Recently in Service Improvement Category

As IT becomes increasingly important to business operations more and more IT organizations are turning to ITIL and other such ITSM frameworks to bring IT under control and provide services that deliver business value. ITIL V3  sums up perfectly what we in IT need to deliver "Value to customers in terms of outcomes they want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks."

Unfortunately, too many  ITSM improvement programs fail. Reports vary, stating that between 70% and 80% fail to deliver value. A Forrester report revealed that 52% fail because of resistance. These failures cause wasted costs and increased business risks. These failures are no longer acceptable.

Paul gives us the "Top 10 Types of Resistance" you had better keep an eye out for. And if you catch yourself resisting with one of these techniques... well, then.

More >>

Fit for purpose, fit for use.

When ITIL v3 came out, so did some industry terms that really made sense and needed to be fully understood and taken on-board. "fit for purpose and fit for use" is one of those terms.

So often people just focus all their energy and attention on the "fit for use" element and ignore, at their peril, the fit for purpose factor. Let me give you some simple example to highlight the point.

Over the past few weeks I've been involved in the planning (and expense) of refurbishing a house I purchase as a "buy to let" investment and some of the team have focussed too much on the fit for use factor and ignore the fit for purpose.  Downstairs the house already had a cloakroom with a small wash-hand basin and lavatory. The room was large enough to allow me to add a shower cubicle in and change the "purpose" of the room from a guest facility to a tenant shower room facility. The builders changed the existing Loo and basin to new ones, but the basin was tiny, just about large enough to get one hand in to wash! So it was "fit for use", one could wash your hand in it, but it was not fit for the new purpose of a shower-room. It was too small for someone to wash their face in, or to be used for a man shaving etc, it was not fit for purpose and so I got it changed to one 3 times the size. Now it was fit for use and purpose. Something the designers should have got right from the initial briefing.

The second example is the opposite. My car. Now I've had the car for 5 years and when I purchased it I was still with BMC and travelling the world, so it was a car for fun, not for trying to collect and move furniture around from one house to another! It was fit for use and purpose at the time. It took me from A to B, it had 4 doors and a boot (trunk) it was large (16 feet long) and wide. So, on paper it was ideal for using. However it was designed as a four door coupe and had very sloping roof and narrow doors and windows, making it impossible to get solid things into, only flexible people! It is no longer fit for the purpose I now require.

Things do change and over time what was right for one period in time is not longer right for the existing environment and tasks at hand. This is so true in the Service Management world too. Too many organisations keep trying to "shoe-horn" existing software, applications, servers, desktops, laptops and even processes into doing things they are not made for. They take the view that it was fit for use and initially fit for purpose, therefore they believe it must still be still for purpose, yet our purpose changes over time. We need to constantly review our Asset base and ensure we use them, at the right time, in the right place, for the right tasks and the right usage. This is utility. Something that can be fully utilised, unlike my nice car! Don't complain to Service Management if you're using assets Fit for one element and not the other, review and get the Utility right.

Back in 2007, Gartner released the statistic that IT was responsible for 2% of global CO2 emissions. This puts IT on a par with the aviation industry. Yes, really! We all focus on the airlines, because they are big and obvious, we can even pay an off-set charge to "feel better", but we need to start and focus on things we can more directly impact on our own doorstep, the IT we use. The carbon footprint of PCs and monitors is expected to triple by 2020 - a growth rate of 5% per annum. The global data centre carbon footprint is expected to triple by 2020 - a growth of 7% per annum.

We've all heard about global warming and the impact we hungry consumers are having on the planet. It's something we need to address, especially as we begin to see the impact it's having on our weather patterns. Severe floods in South America, Australia, heavy snow in the UK and East coast of the USA. These conditions are impacting our lives and businesses and are projected to continue unless we all start to turn the tide and think of ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Many governments and businesses have Green policies and set targets as part of their corporate governance responsibilities ...perhaps your own organisation has such a policy. If so, do you know its content and how you can contribute towards it? We need to start adding Green IT thinking into all that we do, particularly in the business/IT (BSM) relationship, before it's too late.

What can we do about this? There are simple things to make a positive start, such as archive unused data, power off idle Desktops, printers etc. We need to bring this thinking into our Service Strategy and Design initiatives ready for the transitioning into live operations. We need to bring Green IT into the business-oriented service management discussion. 

