledge management. In Phase II, the program rolled out an improved configuration management database, a new service taxonomy, and three more processes – problem management, change management and service asset and configuration management.
At the core of UnITy was a mountain of change for EMC IT to adapt. To usher in the necessary cultural changes we created three workstreams – process optimization, technology, and transformation. While the workstreams focused on their respective topics, the entire team worked cohesively to evangelize the program by sharing a common understanding of the capabilities and benefits being delivered by UnITy. Perhaps most importantly, the transformation workstream led the organizational change in EMC IT, providing training, communication, and engagement at all levels in IT to drive the cultural evolution toward one of customer focus.
On the training side, the team built its own custom, instructor-led and computer-based training and enlisted 100 global users who went through week-long training on the new platform, processes, and way of thinking. In turn, these users held day-long training sessions with more than 1,000 users across our global EMC IT sites. As program champions, these individuals evangelized the program and provided support in the field before and after. Additionally, another 1,500+ users received computer-based training.
On the communications side, the UnITy program engaged a multi-channel campaign to provide information in a number of accessible and easily digestible ways. This included:
An intranet site that consistently ranked among the most-visited EMC IT sites
A regularly published email newsletter
Regularly scheduled global town hall meetings
A user engagement network that met weekly, championed the program, and provided feedback
A series of videos that featured IT leaders and program members delivering key messages
The UnITy team also used its leadership steering committee to validate decisions, in some cases make decisions, clear hurdles, and champion the program throughout IT. This was vital to pushing change through an organization and program sponsors helped communicate expectations to EMC IT through video messages, personal emails, and even shared goals for training and adoption.
So, what did EMC IT learn from this complex and culture-changing program?
Engagement at all levels of the EMC IT organization was vital. Having leadership support made it easier to push changes through, but having employee understanding of why the changes were happening and how they would benefit the individual and organization accelerated adoption.
No customizations! Sticking with the out-of-the-box ITSM functionality kept the program on course using best practices and ITIL processes, instead of bending the technology to match the way IT operated in the past.
Listen to the pros. We brought in experts to guide us in process adoption and tool deployment. When in doubt, we turned to the experts on best practices and moved ahead with their guidance.
EMC IT are currently in Phase III of the UnITy program to expand the service management platform and processes to businesses outside of IT. They remain focused on the metrics and reporting analysis to identify areas for continuous improvement. While it was a tremendous initiative for the whole EMC IT organization, they now have the technology and processes in place to continue to evolve the organization and to continue to provide the highest quality services for the future.
The ITSM Review are holding a series of seminars this year headed by ITSM superstar Barclay Rae. We will be starting in March with Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management & Self Service. For more information click here
This event is for anyone in York and surrounding areas who works in IT service management (ITSM). It provides an opportunity to meet with fellow professionals and to learn and share how to best apply techniques from ITIL and other frameworks.
The intention is to foster a local ITSM community, holding regular itSMF UK Local networking events and inviting guest speakers to talk on topics of interest.
Light refreshments will be provided, courtesy of IT Training Zone, and all attendees will receive a copy of the Introductory Overview of ITIL 2011.
The format of the event will be: welcome and introductions, a short presentation and discussion on getting the most out of ITIL, followed by networking and refreshments.
A new approach to service request management is gaining ground in companies around the globe. Called Enterprise Request Management, or ERM, this framework is finding favor with organizations because it allows them to take an incremental and evolutionary approach to centralizing and modifying business processes and service requests across the company.
Level one – organizations focused on “delivering IT services to consumers through a standard set of choices and/or requests”
Level two – service catalog automating enterprise services
Level three – service catalog acting as a “service broker”
Let’s take a look at five steps involved in implementing ERM:
Design your business process;
Involve your stakeholders;
Identify gaps in technology;
Test the processes; and
Refine and build onto the processes.
Design Your Business Process
Every business has request fulfillment processes that employees would love to improve, whether it’s as simple as resetting a password or as complex as onboarding new employees. The first step is to identify and prioritize improvements in these processes in terms of what is both realistically achievable and what has the greatest impact on user satisfaction.
Next, break the process down into discrete tasks. What task is the easiest to improve in the shortest amount of time? Start there before proceeding to tackle the more vexing tasks.
Look at what types of phone calls are overburdening your IT service desk. Are most of them for password resets or are users having problems with software installs? Also, look at which other departments have common support request issues, like paid time off requests in the human resources department, or conference room reservations in the facilities department.
With a service request portal and a back-end process automation tool, ERM provides a simple solution to these types of calls. With an online self-service request portal, users can log and track common service requests themselves while the “back-end” system manages the approval and fulfillment workflow of the request.
It doesn’t stop there, however. The flexible and extensible design of ERM allows you to add more (and more complex) types of requests over time.
ERM is designed to automate most, if not all, of the tasks within the service request management lifecycle – including centralized request management, scheduling, approvals, analytics, Service Level Agreement (SLA) tracking, status, charge back, billing and reporting – by linking to and coordinating with the software systems enterprises already have in place (systems of record) to handle these tasks.
Involve Your Stakeholders
With ERM, fulfillment processes are customer-centric. In other words, they’re designed from the customer’s perspective rather than from what appears to be the most convenient or logical approach for internal service providers.
So, it’s important to involve the appropriate stakeholders by assembling a small project team consisting of a business analyst, a developer, the “owner” of the process, a representative from management, and, most importantly, the users themselves, who can articulate the desired outcome in their own terms.
Keeping the team relatively small is important, since larger teams are more bureaucratic and take longer to get things done.
By keeping an open dialogue, users will be accepting of — and possibly even eager for — the changes that ERM will facilitate in simplifying complicated or broken request fulfillment processes.
Identify Gaps in Technology
As with any project, it helps to take one step at a time. Don’t get mired in the current state of your technology or existing processes, which can be a recipe for inaction. Often you’ll find that if you “think small” by breaking processes down into realistically achievable goals and by building on the momentum from these small victories, your current technology may not be as inadequate as you first thought.
However, frequently new front-end “systems of engagement” and flexible process automation tools may be needed. But make sure they’re designed to interact with back-end systems of record with little or no modification.
Test the Processes
With the ERM approach, it’s easy to create and test processes with very little risk because the core programming code doesn’t get modified. Feel free to make changes as needed and then test again. Once the process is concrete, is can be cloned and modified for other similar needs.
Refine and Build Onto the Processes
With ERM, the best approach is an evolutionary one. Start with the low-hanging fruit — the broken processes that have the greatest impact on customers. Work from these successes and the experiences gained, and then expand efforts wider and deeper into other request fulfillment processes.
After making any desired adjustments, deploy a more efficient way of fulfilling requests by using ERM and determine the next processes that need to be fixed. By learning, iterating and improving, ERM can easily move out of IT and unify service request fulfillment across your organization.
As you can see, the benefits and ease of ERM simply are too good to pass up. After all, who wouldn’t want lower service delivery costs and happier customers? So, wait no longer – now is the time for your organization to join the ranks of those realizing the benefits of ERM:
An improved user experience
Centralization of business services
First-time and automated fulfillment
Leveraging of existing systems.
Regardless of your organization’s level of request management maturity, you’ll find that ERM is the “glue” that unifies service request fulfillment across your enterprise. You can learn more about ERM here.
The ITSM Review are holding a series of seminars this year headed by ITSM superstar Barclay Rae. We will be starting in March with Transforming User Experience – Enterprise Service Management & Self Service. For more information click here