About 4 years ago I posted a question on Quora – a site of questions and answers founded by former employees of Facebook at the height of the launch of the solution. It’s a site that I do not visit any more (you’ll probably understand better why when you get to the third section below) plus I still get the strange emails to remind me that it still exists.
The question? Something simple like:
“What do companies really want from IT service management (ITSM)?”
I say it’s a simple question to answer, but it’s actually a very difficult question, or at least having a very consistent answer is difficult. I will prove to you that it is not so easy with 3 examples below, A, B and C.
A. Sound Answers
The “sensible” answers range from the benefits of IT to ITSM:
- “Ensure that requests that have high levels of availability and continuity” and other IT services, improve the services offered by IT
- “Reduce help desk costs through self-service” and other things that can be saved
- “High quality services, faster turnaround times, less service outages, open lines of communication with end users – all at low cost to IT”
- “It’s not the companies that want ITSM; Are the IT departments that have a need for ITSM to be able to carry out their work in an environment of constant technological evolution “
For more focus on business:
- “To support business goals”
- “ITSM enables the business to better interact with customers, helps the business flow better, and increase profitability”
Plus the two points I describe below.
B. Answers That Do not Help So Much
And like any public place for people to give their opinions, and often copy and paste information, there will always be answers that are “not-so-smart” at the first, second and even the third time you read.
I know these answers were meant to help, and it’s not legal to judge them, but phrases such as these really help someone:
- “Companies really want ITSM to deliver services and values to non-compliance with hardware, software, supplies, and processes to drive business performance”
- “ITSM offers an innovative platform that is cloud-based and very flexible for mobile devices with an intuitive and beautiful user experience that makes the whole enterprise more productive”
- “ITSM is actually a process-based exercise aimed at aligning and delivering technology services (IT services) along with business needs, emphasizing customer benefits”
- “Do enterprises want off-the-shelf solutions to be used during the processes, based on ITIL strategies?”
I personally do not think so.
C. The most considered responses
Luckily there were issues that made you stop and think for a moment. There were more than two, but I really like the following.
David Moskowitz , an IT consultant and mentor, offered interesting information:
“I do not think most organizations (IT) understand what ITSM is or really represents. If they knew, the focus would be on customer outcomes and values, not on things reported and measured in technical language. ”
David continued to add more information:
- “So IT people talk about availability and that part of the business does not care; The business side is interested in productivity and business processes
- IT people talk about service desk costs, or incident response time, or problem analysis, and the business does not care. Business is interested in the impact IT has on productivity
- IT (if it were really focused on ITSM) would be able to quantify the value of IT to the business. How many IT companies really can do this?
- What the business really wants is for IT to provide unparalleled customer support, make it easier to do work, make business strategies available, deliver business-based customer support, and deliver more value to the business. I do not think most IT people really “like” this idea “
Later Charles T. Betz , an IT architect, strategist and adviser, offered his help:
“I can define IT in terms of the history of computing, but I find it difficult to distinguish between IT management and ITSM. In general, companies need two things from IT:
- They need IT to qualify them, so they can compete (or operate) in environments rich in technology.
- They need IT to increase their performance over competitors (or other relevant benchmarks), with the effect that the company’s performance is based on excellence in managing information . “
It’s a very interesting point from Charles. One point that suggests that maybe we are making ITSM lose its essence because we are differentiating it from prevention and IT management.
“That depends on who is asking the question”
This has been said and referenced a few times, but does it really depend? Do we really need to decrease the quality of the response or respond in an IT context versus business context?
I personally do not think so in terms of decreasing the quality of ITSM – follows a quote from Albert Einstein:
“If you can not explain it in a simple way, you do not understand it enough”
What about having a different answer to an IT audience versus a business audience? The fact that we could try to do this is why we have so many different answers to the same subject, and a confusion about what ITSM really means for businesses.
Do we just need something simple and applicable to all audiences? I’m not going to spend hours trying to set a sensible answer for this, I’ll just show you the phrase that defines ITSM:
“Improve business performance through better IT delivery”
What I would like to think, also answers the question, “What do companies really want from IT service management (ITSM)?” And yes, I might have added in words and phrases like values, business goals, IT, customer focus, cost savings, IT services and service management, and fit the purpose of technology – but do both the business and the IT audience really need to know this at a high level of explanation? I personally do not think so.
What do you think?