How and Why IT Service Management is Evolving in the Digital Age

August 04, 2015

Kevin J. Smith | Senior Vice President | Ivanti

Both the rules and the roles governing IT Service Management (ITSM) are evolving to support a far-broader need for inclusiveness across IT, and between IT and its service consumers. Join EMA Analyst Dennis Drogseth and HEAT Software VP & GM Kevin J. Smith to learn what extremely successful ITSM organizations do differently.

Transcript:

Kevin: Good morning, and good afternoon to some of you. Thanks for joining our event today, and I'm Kevin Smith with HEAT Software. Today, we'll be taking on a topic of the evolution of IT service management and what the future looks like for this important business initiative. We're pleased to have as our featured speaker, Dennis Drogseth, Vice President of Research, IT Megatrends, Analytics, and CMDB Systems at EMA.
 
Just a little more on Dennis. He joined EMA in 1998, and he currently manages the New Hampshire office. He supports EMA through leadership and Business Service Management. You may know that as BSM. CMDB system is a critical element of any IT service management solution and automation systems and service-centric financial optimization. At EMA, Dennis has pioneered research in converging management strategies such as performance, and availability, and integrated security.
 
Another focus of his is on changing organizational dynamics in IT, something that we're all thinking about, such as issues between the service desk and the operation centers or call centers, and the emergence of a cross-domain "service management" organization in more mature IT organizations. Just so you're aware and something you might wanna reference after today's call, Dennis recently co-authored a book entitled, "CMDB Systems: Making Change Work in the Age of Cloud and Agile." This was published by Morgan Kaufmann and it was released in April of this year. Dennis is also a graduate of Yale University.
 
So as you can see, Dennis is well-versed in speaking to our topic today. And with that, let's get right to our program, and I will turn it over to Dennis. Dennis, you have the controls.
 
Dennis: Well, thank you, Kevin. And after that introduction, I'll do my best to live up to it. Let's see. Hold on just a second. Let's see. So, hopefully, you're seeing a pattern here of evolving human life. And, hopefully, you haven't witnessed this exact visual in the cubicles around you, but it does stress the idea of evolution, and that's the theme for today. And some of what Kevin has talked about in terms of the growing need to evolve toward a more integrated service management team, and that includes operations and the service [inaudible 00:02:39], in some cases even development, is one of the themes we'll be talking about as well. And the data that I'll be sharing with you supports that.
 
So we'll go through a sequence here: demographics, organizational trends on looking at the move for this IT service management team to broaden outreach into the enterprise and applied services, then some of the strategic and functional priorities that we've seen in the research, mobile and endpoint management as an area of research, and best practices and success factors, and then wrapping up with conclusion.
 
And so, looking at what we did. So, the data was gathered in Q1 of this year, and analyzed in Q1 and Q2. And the topic was really, what is the future of IT service management? And, by the way, some of the slides, for those of who do not have photographic memory, and that includes me, you can get, I believe, copies or handouts. I think Kevin can share some thoughts as well on that.
 
So we looked at 270 respondents, overall, most...150-plus in North America, 100 in Europe, and then a few in other parts of the world. We targeted mid-tier, and enterprise, and I guess small mid-tier, but not the very low end, because the dynamics get different once you get below 500 employees. We wanted to make sure that every one of our respondents had some involvement in an IT service management initiative. However, we did make an attempt to include and got useful populations in operations and even development. So we wanted to look at that handshake from multiple roles and multiple perspectives.
 
We also got a significant executive presence. Now, half of our respondents, as you can see, with director-level and above, with its surprisingly high number, frankly, at CIO levels. And our verticals were finance, which almost always comes in first for some reason, healthcare, which is an ascended vertical in ITSM and in other research, manufacturing, and retail. 
 
So let's go right forward on to organizational trends and see kind of what we learned there. So, it's interesting and probably not a shock to any of you that, by and large, the ITSM team reports into the high-level executive suite that's predominant [inaudible 00:05:36], in some cases, into IT operations overall. And you can see, from this data here, that nothing else is even close.
 
