It feels so good to be back. You can only attempt to explain what you do as an IT research analyst to your friends and family for so long. I’ve been with Gartner 8 years now, and my parents didn’t “get it” until they sat front row at my “Kill Your IT Service Desk” presentation at Gartner’s Data Center Conference last month!
I’ve been out of the office for the last 2 weeks, and extremely busy over the last 2 months with end of the year deliverables, sales engagements and conferences. As such, I have been unable to blog as frequently as I initially set out to. For that, I apologize and resolve to entertain, enlighten, engage, and educate on a much more regular basis. While I was out – one of my favorite artist released his long awaited “Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head” album. Since the December 18th release, “Trap Back Jumping” has been in heavy rotation, and that’s been the case, because Mr. Clifford Harris is right. It’s time to get back to business!!
Looking back, the ITSM market in 2012 was eventful. I was able to put together some decent research, including my first Magic Quadrant. Both BMC and ServiceNow dominated my inquiries. I attended several high value vendor conferences and got to meet wonderful people. Lastly, the emergence of alternatives to traditional service desks came to the forefront, as more inquiries began to revolve around proactive, business focused IT support models; where I&O organizations began to incorporate mobile and social capabilities that breathed life into an otherwise mundane space. In 2012, I had over 1000 interactions this year with Gartner clients and the broader community of ITSM professionals – and the dialogues looked like this:
Looking forward to 2013, I predict the following:
- IT Service Support Management tools are going to take on the look and feel of CRM tools – whether it’s by vendor design or through customization/custom development. It’s going to take a while for I&O organizations to become a Service Provider for IT in a service aligned delivery models, but at the core, ITSSM tools have to begin to place greater emphasis on the bi-directional exchange of value between IT and the business. The service desk can do so much more than fix things when they break. If I&O organizations are going to attempt to run IT like a business, tools will need to be better equipped to handle customer relationships at the user level, and it has to go beyond automatically sending satisfaction surveys at the close of support interactions.
- Gamification will be discussed at a good clip, but implementations will be minimal. My Gartner Data Center Conference presentation on gamification in IT Operations was in the top five for attendance (#humblebrag), but most attendees were just trying to understand what the hype was about and/or trying to find management processes to apply it to and use cases where it would make sense. Additionally, their challenges with respect to implementing gamification are significant, usually starting with culture. Ultimately, “good” gamification will just be the use of game mechanics in support of objectives and/or very well designed software. Game on ITSSM vendors- but remember it’s more than just points and badges.
- Mobile and social enabled service desk analysts will unshackle themselves from the basement to collocate with the business on a much more frequent basis. Gartner’s IT Key Metrics Data 2013: IT Service Desk Analysis: Multiyear shows that annual contacts handled per IT service desk FTE went up from 5,384 contacts to 7,003 contacts. Goes to show you that even in BYOD/Personal Cloud world, users are still going to need help accessing and leveraging IT services, and will call upon the service desk for assistance.
- BMC and Service-Now will continue to wage war for the upper mid-market and enterprise revenues, but SaaS will NOT be the distinguishing factor between the offerings. All throughout 2012, a key theme of customer requirement conversations has been flexibility and ease of use – licensing has been less of a hot button issue – rarely do a get a call where a user says “We want a SaaS solution and won’t consider anything else”. Generally speaking I think organizations have figured out what SaaS is (and isn’t) – are beginning to make more informed decisions taking their short and long term requirements into account.
- ITOM buyers will look to purchase more solutions from one vendor (or fewer mini-suites from multiple vendors), in search for “one hand to shake” (as opposed to one neck to choke). IT Operations management vendors with multiple mini-suite offerings that are “good enough” and integrate easily stand to do well, even if their ITSSM tool doesn’t blow you out of the water.
Here’s to getting back into the swing of things – the only way I know….