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Getting closer to the business

Posted By John Windebank, Chair, ITSMF UK, 28 August 2014



A recent survey from IDG (“Consumerisation of IT in the Enterprise” is just one of many indicators of the sheer scale and speed of change that is driving the need for rapid evolution of IT Service Management. As an example, that survey suggests that most organisations are making changes to IT policy and infrastructure as a result of the proliferation of personal devices, and that embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions and other aspects of the consumerisation of IT can deliver significant returns in terms of user satisfaction, user productivity, collaboration, agility and access to critical business information.

Some years ago we as the ITSM community were pushing hard for IT to get closer to ‘the business’ – we now need to focus IT services and IT Service Management not just at a business level but at an individual consumer level.  

All indications are that ITSMF UK members were right to call out Back to Basics, Skills, Managing Complexity and ITSM & Agile as the Big4 Agenda for 2014. Consumerisation of IT could be regarded as an exercise in simplification of IT services from a consumer perspective, but can equally be regarded as a further level of complexity for ITSM to accommodate. In a similar way, the inclusion of Cloud-based services could equally be seen as both simplifying and adding incremental levels of complexity into IT service delivery models.

In addition to the Big4 ‘Complexity’ topic, consumerisation is also introducing some interesting new dimensions to ‘Back to Basics’. offers a really interesting example of how IT incidents are being detected not from monitoring of IT platforms, or from relying on end users calling an IT Service Desk, but from direct monitoring of multiple external sources including consumer Twitter traffic about current consumer perception of the quality of experience from favourite web services. The use of public and enterprise social media mechanisms to gain real-time views of customer experience of IT services adds a potentially powerful new facet to Service Desk, Alert and Incident Management.

The results of McKinsey’s recent annual survey on business and technology strategy (“IT under pressure”, strongly support the inclusion of Skills as a Big4 topic. That survey indicates executive-level recognition of the strategic value of IT but also registers concern about the substantial challenge of finding, developing, and retaining IT talent. Our recent Big4 Twitterchat on Skills ( attracted some great discussion on this subject, including advice on how SFIA can be used to develop staff by identify skills gaps and moving away from what is often a scattergun approach to people development.

Interestingly, the skills challenge isn’t just being driven by advances in growth areas such as consumerisation of enterprise IT, customer experience and Cloud. A Compuware survey of CIOs ( shows increasing concern in many organisations over a lack of planning to address skills shortages in the mainframe area due to the ongoing retirement of mainframe staff. Skills is absolutely a key Big4 Agenda item for us – expect to see more ITSMF UK activity in this area throughtout 2014 and at our ITSM 14 Conference in November. Make sure you have 10th & 11th November in your calendar – that’s when Conference returns to London and it is the place for all involved in the field of  IT service management to come together, share opinions and experience and do business.

ITSM & Agile is the fourth Big4 topic. The article “Big enterprises need big DevOps” ( from Andi Mann at CA reflects what I am seeing in many large and highly regulated organisations. There certainly seems to be a consistent recognition of the need to achieve higher levels of collaboration, integration and communication between development and operations, and I am seeing many initiatives in large organisations to achieve this. Some of these intitaitives go under some sort of Agile or DevOps banner, others are labelled as Application Management, Service Transition or CSI schemes. The inclusion of ITSM & Agile as a Big4 Agenda item enables us to identify and share practical experience from our members of how real benefits are being achieved in this area.

The field of IT service management continues to become more diverse and muti-facetted, and ITSM is evolving at a rapid pace. As the industry forum of IT service management, ITSMF is also evolving to ensure our members can be kept at the forefront of ITSM innovation. ITSMF UK is progressing on multiple fronts to maximise the value that we as members obtain from our active involvement in the forum. As is always the case, I encourage you to reach out to us if you have views on how we should be evolving, and of course we welcome any offers of assistance or contributions in the form of experience, opinion or your time in support of any of the forum’s inititaives. Feel free to contact me, the CEO Mike Owen or any member of the management board and staff; we look forward to speaking with you and, of course, to meet with you at one of our events or at Conference in November.

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