The Magnificent Seven ITSM 2.0 Challenges
October 26, 2016

Dennis Drogseth
EMA

Share this

This is my second blog targeting the next generation of IT service management, or ITSM 2.0. The first blog described the characteristics I see as defining ITSM 2.0. Here we’ll look more closely at the key challenges you might face in getting there from a more traditional ITSM background.

First of all, given this blog’s headline, you may well ask if challenges in themselves can be “magnificent.” I would argue that once challenges are viewed as a means for overcoming barriers, the answer is yes.

Here are the seven challenges I’ll be discussing specific to ITSM transformation:

1. Organizational, political, and leadership issues

2. Issues surrounding dialog across IT and between IT and business stakeholders

3. The need for enhanced levels of automation and more effectively defined processes

4. The challenges surrounding the move to cloud

5. The growing requirement to support mobile end users

6. The challenges surrounding fragmented technologies, fragmented data, and toolset complexity

7. The need to integrate a wide variety of cost, governance, and value-related metrics across all of IT

1. Organizational, political, and leadership issues

In almost all my research, whether it’s on digital and IT transformation or more specific ITSM-related initiatives, this challenge stands out as number one. It’s often identified as the single toughest challenge of them all. But the best way to approach it is by establishing a baseline for your organization — not through some linear grading system, but by talking and listening to key stakeholders about these and other issues as they perceive them. Moreover, addressing the other six challenges discussed here can go a long way toward helping you overcome challenge number one.

2. Issues surrounding dialog across IT and between IT and business stakeholders

If there’s indeed a magic bullet for addressing organizational and political issues, it’s promoting a more effective community within the ITSM team, and across IT, through enhanced communication and dialog. Here technology really can come into play, through social IT and chat groups that include ITSM teams, their customers, and IT stakeholders more broadly. Communication can also be improved through better process workflows and automation (see Challenge #3). Finally, good shared data and enhanced dashboards and visualization (see Challenge #6) can go a long way toward building better IT communities overall, with far less finger-pointing and more well-directed consensus building.

3. The need for enhanced levels of automation and more effectively defined processes

Communication is not just about talking, in person or online, although good dialog in all its forms is still key. Good communication is also about effectively sharing information and promoting better means of collaboration. Here well-designed workflows (that ideally don’t require scripting) can be evolved to support and help define a wide variety of process interactions. In parallel, ITSM automation can free up time lost to repetitious, and often isolating, tasks — such as configuration changes, patch updates, catalog-driven service provisioning, and, in some cases, triage and remediation in conjunction with Operations.

4. The challenges surrounding the move to cloud

An entire blog, an entire book, and an entire IT curriculum could be (and have been) written about challenge number four. From an ITSM perspective, cloud is not something you can or should run away from. It can be empowering, just as it can place new demands on you. The chief challenges include the need for superior approaches to security and compliance with more dynamic awareness of everything from software licenses to IT infrastructure to the Ts and Cs of managing cloud service providers. Cloud also requires approaching options for service delivery differently, with enhanced awareness of cost and relevance to business consumers. As we’ve seen in multiple research analyses, ITSM teams that are willing and able to stand in the middle of the challenge of optimizing cloud invariably fare better than those that aren’t.

5. The growing requirement to support mobile end users

My prior blog introduced some of the requirements for endpoint management overall. Mobile shares in these requirements, which include security, optimizing endpoint value across laptops and mobile, understanding and assuring effective service delivery to end users, and enabling more effective visualization capabilities that empower end users, and especially mobile service consumers, to be fully productive in their roles and responsibilities, including in interacting with IT.

6. The challenges surrounding fragmented technologies, fragmented data, and toolset complexity

While each of the three items here, fragmented technologies, fragmented data, and toolset complexity are unique problems in and of themselves, they are also closely interrelated. This challenge is of course not limited to ITSM teams, but one that reaches across all of operations and all of development. While there is no magic bullet here (indeed none of these obstacles can be overcome in a single long weekend), investing in technologies that promote assimilation of multiple data sources and do so with an eye to superior data integrity, visualization, time to value, and relevance can offer you a big step forward.

