Tick in the Box…. groan!
I felt I had to write this blog based upon one or two comments I read and heard, which quite honestly made me groan…..even my kids looked up from their technology platforms and social media activities to see what was wrong. “Is the internet out?” one of them asked looking concerned. ‘No papa’s just having a heart attack!’ I said. ‘Oh! Is that all?’
Travelling around various international conferences giving presentations and meeting literally hundreds of different ITSM customers each year through the conferences, our workshops and our partner evaluations and feedback. I generally get a good feel of problems that customers need to solve.
On a number of occasions I have heard the following statement from suppliers and I am sad to say some conference organizers ‘Are you still doing that ABC stuff? Why don’t you come up with something new?’ , ‘We’ve heard that before, can you come and talk about cloud?’…..At one conference I also asked ‘Why don’t you get Ian Clayton to come and talk about outside-in as opposed to inside-out?’, ‘No’ was the answer ‘We did something similar last year?’ Never mind that the problems are deep rooted and persist. It seems that the drive of some suppliers isn’t to provide solutions to existing problems that are in desperate need of solving, and some conference organizations aren’t interested in sharing knowledge to fix these problems but there is a drive for the newest and latest hype, trend, fad or development. Tick in the box, we did that one and now for something completely different, new, sexy, shiny and different. Now I agree that Cloud is a very relevant new development, social media too, I can confirm it’s important as I see my addicted kids get their fix of IT.
However, most IT organizations I come across are still desperately struggling to become customer and service focused, break down organizational silos and bring some semblance of ITSM control to what they do so that they can demonstrate some kind of value, throwing the newest and latest technology, gadgets and gizmos at them and telling them this is what they need is only going to bring about more tears and angry business customers. Maybe this is where some of our problems stem from? We always want what’s new.
The latest example to this was at an Apollo demo at a conference. A senior IT manager put his head around the door before we started. ‘What is this session all about?’ he asked. ‘It is a simulation to teach people how to translate ITSM best practice theory into practice I said, such as how to use something like ITIL to actually deliver value and customer satisfaction?’, ‘Oh’ he said looking bored ‘ITIL. Been there, done that, we’ve sent all our people on ITIL training. I’m looking for something more valuable’, he then left.
Two of his technology people stayed and played Apollo. At the end of the session they said ‘Every one of the fail factors and worst practices we fell into in Apollo is what we do in our organization. I can so relate to the anger of the business and users in the simulation, we have ITIL as a tool. ITIL is the goal not what it should achieve. We are still too internally focused, too technology focused. We don’t know what the customers want. We have some serious work to do?’, not to worry I thought the manager has his tick in the box. ITIL? Been there done that.