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A couple weeks ago I was chatting with a customer who works for a large industrial company. I asked him how things were going in his IT department and he gave me an unexpected answer...

 

"That depends," he said. "We have two IT departments in my company. We have the 'old IT', which runs systems like HR, finance, email. The commodity stuff. That department is facing budget squeezes and is generally miserable. We also have the 'new IT' which is a completely different organization. Different people, different data centers, different world. These guys have found a way to give users easy access to analytics to mine data we already have to identify new pockets of opportunity. For example, things like channel sales data for micro targeting campaigns, pricing data for competitive differentiation."  The new IT department he said "has nearly unlimited budgets because they drive revenue."

That conversation has stuck with me since then. I keep wondering, what can we do to help guys living in the 'old IT' world move over to the 'new IT' world?  Should this apply to the IT Service Management industry?

The answer has to be, of course, YES.

We need to find ways for IT service delivery and support to be more and more relevant. 

We've got to find ways to make IT Service Management more like an Apple Genius Bar experience. I've got a few ideas, and would like to hear yours.

 

1.   It has to be SOCIAL. Great ideas don't happen just in headquarters. In fact, the best ideas come through people socializing their ideas and asking others for input. This applies to ITSM solutions as well. Today's users are more comfortable getting help from their peers than they are from IT. IT service management teams can help make this easy, or they can become irrelevant.

ITSM teams can deliver this through self service, through chat, through virtual agents that help users search multiple data sources at once, and by keeping users proactively notified of service status through the social channels the customers user – Twitter, Facebook, etc. We can also be more relevant by accepting requests and incidents from these channels.

 

2.  Users demand true MOBILE solutions. This takes on several attributes. First is the delivery of ITSM services on a mobile device  – and I don't mean just browser-based views of HTML pages. Users expect a true mobile application that can work anywhere, any time. For me, that also means on-line, and off-line. This is important not just for service requests, but also incident resolution.

Second, as users bring their own devices to work, they still expect the IT organization to help manage, maintain and keep those devices running. This requires new mobile device management capabilities be an integral part of the service desk experience.

And what about the IT support side of Mobility?  No longer are the IT Managers and Helpdesk Admins just sitting at their desks supporting their customers.  They are traveling, on the go and need to be mobile as well yet still have to be able to support their large, complex constituency of customers.  They need to be able to manage their customers getting them back up, running and productive regarding of where they may be in this 24x7 immediate cycle we live in.

3. As this customer observed, business value does not come from storing massive amounts of data, it comes from turning that data into information with ANALYTICS that are actually accessible and usable by average users. For ITSM teams, this could mean a couple things. One example are the new tools that automatically provide IT service desk staff with service context – a view into which users are impacted by which outages. This mash-up of data that already exists will fundamentally improve our ability to be proactive with our users.  Or maybe we could combine together user’s location data with their service request to provide a smarter response to inquiries about broken printers, internet access etc.

What else should I consider? Cloud, Collaboration, others?  Look forward to hearing from you.