7. The need to integrate a wide variety of cost, governance, and value-related metrics across all of IT

ITSM 2.0 teams are playing a greater role in governance and planning across all of IT. This requires a willingness to go beyond the usual silos when looking at costs—from IT asset management and software asset management, to operational efficiency and governance metrics, to portfolio planning, to analytics that can support if/then insights, to costs and efficiencies associated with cloud adoption. Doing all this cohesively is easier said than done, especially when there is no defined industry market that reflects this landscape of critically interrelated components. But it is at the heart of ITSM 2.0.

Dennis Drogseth is VP at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).

Share this

The Latest

January 20, 2017

Traditionally, Application Performance Management (APM) is usually associated with solutions that instrument application code. There are two fundamental limitations with such associations. If instrumenting the code is what APM is all about, then APM is applicable only to homegrown applications for which access to code is available ...

January 19, 2017

The correlation between mobile app crashes and increasing churn rates (or declining user retention) has long been suspected. In the report, titled Crash and Churn, Apteligent set out to understand the impact of per user crash rate on churn ...

January 18, 2017

In Fall 2016, Paessler AG surveyed 650 system administrators from 49 countries to get a "state of the SysAdmin" and find out how their jobs are changing, how they spend their time, and what their priorities are. The survey responses led to some interesting findings – namely, that when it comes to today's SysAdmins, things are not as they seem. Here are some of the key findings that illustrate the gap between perception and reality ...

January 17, 2017

Choosing an application performance monitoring (APM) solution can be a daunting task. A quick Google search will show popular products, but there's also a long list of less-well-known open source products available, too. So how do you choose the right solution? ...

January 13, 2017

Digital transformation is a key initiative for enterprises that want to reach new customers and offer greater value via technology. Changing user expectations, new modes of engagement and the need to improve responsiveness are the main factors driving companies to update outdated processes and develop new applications as part of a digital transformation strategy. But in order to deliver on the promise of digital transformation, organizations must also modernize their IT infrastructure to support speed, scale and change ...

January 12, 2017

Digital transformation is evolving the enterprise to one in which high performance applications are now the norm as organizations use video, graphics and other information intensive multimedia to populate these new channels of engagement. Digital technologies, and high performance applications, create further pressure on IT staffs which are grappling with PCs that are past their optimum performance. As a result, IT is looking at alternatives to swapping out PCs and investing in more costly equipment that will inevitably have an expiration date. One solution is to build on virtualization solutions that incorporate high-performance thin clients ...

January 11, 2017

If your business depends on mission-critical web or legacy applications, then monitoring how your end users interact with your applications is critical. Most monitoring solutions try to infer the end-user experience based on resource utilization. However, resource utilization cannot provide meaningful results on how the end-user is experiencing an interaction with an application. The true measurement of end-user experience is availability and response time of the application, end-to-end and hop-by-hop ...

January 10, 2017

There's nothing like a major web outage to remind us how much our applications rely on other web services and technologies to function. In late October of last year, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, one of the largest Domain Name Service (DNS) providers on the internet, disrupted service for consumer and business applications across the web. This attack shed light on the delicate interdependent nature of the web as productivity and uptime across the world was effected ...

January 09, 2017

As an IT professional, I'm used to words that mean different things to different people. For example, "log monitoring" could mean anything from simple text files to logfile aggregation systems. "Uptime" is also notoriously hard to nail down. Heck, even the word "monitoring" itself can be obscure. This is why I'm not surprised that application performance monitoring (APM) can mean so many different things depending on the context ...

January 06, 2017

Big data continues to be the fastest-growing segment of the information management software market. New findings released by Ovum estimate that the big data market will grow from $1.7bn in 2016 to $9.4bn by 2020, comprising 10% of the overall market for information management tooling ...