The next highest percentage is just the service desk/customer support, which is, of course, that narrower span, but it's considerably lesser. And that cross-domain service management team shows it's low at 5%. Now, I'll just make a comment about that, especially as Kevin mentioned that. We've been tracking that and a lot of the problem of the years, and a lot of the problem is what people think it means and what it's called. Quite often there is a cross-domain service management team, but it goes under other names. So that percentage is smaller than it really should be. And one of the names, sometimes it goes under, depending on the priorities of the enterprise or organization, is cloud. Cloud sometimes has got the mantel for cross-domain service management today.
 
So, as you may have guessed from my earlier comment, we were really interested in who thinks what about ITSM. And as you probably know, if you ask two different people in the same IT organization, especially if they have different roles in different teams, they'll probably give you very different answers about some of the questions you're gonna ask. They'll view the world differently. So just some of the highlights there. The executive CIO, they were generally more optimistic, which is consistent across all of our research. CIOs like to feel things are good in their organization. And they are more aware of the broader strategic initiatives like CMDB/CMS, a little more focused on project management, and more focused on that integration of IT service management and Agile and dev-ops. 
 
Service desk managers were appropriately focused on their end user experience. They really wanted their end users to be happy in various ways. Operations were interested in better integration with the service desk, in particular for incident and problem management. We'll look a little bit further at that trend in a number of other slides as well. And development. There's probably not a lot of the general industry discussion about the service desk and development that I've seen, and yet it's clearly a fertile area to consider and one of great opportunity. And so, development was more likely to share project management resources. They also wanted active feedback loops with ITSM for usage and application requirements.
 
I'll just share a couple of more thoughts on development at this point, because we will not be addressing them otherwise. So, 65% of our respondents were interested in integrating release management with ITSM. That was up from 39% just two years ago. So two years ago, it was 39%, now it's 65%, and an additional 16% had committed plans to integrate ITSM and Agile. So how are they doing it? If you look across all of our respondents, what was really happening? So the top two things in integrating development with the ITSM team were workflows, common workflows for scheduling the common workflows, for execution as they moved into production. But then very high were feedback loops, as you could see from this slide, on relevance, usage, and value. You know, it's one thing to be fast in providing you answers, another thing is to be wise and astute about doing the right thing.
 
Kevin: Yeah, Dennis, I was just gonna make...just a quick comment, Dennis, and, you know, I think it's an interesting mix of objectives. Clients want it all. And I think that's what you're showing here, is it's not just a matter of giving the service desk manager what they need, or just the CIO what they need, which, of course, is very important, but clients expect to have it all. And you mentioned something really important, which is release management is perhaps an afterthought a few years ago as being seen more as a strategic process because of the potential impact it has on the overall business.
 
Dennis: Absolutely, Kevin. I think it's a high growth area, as that data shows. I don't think it's gotten the spotlight it deserves. And then one other thing I would like to mention is, guess what is a high priority increasingly and that we've seen a number in, in fact, in our book on CMDB Systems? Is active provisioning through CMS and through configuration automation in the development space. So there's a common course of modeling across the various stages, which makes a lot of sense [inaudible 00:10:44] some places.
 
As we move forward... So not [inaudible 00:10:53 to 00:10:55]. We're gonna set a quota when we did this, and the quota was gonna be 50%. I wanted to see what the high growth population was like. Well, the reality turned out to be that 49% of our respondents were in growth mode. So the quota turned out to be more of a prophecy than a quota. Of the 100%, and 35% were fairly steady state. Only 15% of the ITSM teams, and we didn't...you know, this is how I came in, were going through size reduction. So this would suggest to me, at least across our fairly substantial respondent data, ITSM is a growth area and should be viewed as a growth area.
 
