Pragmatic ITSM: maturing and adding value--1 step at a time

There have been a number of pointed surveys and papers written recently about the maturity of IT Service Desk organizations. Gartner has arguably written the most on the topic, but their results are consistent with other analysts and professional services teams that I’ve spoken with. On a classic five-level scale where level one is ad hoc firefighting and level five is business-aligned nirvana, most IT service desk teams self assess themselves at a level two (repeatable, but standalone responses) or less.

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I personally think that there is a pendulum that swings back and forth. In the 2005-2008 timeframe as ITIL v3 was coming out, there was a broader industry movement toward service lifecycle management approaches. Then, came great crash of 2007-2009 and with it, a retrenching of many IT functions. This aligned with new ways of consuming or sourcing a variety of IT services—namely via “the cloud”. For the service desk organization, this has largely meant a back to basics of service delivery and operations model along with SaaS options. Unfortunately, one of the undercurrents during the recession was “do it yourself” mentality and/or less focus on standardized processes. As a result, many service desk organizations simply treaded water during this period.

 

Where is the pendulum in 2013?

 

It now seems that the pendulum is again swinging. Based on our own surveys and also analyst and professional services feedback, we see growing interest in how the service desk organization can improve their process maturity—pragmatically. Gartner’s maturity level three is generally classified as “Integrated Processes”. I believe that this is a reasonable goal and there are some relatively easy areas that clearly benefit from a service orientation.

 

The following table isn’t meant to be all inclusive, but it highlights the most common areas and paths that we see customers taking (I am curious how any readers see other dimensions or fields especially around integrated IT asset management).

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We will be discussing all of the above during an upcoming Brighttalk web event on Thursday, February 7 at 8:00am PT. The session will present pragmatic suggestions on how the IT Service Desk team can provide more value in a reasonable, step-wise fashion. We will look at maturing the Help Desk function, the change management process and the overall area of self-service request management—which includes the service catalog. We will also discuss the benefits and improvements that can be realized along the way.

 

In addition to joining the Brighttalk web event, there are a number of great papers on this topic on the www.hp.com/go/itsm page. The comprehensive set of papers is found under the Resources tab.

 

Chuck Darst

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P.S. If you have access to Gartner research material and are interested in their recommendations with respect to service desk maturity, I would recommend simply searching on their site for “service desk maturity”. This will get you started with their writings.

 

P.S.S. If you are going to be at Pink13, please stop by the HP booth. I'll be there. And ... we'll have prizes!

 

 

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About the Author
HP IT Service Management Product Marketing team manager. I am also responsible for our end-to-end Change, Configuration, and Release Managem...


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