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IT Service Management: time to take back control!

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Steve Warren 18 Jan 2020 Time to read: 

The days of a major single outsourcing partner for IT Services are over. With increasing numbers of organisations multi-sourcing to a variety of vendors, enterprises are reviewing their IT Service Management approach.  Many are even taking back ownership from their major partner, according to Peru’s Principal Consultant, Steve Warren.

Historically Service Desk and other key functions have been outsourced, along with organisations’ ITSM toolsets and data. But, how can they manage the services they receive –  let alone be accountable for performance to customers and regulators – if they have limited control over their data or a complete understanding of it?

Sharpening the tools

Cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular, not least because the low start-up costs make ITSM tool ownership more palatable.  However, finding the sharpest tool for the right purpose – such as ServiceNow or BMC Remedy – means examining some key measurements:

  • The business case – Cost savings alone may not be enough to create a compelling business case. Other justifications – such as percentage reductions in high-severity outages from better managed change – may be needed.
  • Visibility – a balance of risk against customisation may be required to avoid total visibility of the whole ITSM estate to all suppliers
  • Currency – Resource planning MUST include integrity testing across applications and suppliers to ensure upgrades can be introduced effectively.
  • Support – gaining support from existing suppliers during transition may come at a cost – particularly if they won’t be used subsequently – and this could affect the business case

Managing the stakeholders

ITSM may be a function of IT, but changing Service Management tools will impact a diverse set of users. That means optimising stakeholder management from the start and establishing a team of stakeholder representatives early in the process.  Nirvana is having all stakeholders, including suppliers, using the same ITSM tool directly.

Test, train, communicate

These three elements are essential in ensuring all suppliers and internal teams support the journey of change in ITSM. Delivering this requires:

  • Having the right resources available at the right time, with a clear understanding of what they need to do, will deliver a successful outcome.
  • Keeping testers engaged by setting their expectations up front and ensuring clear outcomes from each test iteration.
  • Building a comprehensive Training Plan, including various delivery timings and methods (e.g. early bespoke training for testers, classroom for Service Desk, CBT for assignment groups), with a separate plan for reporting users and group owners.
  • Careful thought about communication to all stakeholders – users, suppliers, retained IT and business functions.  Start by giving your programme a name!
  • Time for translation of any training materials and communications to local languages, and have these translations approved by native speakers.

It’s a wrap

Once the change implementation is completed, the job is over, right?  Wrong! Post-launch management of any ITSM tool is just as critical, even if steady-state owners have been key stakeholders from the start of the project. While outsourcing may be an attractive option to overcome in-house capability gaps, never lose the ability to manage your own estate.

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