Happy New Year for 2016  !! I wish you success and happiness

Its been a busy year in 2015 ITSMG Logo low res

The ITSM world continues to rock daily between inspiration and opportunity, to introspection and despair – at least in terms of visible hype. The reality for most organisations that actually deliver IT services is often simply confusion.

For me the key is in ensuring that we are constantly working to deliver value, based on our customers’ and supported businesses’ needs. The concept of ‘customer experience’ (CX) isn’t new, but is at long last taking hold and precedence over blind adherence to ‘best practice’ and death-by-process.

DevOps continues to hold sway as the big idea that won’t go away – again there’s nothing particularly new here except the context, as it talks to a younger workforce than those who might still see ITIL as their mantra. Of course there is no real clash between those two worlds and both can learn from and live with each other. In 2016 I’ll be pushing out more practical ideas about how to achieve success using both (and together) – particuarly in relation to Service Design and Service Catalogue – so look out for that.

What is interesting is the actual level of interest in DevOps and other new and formative ‘-oligies’, inclduing SIAM and IT4IT – this will continue to grow and we shoudl see more variety and creativity being exercised in delivering new approaches to IT services…

If you want to catch up on more detailed throuights, please see my recent webinar (reviewing 2015 and looking forward to 2016, sponsord by BMC).

From a personal work perspective this has been a busy year, being involved with a number of complex procurement and ITSM implementation projects, as well as my ususal regular dose of workshops, operational reviews and audits. I have worked with some great people and organisations and am pleased to say that the interest and take-up level around short practical consulting work has been good.

I’ve also been involved as an architect of the new ITIL Practitioner scheme, with Axelos. I’m really pleased and proud of what we achieved as a team on this, whch has brought finally a new set of ideas and practices to the forefront of Service Management training and best practice. These include communications and organisational change management, as well as CSI and metrics.

As ever I continue to work with my long term partners, SDI – as a consultant and auditor, as also recently to review and update the SDI Standards and Service Desk Certification scheme. To me this is still one of the best and most practical tools to use for assessment, benchmarking and to drive service improvement.

In the last few months I’ve taken on the challenge of interim-CEO for the ITSMF UK – this is a great honour, which I’m relishing. There’s plenty to do to develop the service offerings and value proposition for this organisation, as well as freshening the brand image and re-asserting its position as a key independent voice at the centre of our industry. We had a great annual conference and my and the team’s taskBRITSM15 is now to move on with this positive momentum to transform and re-invigorate the organisation. We have some xciting plans for new services and industry content, so watch this space…

Of course my own independent business still continues and I’m delighted to have worked with some very supportive partners over the last year to write and present ITSM content, including, Sunrise, Cherwell, BMC and Sysaid.

 

2016 is looking like a fascinating year already, particuarly with plans for ITSMF – so I’m looking forward to that. I hope that its a really great year for you too..!

Please contact me directly if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the world of ITSM

 

SITS MF MH

Fav pic from this years SITS show with Matt Hooper and Malcolm Fry.

Check out these CHECKLISTs for SITS

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If you are going to SITS15 – I hope to see you there… I’ll be on my (ITSMGoodness) stand, as well as presenting and facilitating on ITSM/ITIL/DevOps. Mostly I’ll be talking shop with practitioners and other industry bods about how to improve and achieve success with ITSM.

I’ll also be on hand to discuss the new ITIL practitioner programme, of which I’m delighted to be one of the architects. The (globally dispersed) team working on this will be meeting around SITs for planning and discussion – plenty to do.

As ever I expect this to be a busy bustling and practical event where ‘the industry comes together to do business’ – as the blurb goes. Its a practical and productive event for most, as well as being a great convergence of people across the industry.

Last year I was honoured to be voted ‘SITS contributor of the year’ and I look forward to seeing who is taking that mantle this time. SITS14

I’ve recently been very busy working on a number of client projects – particularly looking at tool selection and implementation – so if you are looking for practical guidance on any aspect of ITSM approach, tools, processes, etc, please come for a chat to my stand.

