The start of the new year is traditionally a time for making resolutions; taking stock of where you are, envisioning where you want to be, and making plans on how to get there.
I was asked to look at the IT management space and provide some predictions on things likely to occur in the next twelve months. The speed the IT market is evolving today makes predicting a future state a time-sensitive publication challenge. Any delay introduces the risk of a prediction already being a reality. With this in mind I have three predictions where the market is only just beginning to gain a realization however, before the end of 2013 will be discussed as things being implemented or planned.
End User Activity Monitoring (EUAM) and Behavioral Analysis
EUAM, tools will emerge to identify end user behaviors, trends, abnormalities and performance degradations.The tools understand what devices are used, the configuration, specified software loaded, application performance, activations and if appropriate, the location. EUAM augments and enhances existing application performance monitoring tools, by providing a ‘front-end’ end user understanding of how IT is being experienced. This allows IT organizations to tie the end user experience with the ‘back-end’ data center applications infrastructure. EUAM tools will become incredibly powerful allowing a full end-to-end view of the entire application interaction from mouse click to database record retrieval. EUAM will provide value to IT organizations who continue to struggle to how to manage an IT infrastructure when change is increasingly driven from business demands and end-user activity.
Service Intelligence transforming the role of the Service Desk
The service desk continues to be where end users interface with the IT support organization providing a central place to report and manage issues in line with agreed service level agreements. It's also the place where the IT organization can show efficiencies and service improvement to the business. It's no longer enough to provide IT support services focused on managing outages and issues already impacting the business which will result in the service desk evolving into a service intelligence platform able to deal with cloud based IT services, highly distributed application sources, end user mobility and the constant change created through agile IT initiatives.
The ability to understand end-user behavior will move the service desk from a passive incident reporting system into a solution that provides the IT support organization with visibility into how the business uses IT. This visibility will enable service managers to manage incidents more effectively and identify business trends which will impact the IT services provided to the business. Understanding how the business uses IT enables service managers to plan accordingly in regards to how the support organization is staffed to provide service quality. Today the value attained through the integration between end-user activity monitoring and IT service management will be focused on supporting increasingly complex end-user environments for root-cause analysis, in the future the data will be analyzed enable the IT services to be provided in-line with business usage.
IT savvy is no longer the domain of the IT professional. For many end users IT plays a pivotal role in their day-to-day activity and is as natural as breathing in and out. This has created a new type of IT user, one where self-sufficiency has become a way of life. Social IT activity rarely includes a support organization ready to leap to your aid in times of trouble instead the user relies on support found from using search engines, blogs, on-line documentation and through social collaboration. This approach will be leveraged for use in business with tools providing self help, intelligent search, automated recovery and importantly, crowd sourced availability information. Crowd sourced information allows users to understand how IT is being experienced by colleagues while also helping the IT support organization identify trends and aid root cause analysis. With applications sourced from a diverse number of locations with the situation complicated further by the use of different devices the only view of what's really being experienced can be attained from the end user and provided to the end user. All this information can be collected, analyzed and delivered without a single communication with a datacenter.