Welcome!

Unified IT newsletter

October 2020 edition

Unified IT Newsletter Special Edition: Do we need to change our ITSM Platform? 

 

Since our last newsletter and blog we have been experiencing a lot more optimism and signs of returning to an adjusted business routine, which is prompting new types of conversations with our customers. One such conversation is about a new era of IT support in 2020 and beyond, how you can improve your first call resolutions, reduce your costs and do it all without disrupting your business users.

We have recorded this conversation for you:

https://lnkd.in/geVhKBa 

In this special edition we will share with you why your organisation should put any ITSM investments on hold (for at least 2 years) and invest in self-healing and hyper-automation first. We find that CIOs, IT managers, application managers and service desk managers move from one organisation to another more frequently than we like to see occur, very commonly the new appointments are done to fix an existing problem or improve critical KPIs (do more with less for example).

We have witnessed many discussions that start with ‘let us change our service desk tool’ or ‘in my previous role I used XYZ platform and it worked for me, if you want me to achieve similar results I need budget to implement the same tool’ or “I need a tool that does this or does that, I know of a cost effective option…” and other statements to the same effect that the technology will compensate for possible gaps in existing processes (maturity) and the current human resources involved (skills and expertise).

We find that technology alone is never the best answer and more often than not the customers do a full circle and end up being in exactly the same position again 3 years down the track. Our ESM team has been helping customers in IT service management, Enterprise service management (ESM), IT Asset management (ITAM), IT operations management (ITOM) and Unified IT for more than a decade. We have seen this cycle over and over again, every 2 to 3 years, same customers, new faces, same discussions.

Before you decide to invest any time, energy or funds into existing or new IT service management and IT asset management platforms, please consider the following points that are a result of nearly a century of combined experience from hundreds of projects in this arena.

1. Are you being strategic or tactical?

Firstly, this attitude or approach completely disregards previous strategic decisions that were made.

The cost, time and energy invested by your predecessors (and many others) in facilitating feasibility studies, business cases, pilots, meetings, projects, go live, end user training, admin training, integrations, organisational change management, security and architecture designs and reviews. We are talking about a significant cost to the business, regardless of budget.

Adequately reflecting on this point has three key benefits:

- Identifying hidden costs: You must add these costs to whatever quote you have in front of you for a new ITxM investment, are you ready for such an investment, is it worth it, what are the business outcomes?

- Lessons learnt: The last time you replaced your service desk tool, what was the impact to the business and what was the delivered value? If it was achieved why are we doing this again now?

- Putting the business first: When times are tough is becomes extremely important to make the right decision at the right time. It this the right time to do this? What is the cost/risk of revisiting this in next year’s budget?

2. Has the person making the recommendations invested adequate time to evaluate the options available to your business, before deciding which way to go? 

It saddens me when my team receives an unprompted email or phone call to provide a software quote without any context other than “we are shopping around, we are trying to reduce costs, we are reviewing our license usage and technology stack”. The reason being is that this interaction has the classic symptoms of a tactical decision being made. More often than not, the answer to this questions is “Yes, of course! We got many different quotes from several vendors”. Now I understand that personal agendas and drivers for these stakeholders with vary but replacing business applications that are in use is no easy feat and risk wise, should not be a go to strategy when cutting costs. Scaling licenses up or down is much more feasible but again, an open conversation needs to be had and openness to suggestions is required to make an informed decision.

This is where I feel obliged to let you all in on a secret (or unknown fact), folks, any vendor will apply a discount if there is a mutually beneficial agreement to be had. Sales people aside, it is the managers and executives running the business that have final say on the final commercial agreement. That first quote means very little, and ironically that first quote influences which branch of the tree the decision follows. It seems like an irrational gamble to me.

So my question to you: is it not more important for you, your reputation and your organisation to know who you are about to commercially engage with for the next 3 years and gauge whether or not it is going going to be a painless, productive and profitable tenure?

If so, how can you make such a decision before even meeting or having a business discussion with the people representing those vendors? In many cases there are subject matter experts that can actually help you analyse things that you may have overlooked or share with you relevant stories of what was done with similar customers. You have to make sometime to hear them out, then you can make an informed decision.

Of course it is needless to say that Fusion5 customers, don’t have to worry too much about this because once they experience the Fusion5 customer centricity, expertise and honesty; they know what they are getting from the partnership, every single time. As a matter of fact, if we are not able to accommodate for one reason or another we will make that clear to make sure our customers know that we are not just going to try to ‘sell’ them an unsuitable solution.