 

ITSMG Cap

We’ll also be dishing out ITSM Goodness cakes (yes) and some fetching caps..

Guidance and Checklists

I am often asked either before or during SITs to provide advice and guidance on selecting ITSM tools as well as running ITSM projects – as a support for that I’ve created a couple of checklists that you can download here to help to guide your thinking and planning. These are not detailed or definitive, but give you a simple aide memoir for:

ITSM Project Implementation – Service Improvement Service Improvement Checklist

ITSM Tool – Specification and Selection ITSM Tool Checklist

Please download these and use them as you need – they might just help you to focus your thoughts on what you are looking for at the show. Please of course feel free to come to discuss any aspect of this at my stand.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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From Kafka and ‘Whack-a-mole’ to real Customer Culture

A few thoughts on the last day of 2014 – hopefully avoiding the ‘5 trends to look for in 2015’ and ‘what we learned from 2014!’ shtick…

There’s so much negative and depressing world news and also mixed hype swirling around in IT/tech that I thought I’d just mention some real moments of positivity from the last year – hopefully there will be many more in 2015…

To begin however I wanted to mention my favourite quote from this year – this was during an interview at a client site with a customer of the IT department. This was someone who was quite senior and in some ways a bit scathing about the IT guys, but also quite positive and constructive – it was the language that got me however…

He described the IT department as ‘now starting to shake off their Kafka-esque image (in terms of being approachable), but they now seemed content to simply play ‘Whack-a-mole, rather than actually try to solve stuff…’.

So, have a think, does your IT department present a ‘Kafka-esque’ image (or does it need a ‘metamorphosis’) – ie is it process-driven, autocratic, faceless and unapproachable. Also is your support operation simply playing ‘Whack-a-mole’ and being good at spinning plates rather than getting on with improving service quality..? ‘Whack-a-mole’ to me is a great way to describe too much focus on Incident management rather than CSI and Problem management.

So, to some positives..

  • I’m pleased to say that I’ve once again visited/audited/consulted for several organisations where they have long shaken off any of these associations, and built truly enlightened cultures – with great leadership, management and governance, transparency, support and encouragement. empowerment and people focus, that all of course then delivers an excellent customer experience – a real customer culture.
  • I’ve been really delighted to see several people I’ve known over the last few years in various client and partner companies develop into good managers and other new roles – there’s frankly nothing so rewarding as a consultant and mentor to see people achieve things they previously hadn’t thought they could do and (without sounding too Californian here :-)) – grow
  • I’m also happy to say I’ve had some great feedback on projects and assignments from the year, where I’ve helped people and organisations to achieve their goals or move to new levels, buy the right tools etc. I was also delighted to receive the SITS show ‘contributor of the year’ award…
  • I’ve also worked with some great colleagues, partners and of course customers – we talk all the time about ‘collaboration’ right now as if it were something new, but actually real collaboration is what makes organisations and projects successful. In particular its been great to continue working with SDI, ITSM Review, plus also doing bits and pieces for Axelos, itSMF and others. Also many thanks to all the companies and vendors who have trusted in me to write content for them in 2014.

So for me its all about people and teams getting on and doing the right things – technology and the market will change and be disrupted, but at the centre of it all are people  working with people, so – at least until the robots take over – lets celebrate that and continue to move from the Kafka to Customer culture..!

Happy New Year and I wish you success in 2015..! 

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Consultancy Guidelines – updated

 

Many thanks to all of those who contributed to the initial draft of the Consultancy Guidelines – I’ve now updated the document with your comments and suggestions – some great additions there so please download a copy below and use this as you need it.

There is more content on clarification between consultants and contractors, more details on Proposals and Statements of Work, plus a short reference section which includes some suggestions for further reading… Thanks!