Recently I came across a great article by Karen Ferris from a consulting company in Australia, Macanta Consulting, who looked into Service Management and in particular ITIL as a way of understanding, controlling and reducing a Businesses CO2 impact. I hope you'll find it of interest and useful in your Green IT efforts.

The pendulum swings...

The longer you live the more you recognise the patterns and trends in everything: styles, trends, governments, policies, and on and on. The pendulum tends to swing from one position and sometimes extreme to another position and extreme. Think of the "bell bottom" trousers, or modern day boot leg, and then the "drain pipes"  for jeans, the far left Labour governments, to the far right Labour governments, and on into the Right Conservatives to left wing Conservatives. Over time we can see it all, the pendulum tends to fly through the middle ground and never stay there long.

Well it's the same with the quality of services, from business to IT ...including business service management (BSM). We all know what good service is, and from time to time we have all experienced it, although it appears to be less common these days. Something I think is odd in these difficult times. It's at times like these that service needs to be superb and enable you to retain your clients and stand out from the crowd to obtain new clients. People are looking now for more value for the spending of their hard earned money and the quality of the product and service becomes the main differentiator, as opposed to Brand of the previous affluent years. Why would services offered by IT to their business end users be any different?

The problem with service quality being eroded over time is that we slowly become immune to it and are more and more prepared to accept lesser services because it's the norm, especially in this country. Recently I've been investing in a property to rent out and engaged a building company to carry out the renovation works. When I review the handywork I notice what I feel is poor quality, with simple things like some areas not painted just because they are not visible from ground level (but when up a ladder, to hang curtains you can see everything!), or when they carry out the finishing touches (like painting missed areas) you discover that the shading is now different. When I highlight these things I get told that I'm being "too particular" and I'm expecting too high a level of quality.

Well, I'm sorry, when I pay many thousands of my own hard earned money, I expect the professionals who sold me a quality service and finished product would deliver an excellent service to a high quality, not an average readily accepted quality that everyone tends to just accept. We become more and more accepting of lesser quality and so the supplier thinks it's sufficient and acceptable. The pendulum swings from high good quality to mediocre quality, simply because we resign to accept it. Well, we need to change things. We need to let it be known what is and what is not acceptable, especially now when things are more expensive and competition is greater and choice is wider than ever before.

Let's review our IT "business -oriented" services and see how we deliver these services to our customers and make every effort to improve the quality and standards to raise the bar and become more in demand as a result. If we don't we end up on the slippery slope down by permitting our services to slowly detereate bit by bit until it's the main reason we are losing clients and finding it more and more difficult to obtain new ones. It's not all down to cost, its quality and value. I'm pushing the pendulum over to the high quality swing, will you help me push it?

BSMReview is a Media Sponsor for the Pink Elephant conference and expo being held in Las Vegas this week. As a media sponsor, we promoted the event on BSMReview and are covering BSM newsworthy items at the event. BSMReview is well represented at the event and we are holding down a spot on the expo floor.

As you probably know, Pink Elephant is a professional services organization that provides consulting, education and tools to assess ITIL and IT service management competency. The Las Vegas conference is their 15th international event, has 1600+ attendees, and offers a solid program of educational sessions that features ITIL experts and customer presenters. The event is well run and sessions that I attended are content rich and well attended.

As a side note, I loved the opening video they produced and recommend watching it -- it is both entertaining and insightful.

We are launching the 2011 BSM Maturity Survey at the event. We are finding a high level of interest in both the BSM Maturity Model we developed last year and the survey instrument. Nearly everyone we have spoken to recognizes the alignment gap between IT and the business, but few know how to deal with the issue. They see the maturity model as a good way to start a dialog and the survey as a way to measure where they stand as compared to other companies their size and within their industry.

Many of the presenters at the event are real customers who are sharing their experiences -- lesson learned and best practices. Many view the CIOs role as the indicator for BSM maturity. Many see their CIO focused exclusively on IT operations (keeping the lights on), others see the CIO as transforming IT (to run IT like a business) and a fewer number see the CIO as strategic to the business. There was a healthy discussion about how IT leadership transitions though these phases, what leadership characteristics are key and if multiple roles are necessary to do it all. It is worth reading the 2011 State of the CIO survey by CIO.com to see how CIOs see their priorities changing this year.

We didn't spend a lot of time with vendors and won't be blogging about any new BSM related announcements. However, we spoke to a number of vendors who have agreed to promote the BSM Maturity Survey to their customers and prospects to support the benchmark study.