3. Do you know if your money is better spent on something else right now?

We can confirm that prior to the pandemic the top CIO initiatives in 2019 (in varying order based on the independent surveys) were:

  • Driving and embedding digital transformation in the company business strategy
  • Being responsive to internal clients
    Dealing with Disruption
  • Finding and keeping top IT talent
  • Increasing focus on cybersecurity
  • Increasing focus on privacy and security of customer data
  • Reduce cost / unlock maximum value from current investments
  • All the pandemic has done is shuffled the order of some of these initiatives by industry, the 2020 report has not been published yet but once the organisations recover from the disruption they will get straight back onto their plans.

Clearly reducing costs is important and perhaps swapping out your ITSM (service desk tool) may achieve a sliver of savings (only from a licensing perspective) but there are absolutely better options available to you that will work with whatever it is that you currently use, even if you have not budgeted for any new investments in your current budget.

One more piece of valuable information we would like to share with you is that in 95% of cases where a service desk tool or platform is targeted to be replaced, that organisation or the application sponsor did not invest in continuous improvement and maintenance. In an indirect way the situation is actually self-inflicted! Let me elaborate.

On premise solutions need to be upgraded annually to leverage the latest features (maximise return on investment) I have seen customers that have not upgraded in 3 or even 5 years. Of course the current solution will look inferior to any other tool or platform.

SaaS solutions also encounter a similar fate when organisations miss the vital step of training or re-training system administrators when the incumbent personnel leave the organisation. Without the product champion there, of course the existing application will lose momentum and start becoming a burden.

These are NOT compelling reasons to rip and replace a system. An initial investment needs to be made to do a check of the current system and your processes before a larger investment is made.

So what is so special about this edition? 

Compelling advancements in IT support technologies are few and far in between, vendors are continuously developing new features and capabilities but it is rare that they come up with a brand new offering that is market ready in its very first release! We recommend you look at Ivanti Neurons with us, as we are leading the way in this part of the world addressing many of the CIO initiatives above on one single platform that can be implemented in days not weeks and pays for itself very rapidly.

Neurons ‘front-ends’ any service management platform (ServiceNow, BMC, Cherwell and even tools like ManageEngine, ZenDesk and other low cost platforms) it will help you:

  • Discover and reconcile all your assets
  • Give you control of users and devices in real-time, even from home
  • Remediate both IT and security issues and even self-heal (zero-touch)
  • Integrate / invoke ITIL processes (e.g. submit tickets or change requests in any system you need it to for auditability purposes)

Here is how it maps in regard to the CIO initiatives: 

- Driving and embedding digital transformation in the company business strategy 

  • Neurons is an innovative solution built on IoT technology 
  • This is completely in line with the emerging trends of edge computing 

- Being responsive to internal clients 

  • You will be able to identify problems and solve them before users report them 
  • You are able to fix problems without remote control 

- Dealing with Disruption 

  • Working from home, over pure internet – no problem! 
  • Need to issue immediate comms to devices and users – no problems! 
  • You can act immediately on any connected device 

- Finding and keeping top IT talent

  • Neurons gives your IT talent an army of bots to help them do all of the mundane tasks they are too valuable to do.
  • Productivity will improve because they don’t have to switch tools and screens every time they need to remediate

- Increasing focus on cybersecurity

  • Neurons is both a discovery and reconciliation engine, meaning your IT asset management capabilities will improve in maturity. It is well documented that a key pre-requisite to effective security posture is mature IT asset management capabilities
  • Neurons provides real-time patch intelligence and gives you the ability to deploy patches immediately to close down the attack windows on vulnerable machines
  • You can continuously monitor firewall settings, bit locker, blacklisted applications and interrogate devices in milli seconds to address any vulnerability

- Increasing focus on privacy and security of customer data

  • Neurons will not interfere with any controls in this space

- Reduce cost / unlock maximum value from current investments

  • Neurons can work with any service desk tool
  • Neurons will positively impact your First Call Resolution rates, regardless of which tool you have now.

 

Summary


I hope it has become clear why we are recommending you not waste time, energy and money ripping and replacing your ticketing tool; just yet. There is a better investment to be had that will meet many of your current initiatives, all you have to do is reach out and start a conversation with us.

I hope you can see that the reasons that we are challenging the folks who want a new tool to fix service delivery, we are challenging those conversations for the right reasons: protecting and improving your bottom line dear customers and prospects.

It is time to start looking at ways to convert IT from a cost center to a profit center ensuring your staff is continuously supported, happy, productive and generating revenue for you. This is more than just a tool conversation, we need to talk about your processes and your people as well.

Ivanti Webinar Series - 14th October

Getting back to basics in 2020 and beyond

Register now