That's all folks!

On our five-year anniversary, we’ve taken the difficult decision to put the ITSM Review on ice whilst we focus our efforts on the continued growth and interest in our sister site, The ITAM Review.

The ITSM Review has been an active community for ITSM professionals between August 2011 and August 2016. In five years we’ve observed the emergence and plateau of cloud as an ITSM delivery platform, the privatization of the ITIL franchise, the transformational effects of mobile and social and the growth of using ITSM practices beyond the IT department.

We’ve also seen the continued demise of the big behemoth outsource contracts and subsequent interest in polite baton passing between smaller specialist outsourcers (SIAM). Of all trends, the most powerful is the disruptive force of DevOps. Perhaps in one hundred years, we will smile about the fact that with DevOps the IT department learnt to a) Proceed in small increments based on progress and b) Listen to the customer (Which begs the question – what in hell were we doing before this revelation?). In the meantime it is changing the landscape of how IT services are delivered.

Our first ever blog post was an interview with Ben Clacy, who at the time was the CEO of itSMF UK. During the interview Ben referred to itSMF as the user group for ITIL. In 2016 ITIL’s halo seems to have slipped somewhat under management in the private sector, perhaps still a predominant force to be reckoned with, but just another utility in the practitioners toolkit.

We’ve been pleased to see the continued convergence between ITAM and ITSM and foresee further integration between these two disciplines. ITAM seeks to mature beyond responding to supplier demands and build long-term process, whilst ITSM seeks the financial, risk and business awareness that ITAM can provide.

We may have increasingly savvy IT users who prefer to use their own kit, we may not actually build anything ourselves but just buy in blocks of services, and we may not know where the network starts and finishes, but the ability to deliver IT services is still fundamental and the skills of those ITSM professionals who can wrangle with the complexity, delight the customer and help businesses innovate will continue to be in high demand. Ultimately, world-class ITSM provides competitive edge, and we hope that worldwide ITSM professionals continue to beat that drum.

The ITSM Review’s back catalogue of articles still attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year so we hope to maintain past articles as a permanent public archive and will continue to promote ITSM tool reviews on Tools Advisor (Tool Reviews supported by real customer reviews).

A sincere thank you to everyone that has contributed and shared our posts in the last half decade, we’re proud to have provided a platform for sharing knowledge between passionate ITSM professionals.

Martin Thompson, August 2016

@itammartin

Event Listing: IT in the Park 2016

 

Event Listing: IT in the Park 2016

It’s Edinburgh baby! IT500 and Scot-Tech will be hosting Scotland’s biggest ITSM and IT Operations Management conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh this October. This conference will follow previous IT500 & Scot-Tech events such as IT in the park 2015 and the IT500 Learning Conference; both of which gained great acclaim from speakers, sponsors and attendees alike. The 2015 conference had over 200 IT professionals gathered in one place to share ideas, hear case studies and learn about new products and services.

Delegates were a good mix from both public and private sectors. Speakers included the CTO of Arnold Clark, CIO of St Andrews University and senior representatives from Standard Life, the Scottish Government and Fife Council. Over 95% of delegates surveyed post event stated that they intend to return with many indicating that they would also be bringing additional colleagues. The event facilitated great networking opportunities with high levels of engagement and a real buzz. New faces, sparkly new products, case studies and workshops – what’s not to love?

 


Event Highlights

On October 25th 2016 the crack team of IT500 & Scot-Tech will take IT in the Park a step further, adding industry hot topics such as SIAM, DevOps and ITAM to complement their existing core messages around best practice and value driven IT services.  The agenda promises to be exciting and action packed; here is a list of some of the presenters and experts who will be speaking on the day:


Event Break Down

 

WHAT: IT in the Park

WHERE: Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

WHEN: October 25th 2016

WHO: IT500 & Scot-Tech

HOW TO BOOK: Click Here

ITSM Back To Basics – The Service Catalogue

Introduction

So here’s the thing. I’ve worked in IT forever and in ITSM for over 15 years and it never fails to amaze me how many failed or unused Service Catalogues there are kicking about out in industry. As a consultant I’ve seen and heard horror stories of clients paying upwards of £60,000 for a Service Catalogue they were told would solve all their problems only to be presented with a 2 page spreadsheet listing a few business services at the end of the engagement. As an Irish person who remembers the halcyon days of the Celtic Tiger, I’m calling this the ITSM industry’s very own “ah here” moment.

So what is the Service Catalogue and does it deserve all the hype?  ITIL defines the Service Catalogue as a database or structured document with information about all live IT services, including those available for deployment. The Service Catalogue is part of the service portfolio and contains information about two types of IT service: customer-facing services that are visible to the business; and supporting services required by the service provider to deliver customer-facing services. In other words the Service Catalogue is a menu of all available services available to the business. It also provides the real link between the business and IT; it defines the business processes based on IT systems enabling IT to focus on ensuring those services perform well. Not too scary so far right?

Purpose:

The Service Catalogue has two main purposes:

  1. To provide and maintain a single source of consistent information on all operational services and those being prepared to be run operationally; essentially acting as a menu for the business to order IT services from. An ex collegue of mine (waves to Pink Elephant UK) used to say that the first rule of ITSM is “always make it easy for people to give you money” aka the Hubbard – Murphy law of ITSM. How can we make it easy for customers to give us lots of lovely money? By giving them a sparkly menu of course.
  2. To ensure that it is widely available to those who are authorised to access it; in order to be effective the Service Catalogue needs to be front and centre of your IT operation so that it’s used consistently. Let’s think about it logically for a moment, if it’s not being used by the business, then what value is it adding? Exactly.