Finally, we made some great connections with customers at the event and have a half dozen or so lined up for interviews, so be on the lookout for that.

The Pink Elephant event is 100% relevant to BSM, offers insightful content and is run professionally. We will be back there next year and hope to see you there.

Recently I watched the TV program with Michel Roux (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00xjzml/Michel_Rouxs_Service_Episode_1/) where he takes a dozen people, mostly without any job or experience at all, and over a course of several weeks will transform them (he hopes)into waiters, maitre D's, sommeliers etc  for his Michelin star restaurants. Well last night was the first episode and it was amusing and cringe worthy at the same time. Some of them had never opened a bottle of wine with a cork and had to be taught. When they came at the end of the 1st programme they were made responsible for the "front of house" within a ZiZZi restaurant here in the UK's docklands. It was fascinating.

Customer service, in fact "customer-oriented service management" (BSM?), was so un-natural to them, that the inevitable happened. They worked in silo's, they focused on their tasks and not on the customer, SLA's were not understood and ignored if they were, some stuck to process regardless of the bad impact on the customer (business). For example they were told not to take the food order until the drinks had arrived (they must take the drinks order first and process it). So when the bar was really busy and could not provide the drinks for over 20-25mins, the customer had to complain that not only did they have no drinks, not no-one came to take their order, and worse, when the customer asked them to take the order, they were informed by the waiter that they cannot until your drinks have arrived!!!!! Unbelievable, but it does show that sticking to the "letter of the law" on the process and not being flexible can adversely impact your customers (businesses).

The correlation to ITSM and BSM was all too apparent to me. The "greeter" would be the service desk, the interface between the waiting staff and the customers. They would greet the customer, take some details (how many in the party etc) and place them in the appropriate area of the restaurant and allocate to the appropriate waiter (even introducing the waiter to them). All this allocation was based on demand management, capacity management, priority (had they booked, or just a "walk-in").

The waiter was the support staff, managed and controlled by the Maitre 'd (service manager) who is responsible for the entire front of office experience and the customer (business) service. The sommelier being a specialist support person interacting and delivering a solution appropriate to the meal and the customers taste, but the waiter is still the "single point of contact" for all the interactions with the table and the customer. 

It will be interesting to see how they develop their (business-oriented) service management stills.

Today, I was visiting a London financial services organisation who are seeking to implement an organisation cultural change for IT to be less technology focused and move to a customer (business) centric focus. The examples they gave were so mirrored by the experiences shown on the TV programme and prove that Service Management fits across all markets and perhaps we need to drop the IT prefix and simply focus on the customers. Often the best way, I've found, is to imagine you are the customer and how would you like to be served or be treated in the circumstances you are in right now!

Looking forward to seeing how Michael Roux and his students progress.

Chris Bruzzo, the CTO of Starbucks, and Narinder Singh, the founder of Appirio, demonstrate Starbucks Pledge 5 application, built on the force.com platform.

They did it in 21 days.  That’s the real value of the cloud.

Watch:



As a community of business and IT professionals, we're conducting our First Annual Survey to measure the maturity of BSM initiatives industry-wide.  Our goal is to benchmark the adoption, perceptions and expectations of aligning IT and business within a variety of industry segments.

In addition, the survey will help refine the definition of Business Service Management, quantify its value to the organization and provide the data necessary to measure IT and business alignment based on market and business maturity.

Each survey participant will be provided the resultant BSM Maturity report (complimentary), analyzed by BSMReview experts, and be invited to participate in a webinar that discusses the results. It is our intention that participants will learn:

1.    How other companies are assessing the value of BSM.
2.    How your BSM maturity and initiatives compare to others.
3.    What others are doing to better align business with IT.
4.    How others are measuring BSM effectiveness.
5.    The norms for BSM adoption within your industry segment.

The survey consists of 19 questions and the average time to complete the survey is 10 minutes. Survey participation is 100% anonymous.  Our goal is to obtain survey response from both IT and business personnel, so we strongly encourage forwarding the survey link to business colleagues who will benefit from participating.

2011 BSM Maturity Survey

Tim Stratton has just posted an article on Value-Based Management for IT. In essence, his Value-Based model addresses three fundamental aspects of IT:

  1. The Value Chain: How does IT design and deliver services?
  2. The Service Portfolio: What services does IT deliver?
  3. Value Realization: How does IT leverage this information to innovate?
Another way of saying it is: Business Service Management!

Going forward, it'll be interesting to apply the value-based model to cloud computing.