Any further comments please add here or email me at bjr@barclayrae.com

Consultancy guidelines REVISED v 0.2

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Do you have an SLA with your spouse..?

Whilst reflecting (see below) on my time in the ITSM industry in particular, it’s clear that there are still many of the same fundamental issues and questions coming up that have been around for 20+ years.

 

 

In my experience the same old questions keep coming up – questions like ‘where do we start? how do we make ITSM work? what practical steps do we take? what tools and processes do we need? etc.

 

It’s good to see several different ‘back to basics’ initiatives happening (e.g. itSMF UK) to focus on core activities – (including ITSMGoodness of course…).

 

One area that really has changed however, in answering these basic questions is simply this:

Relationships…

 

This was a key topic at the recent SDI and UCISA conferences that I attended, and is also on the lips and key pads of industry leaders, analysts, bloggers globally.

At last! – and this is not just some mad post-modern hype dreamed up by idealists or marketeers. This is about real human interaction and how that is the way to build and maintain successful service relationships. It’s really refreshing to see this and hear people talk about this as the way forward.

The simple idea is this:  in the scheme of things – customers, service providers,  ‘portfolio’ of services and how these are managed etc – the relationship is the glue that holds everything together, regardless of issues, problems and mishaps.

The relationship is more important then SLAs or KPIs etc and will survive issues if they are managed properly and satisfactorily, based on the fact that the relationship works towards some common strategic goals. For too long organisations have focused simply on hitting SLAs and thinking that this means – job done…!?

And as an example, try this question…

 

Do you have SLAs with your partner/spouse/lover?

Does your family work to KPIs and do these form the basis of your familial happiness and success?

 

I really hope that the answer is no to this..!

The serious point is this – successful relationships do not work on the basis of contracts or SLAs or other formal metrics and targets, they work because both parties are engaged and work closely together to make it work. Minor issues are tacked as part of the ‘bigger picture’ and should not cause the relationship to break down.

There are 3 key points to consider as fundamental here:

Common/Shared goals – both parties need to have a shared view of what the relationship is trying to do and achieve – and they have to care about it – that way they can make it work regardless of minor issues

Intimacy – relationships need both parties to share secrets and confidential information and ideas in order to work successfully and for mutual benefit

Proximity – it is vital to be physically close as this cuts down the needs for explanation and formality – if you are in proximity you know whats going on…

Relationships that do break down are dysfunctional in one of more of these areas – e.g. either not working to a shared goal or not honest or not close enough. No-one breaks up really because of the toilet seat or the lack of shared washing up duties – these are ultimately symptoms of a lack of understanding, or a lack of honesty or just not enough synergy..

So, what does this mean for IT Service Management?

Well we are definitely too obsessed with SLAs and target metrics and thinking that these are the success criteria for our service delivery. Our relationships with internal and external customers and partners should be based on solid human relationships – where purpose, goals, communications and regular (face-to-face ideally) interactions are clearly defined, managed and maintained – much like we need to do with our our family and relationships.

Our definitions of things like Business Relationship Management (BRM) are useful and key elements, however the relationships must extend across all participants in the relationship and service ‘supply chain’ – i.e. so including front line and back office internal and external staff too.

Sure we need guidelines with SLAs but these should always be second to the needs of the customer and their service experience – the relationship is the framework to let this happen, not the straight-jacket that stops it…!

Ultimately we keep going in relationships because we choose to do so, for whatever reason – ideally that should be the goal for Service Delivery too… 

Keep talking…

 

It’s nearly holiday time and I’m in reflective mode – as a number of ’round numbers’ are showing up for me…

  • 30 years since I first left my hometown Glasgow  – I’ve moved around a lot in UK, Europe and beyond since then
  • 20 years since I started Consulting – running 2 companies (e2e customer services and current BRC) plus time at, HDI/SDI/Axios,  500 projects,
  • 10 years married – now have 2 fantastic kids!
  • 5 years since I started on Twitter – 15,000 Tweets and c 3,000 followers

Right now it’s all go and lots of exciting things developing behind the scenes, particularly around ITSMGoodness – watch this space…

Have a great Summer..!