Scope:

The scope of Service Catalogue Management is to provide and maintain accurate information on all services that are being transitioned or have been transitioned to the production environment ie anything that’s live or about to be very shortly.

Value to the business

  • Provides a central source of information about the IT services delivered by the service provider organisation.
  • The Service Catalogue maintained by this process contains:
    • A customer-facing view of the IT services in use
    • A description of how they are intended to be used; in clear business centric language; there’s a time and a place for technical jargon and the Service Catalogue isn’t one of them. et’s not frighten the horses here.
    • A list of the Business processes they enable (this should be fron and centre – remember – make it easy for people to give you money, right?)
    • A description of the levels and quality the customer can expect for each service, preferable one that links to the appropriate SLA, OLA or contract.

Different Views

  • The Business Service Catalogue  – This contains details of all IT Services delivered to the Business (in Business language and available to the Business if required). The Business Service Catalogue should contain the relationships with business units and business processes that are supported by each IT Service. Typically these are in the forms of Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • The Technical Service Catalogue – This expands the on the Business Service Catalogue with relationships to supporting services, shared services, components and Configuration Items necessary to support the provision of services to the Business (typically this is an internal document so it’s not available to the Business). The Technical Service Catalogue focuses internally on defining and documenting support agreements and contracts (Operational Level Agreements and contracts with external providers or third parties).

 

OK, so that’s the basics covered, come back soon for our top tips on implementing a Service Catalogue successfully.

 

Image Credit

How to Establish an ITAM Program in Less Than 30 Days

Guest post by our friends Tom Bosch & Cathy Won at BDNA. We met Tom & Cathy at Knowledge 16 earlier this year (Vegas baby!) and got chatting about how we need to be more agile in getting both ITSM and ITAM established.

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Today’s IT departments are grappling with the sea change brought by cloud architectures, virtualization, mergers and acquisitions, software audits, compliance, security, upgrades and a host of other initiatives, such as BYOD (bring your own device). These new challenges only exacerbate current complexities in managing company laptops, desktops, servers, operating systems, network hardware, and now, mobile devices and tablets.

As the IT landscape continues to evolve, it is vital that enterprises gain greater control over the various components within their IT infrastructure. Not only do ITAM solutions help companies detect and prevent IT and regulatory risks, they also maximize a company’s productivity.

The challenge is understanding where and how to begin deploying a new IT Asset Management (ITAM) program, or how to leverage existing ITAM solutions in a way that keeps up with these changes. Below are suggestions for how an effective ITAM program can be established in less than 30 days.

 

Deploy Sooner than Later

Software vendors frequently — and without warning — audit customers to ensure they are in compliance with license contracting terms. An audit can be triggered out of nowhere, and failing one audit could trigger more. For software vendors, it’s simple business logic: Make sure customers pay for any software usage above and beyond what they are entitled. But for customers, providing proof that the organization is using only properly licensed software can be cumbersome and complicated.

According to a recent survey of several hundred IT professionals conducted by Information Week and BDNA, more than 61 percent of companies were audited within the last 18 months, and more than 17 percent of them were audited more than three times within that same 18-month period.

And as anyone who has been through one is aware, software audits carry hefty fines. In addition to the hefty financial burden of paying for the settlement, true-ups and additional IT, legal and PR resources, organizations also find their productivity, credibility, opportunity and reputation impacted post-audit.

Given the high consequences of non-compliance, ITAM can no longer be taken lightly as an optional discipline. The sooner an ITAM program is put into place, the sooner a company is protected from a costly audit.

 

Know the Answers

More than 85 percent of the BDNA survey’s respondents admitted that they were “accidental” software pirates, either deploying software for which they had never paid or exceeding their number of acquired licenses.

When senior executives ask how to make ITAM projects as simple as they can be, they really want a process that answers these three questions:

  • What do I have?
  • Are we using what we’ve purchased?
  • Are we entitled to all we are using?

By achieving greater visibility, an enterprise achieves some key benefits:

  • Stronger negotiation position with suppliers
  • Better security and system integrity
  • Reduced risk and improved governance

 

4 Steps to Greater Visibility

 The most fundamental goal of greater visibility can be achieved in less than 30 days with these four steps:

1) Discovery: The first step to greater visibility into the enterprise is to discover what assets the enterprise holds. Many enterprises already possess the tools to do part of this, but are not properly integrating the tools into their overall IT management processes. Existing tools such as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) can often be used to capture raw data about IT assets. Most companies have at least six tools installed and can leverage that data – and ensuring the right processes are in place to do that is key.

2) Reconcile the data: Eliminate unnecessary, irrelevant and duplicate data discovered across multiple tools. That duplicate data can be safely discarded, ridding the enterprise of distracting clutter.

3) Remove redundant and unauthorized applications by identifying overlaps and keeping only those that are being fully utilized.

4) Pair inventory with your procurement process: This improves compliance in preparation for an audit as well as identifying unused resources and licenses, giving you additional leverage to negotiate with your suppliers.

By following these guidelines, enterprises can significantly minimize the risk from an audit and disruption to business as usual in less than a month.

 

About the Authors

Tom Bosch is a Certified Software Asset Manager who operates as director of Sales at BDNA Corporation. He has spent the last five years working with dozens of corporations solving ITAM issues. With a diverse 30-year background in sales, operations and finance management, Tom has been involved in numerous re-engineering projects in which the focal point remains process simplification.

Cathy Won is director of product marketing at BDNA.  Cathy has extensive product marketing and product management experience, including time at NetApp, Juniper Networks, EMC, VERITAS, Legato and Brocade.

 

Featured image credit.