Read the article >>

As an advocate of using "agile" principles to improve the alignment of business and IT, I'd encourage evaluation of the March, 2011 Agile Enterprise Forum 2011 ...which addresses how the CIO can effectively speed the development of business-oriented software. The need to restructure the process of developing new applications and modifying existing applications seems mandatory if IT is going to enable their users to stay ahead of the competitive curve.  Israel Gat's session on "Agile Governance: Tying Delivery to Value" is a business service management (BSM) approach to ensuing tangible value is delivered to IT's business customers by IT development ...cutting through traditional blockages.    

In a recent BSMReview blog note I recommended listening to EMA's (Enterprise Management Associates) webinar discussing Business Service Management. They were in the process of publishing a new EMA Radar Report on the 'service impact" of implementing BSM technologies.

After watching the Webinar this week, I was disappointed with the incompleteness of the analysis.  My primary concern is how the analyst can you claim accuracy and objectivity  when vendors that have been long time advocates and thought leaders for BSM are excluded?   Even if a vendor doesn't respond to the analyst inquiries, it seems prudent to reference that fact and comment on information that is in the public domain. 

For example, I don't understand how you can have a Business Service Management vendor discussion without BMC being mentioned. I can kind of understand not mentioning Service-Now.com, but frankly I think most customers would be highly interested in one of the fastest growing SaaS vendors in the space and how they are positioning their solution in the context of BSM.  This begs the question, what other vendors are missing?

The Radar report positions 14 vendors (some which I am just now hearing about) and provides some insights, but I'm hesitant about buying into the outcome.  This makes me wonder if the report is highly influenced by EMA's vendor clients and, as such, is it biased?

In preparation for the release of a new EMA Radar report that evaluates the BSM vendor community, Dennis Drogseth, a Vice President at Enterprise Management Associates, held a webinar this week entitled BSM Service Impact Radar Report: A Story of Market Transformation in 2010 that discussed the results of research based on interviews with 15 vendors and more than 25 customers at various stages of deployment. EMA will be publishing the Radar report next week.

A few research highlights really hit home with me and validated the BSM Maturity Model developed by the BSMReview community. These include:

  1. BSM initiatives are transformative to managing services rather than just technology
  2. BSM initiatives are value driven, not cost driven (i.e. Why doesn't the business drive BSM?)
  3. BSM real and perceived/expected benefits are consistent with the view of our experts 

I would encourage you to watch this EMA webinar and the one next week.

Of course, I hope to hear your perspective.

Reading through the articles on BSMReview.com, I started to wonder: "what is the problem?". Is IT really thàt disconnected from the business? Looking around in my living room and at the office, I can harldy imagine how life would be without any Information Technology to support me. And all of this is provided to me by companies in the form of products and/or services. Would I buy and/or use them if I didn't know what value they bring to me? No, of course not. Given that IT has penetrated already so much into my life, these "IT companies" must be connected to (or better say integrated within) "my business".

Interestingly some time ago I delivered an ITIL v3 based Service Portfolio Management workshop within a large Financial Institution. In preparing for this workshop we agreed to first focus on the question: "what is a service?". So I started by presenting the ITIL v3 definition of a service: "A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks.". So far, so good. Then we looked at how to define a service and -more specifically- on how to define the business value of a service. Now when I asked the question "what is the busines value of your e-mail service?" the answer I got is "The e-mail service provides message traffic and storage of e-mail and e-calendaring". Does this describe a business value? Don't think so.

Looking at this sample, one might see it as a proof point that IT is really disconnected from the business and use it to justify a Business Service Management approach. Personally I wouldn't go that far. The only thing that it shows to me in this particular case is that IT is not able to articulate the business value of a service, but that doesn't mean the service doesn't have value or is not being used. On the contrary, the e-mail service sample above is one of the most used and appreciated service in the Financial Institute with an implicit value. Nevertheless and ultimately as one of the results of the workshop we came up with the following definition:

E-mail services provide value to the business when cooperative business communications are conducted without the constraints of location, device or time-zone. Value is created when IT operates for the business a store-and-forward messaging system, so that business employees can compose, send, store and receive e-mails with peers both inside as well as outside the business and in a manner that

  • Is accessible 24 x 7 x 365 across the globe
  • Allows only one outage of max. 5 min per 3 months
  • Enables messages up to 45Mb and mailboxes up to 100Mb
  • Supports protection of business confidential information
  • Ensures data availability and archiving within business policies

Similarly and on a bigger scale, I recently met with another customer (read: a service catalog manager within IT) who asked me to review his service catalog and provide feedback. Of course I accepted this and then found myself reading through a 193 pages thick service catalog printed on paper. When the guy returned after a few days and asked me for my opinion, I said: "Imagine that you are entering a restaurant and ask for a menu card. And when the waiter returns he delivers to you the cookbook of the chef. How would you feel?". He immediately got the point that the service catalog contained way too much information for their business customers. In addition I showed him that there was also information missing in the service catalog. And you probably have guessed this one already: it contained no descriptions of business value whatsoever.