 

 

 

 

Have you forgotten something – the Service Desk?

I recently worked in an office where there was a large area of empty desks – there was an air of loss and abandonment in the room.

All around there was building work going on and a sense of activity, although hidden away and forgotten in one corner sat a few stoic people, manning a serivce desk – it reminded me of a current issue I have…

 

As ever there is a lot of talk on Social Networks about the direction for ITSM industry, including whether there is even such a thing as an ‘ITSM industry…

Gartner are now saying that its called ‘ITSSM’ and there is no Help/Service desk software industry. There  is the discussion around what happens with ITIL/Devops/Agile etc. Should organisations go for COBIT and or ITIL as well as other standards and frameworks? Do we need meta-models and ontologies for ITSM and ITIL? We need more community involvement – where is the ITSM community? Also we need practical advice on how to do the basics – at a pragmatic and practitioner level.

At the same time we are in the hype curve of the ‘customer experience’ movement in IT and ITSM, which (finally) recognises the value and relevance of looking at IT delivery from the customers point of view – not the IT perspective. This has been very much business and consumer driven, due to the changes in technology and commercial models over the last few years. The focus of this has of course moved discussion away from process and tools and SLAs/KPIs to human interaction (H2H not B2C!) – which of course is a hugely valid and laudable development that we should all welcome and support.

 

However, whilst I support, understand and contribute to all of the above discussions and developments (e.g. I’ve recently done ITSMF UK BIG4 chat, I’ve just written the White Paper for SITS 2014 on Customer Experience, plus created some value proposition content for ITSM/ITIL for AXELOS) – there is one aspect of all of this that stands out as a major omission – and it really quite bugs me…

 

[warning]WHERE IS THE SERVICE DESK??[/warning]

 

Why is the Service Desk not included and seen to be at the centre of these discussions? Are we not guilty of recreating the old IT problem of overlooking/bypassing/patronising this operation and the associated industry around it, when it is to me fundamental and central to all of these discussions? Consider:

 

  • Service desks are part of the IT ‘supply chain’ which includes engagement, development, design and transition, but we all constantly complain about how new services don’t get properly handed over and given early life support – yet we don’t see much discussion around the importance of involving service desks in these debates. Service desk is almost seen like a separate industry, compared to ITSM, when in fact it’s at the centre of what we do.  We spend a lot of time talking about agility and efficiency of development – yet the handover and release/introduction part of our lifecycle is rarely mentioned.
  • Service desks are at the forefront of delivery and customer experience – effectively that’s what they do manage the perception of the whole IT organisation. Of course nowadays we are talking more around touch-points where people interact with portals and logging and knowledge systems as well as their actual interaction with tools, but this is now in the domain of the service desk. Certainly the human communications factor has been the central core of service desk for many years – maybe just not noticed or fully appreciated by the rest of the industry.
  • Service desk already has a strong community – or communities – based mostly around the SDI / HDI organisations, (plus some other local country-based groups), which also have robust and proven standards, accreditation and practical training and research frameworks. I don’t know why these organisations don’t get invited more to the table when discussing the way forward and big issues – like the service desk in the IT department, it seems to be an afterthought…

[notice]OK I might have an interest here, as SDI are a long term partner of mine, and I’ve got good connections with HDI folks too. However as I also move and work in other ‘ITSM’ circles I can plainly see that the Service Desk perspective and input is often not taken into account – at all levels.[/notice]

Maybe this is a marketing and message issue – both SDI and HDI are very good at marketing to their own captive and well-defined target audiences – maybe their messages just doesn’t get out to the wider IT and ITSM community. I do regularly find myself explaining the history, status and capability (standards etc.) of these organisations to experienced, capable and knowledgeable people in the wider ITSM ‘community’  who just weren’t aware…

Of course I completely get the whole point that ‘service’ is a wider concept and that technology design and development are huge parts of the delivery process. We need to improve our customer engagement and how we turn that into useable technology that our customers want. All of that requires a significant set of disciplines and skills that are beyond the reach of most service desk teams and people.

