Deconstructing ITSM

15 January 2009

What’s most important in ITSM in 2009?

Filed under: BSM,ITSM — Joe Pearson @ 19:13
Tags: , , , ,

When it comes down to it, the same things as ever as important, with even more of a focus on cutting cost and reducing risk. In South Africa we’re lucky that the sub-prime mortgage mistakes were not made by our banks, and the credit crunch has not so far affected consumers and businesses directly. But global companies are facing hard times, global markets are affecting local suppliers – especially suppliers to the car industry, and global aversion to risk affects – rightly or wrongly – “developing” markets.

Here are some things I suggest will be the greatest focus for companies in 2009:

  • Change and configuration management – although not configuration management on its own. I’m passionate about configuration management, and will write more on this in the future – but no one should do configuration management for its own sake.
    • Organisations will have to be more responsive to change if business prospects become less certain. Change quality must be high to minimise business risk – indeed, to preserve confidence in the IT service provider.
    • And by change management I don’t just mean change control for the operational infrastructure, I mean lifecycle change management all the way from business requirements analysis, which I touched on here.
  • Service Desk, Request Management and Incident Management – let’s ensure that users’ productivity is maximised.
  • Automation has always been a hot issue, but now more than ever it’s vital to ensure that companies know what they are automating – yes, I mean process, but also data flows – and that results can be achieved quickly.
  • It hasn’t come to the forefront yet, but Capacity Management could become very important if infrastructure budgets are cut but business volumes need to be maintained. Let’s hope that business volumes are maintained.
  • Vendor management and service level management have their place, but I see little appetite for concentrated focus on these areas.

But most of all, something which still seems to be difficult, at least in South Africa: continual improvement of ITSM capability, that is, being responsive to ITSM needs; and getting business value quickly in short controllable iterations not long risky projects. I think this should be achieved by … but that would be a subject for another post!

Don’t agree with my views? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Joe, bumped into you blog after seeing your comments about my token-ring fetish! I don’t agree with you! See my cart before the horse blog post:

    Comment by Ronald — 15 February 2009 @ 13:36 | Reply

  2. Hi Ronald. Interesting post, and you make a good point. But I think you’re showing only that problem management (as you’ve defined it, see below) should be the most important area of ITSM. My claim is that it’s not high enough on the radar or priority list of most organisations (yet), so it won’t be felt as one of the most important things.

    As you’ve defined it: It occurs to me that many people – including me, so far – would say the scope of “Problem Management” is just the IT services – not the ITSM processes or any wider aspect of ITSM capability. I agree 100% that you have to follow a business-needs-led approach and not (insert laugh track) implement tools or processes just because some vendor or consultant says so. But I would normally call this CSI, or just IT management.

    Comment by Joe Pearson — 15 February 2009 @ 14:12 | Reply

  3. Joe – vendor management could become pretty important for 2009. A lot of organizations that have gone the outsourcing/offshoring route are struggling with it. Also, as cutting costs becomes more important, managing service providers is an opportunity for cost containment. It is amazing how much is paid out to service providers in excess of what is delivered or promised simply because nobody is managing their performance per the contract. I could go on and on about this one thing, but will spare you.

    Comment by Mike Tarrani — 9 March 2009 @ 00:43 | Reply

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