Again also in this situation the reality was that all services in the catalog already existed and were actively being used by the business customers. So why then create a service catalog? Good question. In this particular case the main driver for producing a service catalog was IT's desire to explain what they deliver, however the business didn't ask for a service catalog and also was not involved in the creation. And like Bill Keyworth rightfully stated in The Why & What of Business Service Management: "BSM success is entirely dependent upon the willingness and skill of both IT and business to have an effective two way conversation ...one party without the other is doomed to failure.".

Reading through my samples above and several articles on BSMReview.com, I see a number of very specific issues and symptoms, but am still not sure what the main problem or need is for which we are trying to find a solution under the name of Business Service Management. When we define BSM as "the discipline that aligns the deliverables of IT to the enterprise's business goals" then I wonder what's the value in doing this? And isn't this already happening implicitly ? Is it really possible to define the package of whatever it takes to deliver the expected service to the business community ...in a way that they can understand and appreciate that delivery? To me this sounds a little bit similar like designing the perfect organizational structure, while we all know that this does not exist (otherwise everybody would have it by now...).

I realize that my statements are provocative, however I believe that a good understanding of and interactive discussion around the fundamental problem we are trying to solve should be the starting point for (m)any article(s) on BSM(Review.com). So let's first address the question: "Business Service Management: what's the problem?".

Looking forward to your comments.
o1

"You Answer It; You Own It!"

A customer-focused service culture designed with the customer in mind will quickly benefit from the practice of Total Contact Ownership (TCO), where there is no ambiguity of ownership and direct accountability when it comes to the customer experience and ultimate satisfaction.

Read the article »
Well, here it is: "Why Doesn't the Business Drive BSM? A Value-Driven Business Service Management Maturity Model" >>

BSMReview's Bill Keyworth and Rick Berzle evaluate the management of IT services from the perspective of the business, a.k.a. "business service management."

The negative impact of IT organizations being culturally and functionally disconnected from their business community is escalating, explain the authors.  As evidenced by the push to bypass traditional IT options through Cloud and SaaS initiatives, IT must enhance how technology is provisioned for the business.

The BSM Maturity Model described in this ground-breaking paper covers 5 levels:

bsm levekls

You can download it here for free (registration required) and let us know what you think >>

Service!?

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Some years ago I wrote a book about making our lives easier, and I am glad to see that a lot of the ideas in there are now appearing as apps on the iPhone. Then when I worked for BMC I wrote a popular blog, which urged people to adopt a Service Mentality, and things seemed to be getting better round the world (not entirely due to me - my timing was just good!). Unfortunately we then entered a nasty recession and things have gone severely downhill as companies strive to save money and hence cut down on service.

I live in the UK, a country which appears to be run by a group of greedy incompetent people, and that means that we probably will probably de drowned by melting polar ice caps before we come out of recession. So I was not at all surprised to see an article in one of our Daily newspapers (Daily Mail) asking:

Infuriating call centres, feeble excuses - who gets YOUR wooden spoon for rotten service? 


The categories where they have asked for nominations are:

  1. Overall worst customer service
  2. Most irritating call centre
  3. Longest time to solve a simple problem
  4. Biggest incorrect bill
  5. Most pathetic excuse for failing to solve a problem
Anyone care to share a nomination or two?

IMHO there is little point in spending lots of money on IT systems if you treat your customers like dirt, which is why I have always said that BSM is not a set of products or systems - it's a mindset.

 
UPDATE: we now have a BSM Maturity Model (registration required) >>

These may not be the latest and greatest, but we found two more depictions of maturity models related to Business Service Management from HP and IBM

I'm sure they have others, but this is what we found (scroll down to the end of the post).

Stay tuned for more.

Triage

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Continuing my thoughts on Bad IT = Bad Communication, I would like to give you an analogy.