The point here is however that the role and early engagement of service desk/front line support is absolutely critical to the customer experience and perception of the wider service provider, not just the individual service or piece of technology, so it must be seen as critical to success.

Certainly the traditional ‘break/fix’ role of the service desk is changing and declining – however there are many new areas of human interaction and support that are needed and  service desks that will survive need to keep up with those.

Moving beyond the deserted rooms I mentioned earlier, I have recently also visited and worked with some really excellent service desk operations and guess what? – in these places the service desk is valued and supported by its management, yes, but also this is seen as a vital part of the business as a whole.

So, the other ‘loftier’ aspects of service management actually work and work well in these places where the service desk is far from deserted and abandoned – rather where it is celebrated, respected and admired. 

So actually to get ITSM or ITSSM working, we need to put the service desk at the centre of our thoughts and make it an aspirational and highly professional centrepiece for our frameworks, meta-models and customer experience ideals.

 

Let’s also keep a focus on what is already out there and useful and valuable and worth engaging with – if we are serious about ‘customer experience’ then we need to get involved with the people who know how to manage it…

 

service desk triangle

 

Do you agree?

The real value of IT? Better get moving…!

Value value value value, business value, business outcomes, moments of truth, key metrics, IT value, commercial and operational value, business value, value….value.  In case you hadn’t noticed…?!

When we in the IT industry aren’t ranting about the death of IT, ITIL, ITSM, Email, Service Desk and all that, we are still banging on and on constantly about value – and the need to deliver and demonstrate it. I’m a major offender here, having started using the V word and the ‘demonstrating value’ line really since the mid 90s. (I recently found a whole pile of stuff in my loft from 1997 which I could practically use today…)

I have a friend and colleague who has been ribbing me about my use of those terms for some time now – I point him now to the explosion of content on this subject like someone who has followed a band through their wilderness days and now they’ve gone global and I don’t wan’t to know them… :-)

However to me it’s quite a simple concept – IT value is what is derived by customers and the business via the technology. So this will vary by organisation from the need to meet compliance or legal requirements, to getting products quickly to market, or to delivering commerical efficiency and profit.

In order to be able to achieve this and measure it in some way, we need to be able to separate out the commodity aspects of technology, from the business-specific aspects. (The commodity services should be delivered in the most cost effective way, whilst the value added services may need more focus on speed, business knowledge, risk reduction etc.)

[important]This is why in a service catalog we try to define (1) ‘Standard’ or ‘core’ IT Commodity Services – like PCs, mobile, comms, email etc  and (2) ‘Business’ Services which either support internal users with their key functions or external customers with organisational-specific technology and services.[/important]

Value isn’t just about the financial aspects but this should be identified wherever possible. However the real nature of IT value is what it is that makes (particularly an internally retained) IT organisation special and speciifc to its customers, in terms of what it delivers and how it delivers it. So an internal or external IT organisation should be able to focus and demonstrate the value that they deliver to their business/organisation via their business and service knowledge and understanding.

In other words – it’s what retained IT organisations should have been doing for years – i.e. working for the companies or organisations that pay their salaries – not just ‘working in IT’… and measuring their delivery in business terms.

If they can’t do that – ie differentiate themselves and demonstrate this – then they are not adding value and therefore open to serious competition – and the risk of extinction.

So it really is: identify value – or become irrelevant quickly. And if you don’t know what that value is… [Tweet This]

[warning]Better get moving[/warning]

 

 

 

 

 

What is your defintion of IT value? – how do you define this for your organisation and customers?

