When looking at the future of IT service management (ITSM), the current trends are already starting to form the foundation of what is to come.
The recent BMC Software Remedy User Group in Sydney provided an insight into the factors affecting ITSM today, with BMC Software BSM CTO, Doug Mueller, providing attendees with a glimpse into what this will mean going forward.
Some of the trends he saw currently underway included standard “out of the box” processes being used where they exist, and adjustments are only made when they can prove value.
“The discussion is now focused on best of suites versus best of tool,” Mueller said.
“What we’re seeing is a move toward complete solutions of intimate, integrated processes.”
As for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Mueller has seen the ability to allow someone else to manage applications greatly appeal to businesses.
“Automation is on people’s minds, as it increases accuracy and speed, reduces errors, and frees people,” he said.
When it comes to having an application focus versus a hardware focus, Mueller says it comes down to the application providing services and hardware being just “a detail.”
“Should you have a holistic or transactional response?” Mueller asked the audience.
“Look at the overall situation, across tools, across processes, across time, and across people to see what is happening compared to point reacting to issues.”
When speaking about the need for processes that hide technologies, Mueller pointed out that the “real world is heterogeneous,” and will become increasingly so, despite vendors currently trying to “force homogeneous environments.”
What Mueller sees as one of the “anchors” of service management is Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
“You need to understand what you have, where is it, and how things are related,” he said.
“CMDB helps you to understand your environment and its connection to the business.”
The other anchor is Service Request Management (SRM), which identifies what users can request from you, where things are in the process, and how much demand is in the system.
“It also allows you to define, optimise, and manage delivery,” Mueller said.
Changes in the interaction change interaction, according to Mueller, and fundamental changes are going on with how people interact.
“They expect to be able to interact with the company in these new ways,” he said.
Mueller went on to say that interaction must be tailored to the role they play and customisable to individual preferences, whether they are an end user, a staff person, a manager or a service owner.
Mobility can also help get the right data to the right person wherever and whenever.
“Remember to optimise actions for mobility, with only 10 to 20 per cent of the functions should be mobilised,” he said.
“Also, don’t forget the added complexity of mobile device management.”
BYOD was identified as a growing trend, but at the same increases complexity and heterogeneity of the environment.
Mueller says that social media has provided people with many “new methods of interaction.”
“This is where your end users and your staff spend much of their time,” he said.
“As such, it brings issues with complexity and security that must be managed.”
Gamifaction was also a concept that Mueller briefly touched upon, where ideas about game theory are brought into business applications.
However, Mueller concedes that there are as many challenges as there are opportunities.
“Random acts of assistance are often of questionable quality and going 20 different directions,” he said.
“In regards to security, controlling business risk and exposure requires education.”
Mueller identified crowd noise as another challenge, as it is typically easier for a small group to “shout loudly” and encourage “under-planned action.”
“Over-exposure of issues means that minor issues may be reported as a major deal, as well as issues exposed where they should not be,” he said.
Misuse of technology was just as worrisome for Mueller.
“Just doing the same old thing with new tech doesn’t necessarily solve the problem and can give a false sense of progress,” he said.
When looking towards the future, Mueller sees outsourcing support to multiple vendors, or multi-outsourcing, as becoming the norm.
“There will be formal agreements for support services and single time interactions for special capabilities,” he said.
“As time goes on, more and more will make decisions at the level of a service.”
Mueller adds that request catalogues will be sourced from multiple suppliers, and thus will need to provide access to multiple supplier catalogues.
“IT is not an island, and more and more things are intertwined,” he said.
As a service focus takes hold, Mueller says that participation from multiple organisations is needed.
“Request management as a common front end for asking anything,” he said.
“Processes are applicable to other teams, so use a common set of tools and processes.”