Imagine you are a doctor and you have 3 patients and you have to decide (rapidly) which one to "work on" first - like the beginning of MASH when the helicopters come in.

The first patient has a blinding headache, the second one has stomach pains and indigestion, and the third one has a knife stuck in his arm. I am sure your immediate reaction is that you would treat the man with the knife first?

OK, now some more background. The first patient is the CFO, who pays your salary. The second is the VP of Sales, who won't get off the 'phone and is driving everyone mad,  and the third one is the boss of HR, who is currently selecting people for redundancy. Who goes first now?

Some more. The CFO says he must get the latest sales figures to the CEO immediately, the Sales VP is trying to launch a new sales campaign and has a TV interview lined up, and the boss of HR has just fainted. Changed your mind yet?

Now, you happen to know (because you are on the board) that the sales figures were printed last night and they probably haven't changed significantly today as we haven't got near the end of quarter yet, the HR man is not bleeding as your nurse is applying pressure and tending him, but your TV campaign was signed off last week and if you miss this slot the company has just wasted half a million dollars. Which one comes first now?

And people expect IT to make the right decisions without the facts?
 

team

Business Service Leadership: The Time is Now! [Part 1] new article
by Peter J. McGarahan
Business Service leadership is about doing the right thing for the right reasons and making fact-based decisions. It's about challenging conventional wisdom and having the moral backbone to stand up for doing the right thing for your customers and the people that serve them. »

UPDATE: we now have a BSM Maturity Model (registration required) >>

One of our unstated goals at BSMReview.com is to create a maturity model for Business Service Management and beyond. Of course, this maturity model may differ slightly by industry, but the idea is to create a model which is good enough to create a "common roadmap" for IT and its business partners (yes, we will include cloud services).

To start the discussion, I've brought together some of the traditional thinking from IT 1.0, and some "edge insights" from people like JSB.

To start, let's look at Gartner's IT Management Process Maturity Model from 2005. Looks familiar, doesn't it? What should Level 5 and Level 6 look like? 

maturitymodel_gartner.gif


For nGenera, a few years ago, Vaughan Merlyn created a different sort of maturity model based on demand and supply:
maturitymodel_demand.gif

He asks:

Business demand is also a function of IT supply - low supply maturity will constrain business demand.  For example, an IT infrastructure that is unreliable and hard to use will tend to dampen the business appetite to leverage IT for business innovation and for collaboration with customers and partners.  Typically, if business demand gets too far ahead of IT supply, there will be a change of IT leadership.  On the other hand, if IT supply gets too far ahead of business demand, IT will be seen to be overspending, resulting in a change of IT leadership.  The most common patterns are that at Level 1, business demand leads IT supply; in Level 2, IT supply tends to 'catch up' with and overtake demand, and in Level 3, demand and supply are closely aligned. From the perspective of late 2007, we see the majority of companies at mid-Level 2, some at high Level 2, and a minority at either low Level 3 or high Level 1.  Why are so many at mid-level 2, and seem to be struggling to get to the next level?
Good question. Any ideas?

Then there's Accenture's Service Management Maturity model from their ITILv3 practice - they rightly state that ITILv3's focus is on business results; hence their advocacy for adoption:

maturitymodel_accenture.gif




At Deloitte, JSB and Tom Winans have built an interesting map for "autonomic computing" which is focused on the direction of IT's evolution. It's part of a series of papers on cloud computing. It's a technology maturity model, if you will:

maturitymodel_jsb.gif

Finally, I borrowed this SOA Maturity model from Infosys:
maturitymodel_infosys.gif


Taken together, we have enough food for thought and discussion, don't you think? I have this silly notion that a business service management maturity model must begin and end not with IT but the business.  And cloud computing will certainly play a giant role in this transformation from physical datacenter to cloud service grids.  And of course we'll still have to worry about compliance and security.

Once again, I'll defer to the JSB and Winans vision for the future.  After we get to autonomic computing, then comes the service grid:

maturitymodel_jsb2.gif



If I understand correctly, here's what they're saying: technology platforms will be business platforms.

With that, let's ask once more: what does a Business Service Management Maturity Model look like to you? 

UPDATE #1:

HP has an ITIL-view which is evolutionary:

maturitymodel_hp.gif

UPDATE #2:

IBM
gives us a look at a maturity model developed by Macehiter Ward-Dutton:

maturitymodel_ibm.gif

Stay tuned.