 

 

www.itsmgoodness.com

 

 

 

 

Service Catalog is Simple…or Should Be

I presented a webinar on Service Catalog and SLM for BrightTALK webinar – available here. The slides on their own are available here.

This presentation was aimed to try and present some simple advice on how to use and develop SLM (keeping it simple) for business benefit. This is based on a wealth of experience, particularly with recent projects, setting up and guiding organisations to achieve success and value from SLM. Key points are summarised below – what do you think? Your feedback is most welcome.

Key Points Re Service Catalog

  • (SC) is not one single document or tool
  • SC has a number of stakeholders and outputs, so can be manifest in many forms
  • The value is achieved from engaging with IT customers and IT departments – to work towards demonstrably common goals
  • Customers should be engaged to discuss service improvement, not SLAs or Service Catalogs
  • This (SLM) is a process and approach rather than a single document or tool – which is what tends to be focussed on
  • ‘Service Catalog’ is lots of things and definitely not just ONE thing or ONE type of document or system
  • There are a number of quite different types of content that can be called a ‘Service Catalog’, or part of one
  • This is because organisations and individuals have different needs, different focus and also different starting and entry points

What Does a good SC look like?

This will vary, but in essence there are several main types of content, with 2 initial key documents:

  • Service structure
  • Service database

These first 2 documents provide the basis for a variety of documents, depending on requirements and maturity.

What other documents?

What can we achieve in 10 – 20 – 30 days?

  • Run a workshop
  • Hold meetings with Customers
  • Engage with IT
  • Define the Service structure
  • Build the Service Database
  • Produce a service ‘brochure’
  • Define the service (process) supply chain
  • Clearly define service owners
  • Get customer feedback
  • Build business metrics model
  • Reduce cost of service request handling
  • Use simple Customer feedback and NPV

Service Catalog – real life secrets of success


 Last week I visited a client for a follow –up review. I’ve helped them to develop and implement SLM and a service catalog over the last 8 months or so.

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It was a very positive discussion as they had moved from having nothing in this area to having a pretty sophisticated Catalog in place for all their services and with all their internal department customers. The customers liked the new simple ‘traffic light’ reporting format, based on their needs, the CIO was happy as he was now getting valuable service and cost based information to discuss at C-Level, plus the IT support and technical teams also liked it as they were now developing some really useful supporting documentation in one place.  On my way in I met the Development Manager who said that this had been a very positive initiative and given him and his team some valuable content and ideas…

I could go on… (it’s OK I won’t..!). However it was great to see the benefits and results of the project – particularly since this really was an advisory piece of work on my part, so the effort, input and creativity had come from the organisation and individuals themselves. They had built their catalog based on their business and their customer’s requirements.

So, job done – we are now talking about a case study and how this project’s success can be communicated out. For now I thought it would be a useful learning point to reflect on and share the key things that made it a success:

