Let’s raise a glass to common sense!
With 2019 coming to an end, at Sunrise we’re celebrating 25 years in business, enjoying the Ups and commiserating on the Downs of the world of IT Service Management. If one thing strikes me though, as the world goes through all sorts of uncertainty, it’s that the service desk community is a lot less ‘precious’ than it has been in previous years. Maybe it’s just experience or resilience coming to the fore, but talking to our customers this year, it seems that practicality is leading the way forward, and successfully, in so many service improvement projects. More of this mindset in 2020 will reap dividends for IT and its wider connected departments.
Let’s take ITIL. Just about every customer this year has quoted that ITIL’s a very useful set of guidelines, but sometimes it is just that – a framework or set of guidelines. IT teams appreciate the consistency of working with the process methodology but if it’s not wholly appropriate, those guidelines can be worked around or flexed to a more sensible end. “We’re not rigidly ITIL based so the vanilla framework for incident, problem and change management which we can ‘tweak’ to meet our needs has been really empowering,” said Matt Wilsher of Bidfood. Speaking honestly, Matt says it can also be a ‘distraction’ if adhered to too rigidly. “If we see a trend and think there’s an issue, sometimes intuition and being pragmatic must override process.” At Charles Stanley, ITIL has found its place too: “Charles Stanley adopted a pragmatic approach to the implementation of ITIL, and has been able to better understand and manage incident, problem and change management. Sunrise really provides a toolbox to fit to our needs and allows us to adopt a more agile, ITIL-based approach.”
Likewise, the technology industry does love a good TLA (Three Letter Acronym). ESM (Enterprise Service Management) has been a term bandied around for 10 years now but it finds its true place, I think, when an organisation forgets all about the name and thinks about the purpose. ‘Do more with less’, ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’, call it what you will, but when process, mindset and technology practices can be taken from one area of benefit and applied to another with similar underlying requirements, that has to be a winner. Organisations are undertaking to extend IT practices to areas such as training, HR and Data Protection, because that’s what makes sense.
Cross-fertilization of learning can go across industries as well as across functional departments, of course. The Sunrise User Groups have evolved from fairly tight-lipped affairs of death-by-powerpoint to ones this year where a discussion of best practice in financial services can be of benefit to the emergency services and in a housing association to a law firm.
Finally, I think I mention every year that Self-Service adoption is getting better. We used to hear about projects where IT launched a portal but nobody either knew or could be persuaded to use it. Well it seems the opposite is true now. IT teams have learned to put on their marketing heads and talk to their customers and the rate of success in ITSM self-service is going through the roof. Maybe I won’t even mention it next year!
Where does that leave us? Well, I’d say we’re in a good place – and a more pragmatic one at that. Being part of a progressive, open minded and beneficial community has to be a positive. Keep up the good work and roll on 2020!
Geoff Rees, Director, Sales & Operations