Business Service Management (BSM) is a process, a mindset, not a product (as Peter Armstrong would say) so it is not a technology in the first place.  It is strategic, however, so let's take a quick look at each of Gartner's choices and ask:

"What has this got to do with BSM?"

Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010

Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. Cloud-based services can be exploited in a variety of ways to develop an application or a solution. Using cloud resources does not eliminate the costs of IT solutions, but does re-arrange some and reduce others. In addition, consuming cloud services enterprises will increasingly act as cloud providers and deliver application, information or business process services to customers and business partners.
My two cents: Managing cloud services demands that companies must have a BSM strategy which can monitor and manage the physical datacenter, virtualization, and the cloud - whether it be public, private, or hybrid. We need ITIL in the Cloud and robust Cloud Service SLAs.

Advanced Analytics. Optimization and simulation is using analytical tools and models to maximize business process and decision effectiveness by examining alternative outcomes and scenarios, before, during and after process implementation and execution. This can be viewed as a third step in supporting operational business decisions. Fixed rules and prepared policies gave way to more informed decisions powered by the right information delivered at the right time, whether through customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other applications. The new step is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action. The new step looks into the future, predicting what can or will happen.

My two cents: OK, so now we know how to compete on analytics. But the decision-making process is much more complex than most people expected. Analytics are fine, but what we need is refined insight and critical understanding.  The Big Shift Index tells us about what we haven't thought about measuring yet! Where's BSM in all of this? Well, if your CRM and yoru ERP systems are mission-critical, then BSM ensures they deliver on their promise when you need it.

Client Computing. Virtualization is bringing new ways of packaging client computing applications and capabilities. As a result, the choice of a particular PC hardware platform, and eventually the OS platform, becomes less critical. Enterprises should proactively build a five to eight year strategic client computing roadmap outlining an approach to device standards, ownership and support; operating system and application selection, deployment and update; and management and security plans to manage diversity.

My two cents: Anytime, anywhere, on any device. BSM must be an integral part of managing virtualization to avoid virtual sprawl, if nothing else. Of course there's the end-user experience that needs monitoring as well.

IT for Green. IT can enable many green initiatives. The use of IT, particularly among the white collar staff, can greatly enhance an enterprise's green credentials. Common green initiatives include the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. IT can also provide the analytic tools that others in the enterprise may use to reduce energy consumption in the transportation of goods or other carbon management activities.

My two cents: Virtualization and Cloud computing will help IT become greener faster, by reducing the datacenter footprint.  And virtual collaboration can reduce carbon emissions. Isn't optimizing asset usage a BSM function?

Reshaping the Data Center. In the past, design principles for data centers were simple: Figure out what you have, estimate growth for 15 to 20 years, then build to suit. Newly-built data centers often opened with huge areas of white floor space, fully powered and backed by a uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water-and air-cooled and mostly empty. However, costs are actually lower if enterprises adopt a pod-based approach to data center construction and expansion. If 9,000 square feet is expected to be needed during the life of a data center, then design the site to support it, but only build what's needed for five to seven years. Cutting operating expenses, which are a nontrivial part of the overall IT spend for most clients, frees up money to apply to other projects or investments either in IT or in the business itself.

My two cents: See previous two cents <<

Social Computing. Workers do not want two distinct environments to support their work - one for their own work products (whether personal or group) and another for accessing "external" information. Enterprises must focus both on use of social software and social media in the enterprise and participation and integration with externally facing enterprise-sponsored and public communities. Do not ignore the role of the social profile to bring communities together.

My two cents: Have you noticed that Twitter is having availability issues lately?  I wonder if they use ITIL or BSM?  Same story on Facebook. Maybe they use ITIL-Lite.  There are unfortunately, some documented productivity issues with social computing, but we have an effective solution for improving knowledge-worker productivity.

Security - Activity Monitoring. Traditionally, security has focused on putting up a perimeter fence to keep others out, but it has evolved to monitoring activities and identifying patterns that would have been missed before. Information security professionals face the challenge of detecting malicious activity in a constant stream of discrete events that are usually associated with an authorized user and are generated from multiple network, system and application sources. At the same time, security departments are facing increasing demands for ever-greater log analysis and reporting to support audit requirements. A variety of complimentary (and sometimes overlapping) monitoring and analysis tools help enterprises better detect and investigate suspicious activity - often with real-time alerting or transaction intervention. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, enterprises can better understand how to use them to defend the enterprise and meet audit requirements.

My two cents: See this survey on security management best practices.