  • From day one this project was driven as a requirement by the CIO – he wanted to do this and had clear reasons for doing so – i.e.  to develop meaningful  service-based reporting, to build the service Catalog so that he could then look at how to sensibly present the business value of what IT does. However he had clear requirements from this and these were passed down to his staff to action as a key objective. This does make such a difference…
  • The IT team took a little time to really embrace (1) the mechanics of SLM and (2) the potential value. The mechanics were fairly easy to explain and work through in a 1 day workshop. It took a good few weeks and months longer for each team member to see what the value was for them. The Project Manager (also the Service Desk Manager) was initially unsure and said he understood the concept but couldn’t see the value. His epiphany came when we drew up a ‘traffic light’ report on 1 page for all services – he could then see how the information that he was compiling would go towards building this and also making it credible. He also did most of the customer meetings and said he’s learned a whole lot of new things about how the business works.
  • We defined the overall structure of services in the initial workshop. We then spent a good amount of time defining what each service was and how this would be reported on. So each service ‘metrics’ would be comprised of a number of different components, each weighted appropriately for the service. We took a view on the relative importance for each service of availability, incident/request turnaround, customer feedback and the key measure (moment of truth) by which that service would be viewed by the customer.
  • This was all started and ended with customer discussions so that they could review and verify what had been agreed. Most of the customer changes were tweaks, with a few larger alterations, but in general it was a good reflection and the customers are now happy to get a simple compound picture of their service.
  • Once the structure and services were defined and documented, the technical teams were then asked to define their configurations that supported the services. In fact this proved to be one of the most useful and to me positive parts of this project, as there are now a number of really well put together maps and simple documents that explain how each service is comprised, with relationships etc. It’s a great DR tool, but it’s also a great source of helpful information for problem determination and root cause analysis – all in one place…
  • It’s not a huge organisation (global investment managers), so that definitely helped in terms of gaining access to the right people and being able to make decisions.
  • Finally as I mentioned the organisation did this themselves – they used external services in a guiding and mentoring role, with some initial ‘kick start’ activity. As a result the level of ownership and commitment to this working has been excellent. I do see the value of consulting as helping people and organisations to make positive change happen, rather than forcing it from the outside. Certainly in this case the desire came from the right place in the organisation and this really made it a success. I’m delighted for all those who have contributed however.

So, I hope there are a few pointers that you can use if you are considering an SLM or Service Catalog project yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. I think it must be done from within the organisation, using a good amount of customer liaison and feedback – all with a clear sense of purpose and end objectives. Do you agree?

You can also download a Service Catalog Route Map – people tell me they have found it really useful.

I’m looking forward to going back and reviewing how the reporting and financial modelling has made a difference…

2 Speed ITSM

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I recently met with Rodrigo Flores (creator of Service Catalog Community and Blog) for a drink when he was in London. Rodrigo set up newScale and drove the market with Service Catalog functionality – this was sold to Cisco last year and he now works there, generally working at the bleeding edge of Cloud and the new world of fast IT deployment and ITSM implementation that laughs in the face of ITIL and other ageing and creaking frameworks.

Whilst we were debating the nature of this new world – with its new set of problems, or at least a new area where these have landed – and in particular its relationship with things like ITIL, he reflected that he was probably working with only about 6% (or less that 10%) of the world’s IT organisations and that his world was all about innovation and new fast advantage. Whereas I was pointing out the fact that I still go to many organisations that resemble the IT departments I worked with in the 1980s – i.e. where there is no social media, no BYOD, no Cloud, lots of ITIL activity and plenty of mainframe legacy…

The gap is tangible and has definitely widened in recent years – of course there are many organisations that are somewhere in between the ‘bleeding edge’ and the ‘80s legacy’. But for me and many of us, in the industry it’s becoming quite a schizophrenic multi-speed existence – on the one hand going to events and conferences, talking on podcasts etc, about the new scary world that’s here already and with many more implications for jobs and careers. Yet at the same time then spending much of our working life with clients and organisations that don’t entertain any thoughts or concerns about these issues and still seem to be sailing blithely and perhaps blindly on the ITIL galleon and heading towards extinction.  The ‘Clouderati’ pirates will storm aboard and bag their loot as well as casting them to the sharks in the cold sea…

I was told by some clever people in IBM that the Helpdesk / Service Desk would be gone within a few years – that was in 1990. Do we really think that many of our major institutions might go to the wall or lose serious traction  because we don’t embrace new technology and ways of working? Certainly this is possible and may happen to one or two, but for most organisations change is still a threat and also a major cost in terms of capital and resources, so change has to be based on solid business decisions. OK for some industries that may well lead to success or failure in terms of speed and time to market. However for many that is not the case and I don’t care what anyone says, I can’t see banks going bust because their staff use blackberries rather than iPhones – we don’t give everyone a Mercedes Benz for a company car.

Business is itself multi-speed and the adoption of technology reflects that. We need to be vigilant and definitely wake up to the new challenges. But for many that will take time and we should not be too concerned about a little bit of schizophrenia.