Flash Memory. Flash memory is not new, but it is moving up to a new tier in the storage echelon. Flash memory is a semiconductor memory device, familiar from its use in USB memory sticks and digital camera cards. It is much faster than rotating disk, but considerably more expensive, however this differential is shrinking. At the rate of price declines, the technology will enjoy more than a 100 percent compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages including space, heat, performance and ruggedness.

My two cents: Wrong? We're going to see cloud storage take over this area, and it may or may not use flash memory.

Virtualization for Availability. Virtualization has been on the list of top strategic technologies in previous years. It is on the list this year because Gartner emphases new elements such as live migration for availability that have longer term implications. Live migration is the movement of a running virtual machine (VM), while its operating system and other software continue to execute as if they remained on the original physical server. This takes place by replicating the state of physical memory between the source and destination VMs, then, at some instant in time, one instruction finishes execution on the source machine and the next instruction begins on the destination machine.

However, if replication of memory continues indefinitely, but execution of instructions remains on the source VM, and then the source VM fails the next instruction would now place on the destination machine. If the destination VM were to fail, just pick a new destination to start the indefinite migration, thus making very high availability possible. 

The key value proposition is to displace a variety of separate mechanisms with a single "dial" that can be set to any level of availability from baseline to fault tolerance, all using a common mechanism and permitting the settings to be changed rapidly as needed. Expensive high-reliability hardware, with fail-over cluster software and perhaps even fault-tolerant hardware could be dispensed with, but still meet availability needs. This is key to cutting costs, lowering complexity, as well as increasing agility as needs shift.

My two cents: Now this is a BSM play if there ever was one!

Mobile Applications. By year-end 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing a rich environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. There are already many thousands of applications for platforms such as the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market and need for unique coding. It may take a newer version that is designed to flexibly operate on both full PC and miniature systems, but if the operating system interface and processor architecture were identical, that enabling factor would create a huge turn upwards in mobile application availability.

My two cents: Anytime, anywhere, on any device.  Didn't I write about that a few seconds ago? And don't we need our CMDB to track all these diverse devices and apps?

As you can see, I've attached Business Service Management (BSM) as an enabling IT strategy for just about all ten of Gartner's Strategic Technologies for 2010. And of course if it's a service provided by IT or even an external service provider, we're still going to need a Service Catalog for 2010. More on that in a later post.

Israel, where do agile practices fit into this? Just about everywhere as well?

You call that service!?

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With all the talk on here and in IT about service, I thought I would share a few thoughts on what service actually means. I love Ken's post on surrounding the employee with services, and it brought to mind what has been happening to us at home this week.

On Monday just as the cable engineer arrived here to fix our TV - transpired all it needed was a new card in the cable box - our 'phone, which is from the same cable company, died. I asked the engineer to look at it and he, of course, replied that he does TVs, not 'phones.

Fortunately, dear reader, I managed to restrain myself from throttling him on the spot and decided to report the problem. Now, this is normally done by picking up the 'phone and dialling 150, a call which starts with the "this call is absolutely free" message. Using the 'phone is, of course, somewhat tricky if the 'phone is broken. So I climbed on the internet, fortunately still working, and found a number to call. It was, unsurprisingly, an 0845 number, which means that you are going to pay (heavily) for the call. Strangely enough, the call did not start with the message "you are about to be ripped off for calling us to report a problem, which is our fault", but I managed eventually to get a person on the other end of the 'phone.

The person I was talking to was in one of our far-flung former outposts, and we had the usual problems understanding one another as I speak English, and she spoke some strange argot. Still, not as bad as the call I once had, which started with the person the other end saying in a broad Asian accent "Hi, my name is Chuck". No it isn't, so why start a service call with a blatant lie - are you setting me up for the almost inevitable ensuing bitter disappointment?

Anyway, I digress. She couldn't find anything wrong with their system, asked why the engineer I had just had did not fix it (answer unprintable) and agreed to send out a 'phone engineer. The earliest date they could offer? NEXT SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!! You, of course, have no choice, so you agree to this ridiculous offer.

Last night our 'phone rang. It has sprung back into life all by itself, so I called today to cancel the engineer. When I get through, I am told that they had cancelled him already as it was a regional fault and they had fixed it. WHY THE BLOODY HELL DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THEN???

If you can't work out what was wrong with their service and how to improve it, I suggest you send me an email and I will give you a few pointers!!!!
 

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Service Improvement category.

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