The number one reason for growth, maybe not surprisingly, companies are growing, but then also greater outreach into the line of business, and we'll look at that a little more closely, and also in terms of bringing in some of the shadow IT as well. Better process outreach, best practice outreach, and cloud as a stimulant to growth. What's interesting is, when we looked at what was causing shrinkage in ITSM teams, outsourcing was the number one answer, but we also found that cloud was a negative in those environments, and so it would suggest a more progressive group versus not progressive group in dealing with trends like cloud and agile.
 
So I'm moving into that enterprise. Quite surprisingly to me in a way, at a very high percentage, only 11% had no plans to consolidate, at some level anyway, IT and non-IT customer service. And that's a growth, a trend that we've been watching over the years. It was, as you can see, a big change from just two years ago when 25% had no plans to do so. 
 
And so here, you can see the data behind that in a little more granular way. And look at that history, you know, 43% had some level of integration for more than three years. So that also was quite a statement.
 
In a different question, we asked about what services are represented in service catalogs that are non-IT services? And so the question was framed a little bit so that it could reflect either separate service catalogs or integrated service catalogs. And clearly, there's a trend to integrate that service catalog support into a common fabric, along with workflows where the IT service desk is often far more progressed than some of the areas like HR or facilities. So what were the most frequent areas? It's interesting that probably the primary area for bringing that sort of service modeling workflow catalog in a more integrated way was you might call it an extension, a bigger thought about asset management. So, vendor and contract management came out as number one.
 
And you also see purchasing very high. So getting that in line with IT's life cycle for managing assets, and perhaps supporting a move towards internet of things down the road was a high priority. And some of the other high priorities, facilities, not surprising, is a high growth area for service desk to support both in catalog and workflow and process. Operations outside of IT on enterprise operations is another high growth area. And then human resources, HR, clearly another. So, actually quite a few opportunities here, including things like sales, field services, even legal, corporate finance, etc.
 
Kevin: Yeah, we've seen the same thing, Dennis, and just the service catalog has turned into a great platform to help bring the business together because it's so friendly. Just a great vehicle for offering what, you know, IT might have called a service request or something else in the past is now whatever... I mean, look at all these organizations that are over 20%, seven different organizations over 20%, and they're all flocking to the service catalog as a convenient, fast, efficient way to transact common things that they do every day.
 
Dennis: Absolutely. And I'm so glad that HEAT's sort of driving that. And, you know, the other thing I've seen, I didn't mention it, is when these initiatives do go through the service desk in ITSM and the IT space, there often is a higher evaluation of IT by the business, and a greater level of respect for the CIO sitting at the enterprise table because there's a more obvious relationship between value and benefit in what IT does. Sort of bringing IT into their world, it has a great PR value as well.
 
So, looking at some strategic and functional priorities. There is a big theme for me in this evolution package of what ITSM was doing, or is doing, and really, my view, looking at this data, is integrated operations overall. Well, think about these top strategic priorities. Number one is, includes end-user experience internal to the business. When you think about user experience and things like user experience management, the experience that the consumer has, internal or external, and you'll see that number five was support for the end-user customer outside of IT, involves clearly a strong handshake between operations and the service desk, insights into performance, insights into transactional latencies, insight into fill in the blank in terms of all those things that happen when what I'd like to say is the mammal interact with the plastic, you know, other end of the infrastructure.
 
So that's a key area of opportunity for IT. And then if you look at the next two, they're directly related to...specifically related to operation service desk integration. One for incident problem management, well beyond [inaudible 00:17:45]. We wanna share workflow, we wanna share automation, we wanna share analytic insights, both back and forth between the service desk and operations. And then change management, of leveraging that CMS, leveraging the modeling that the service desk can provide. And sometimes, augment [inaudible 00:18:03] by operations, leveraging the automation, collectively. 
 
Support for the move to internal cloud. And once again, I would say, that doesn't happen without an integrated...or doesn't happen well without an integrated handshake at least between operations and the service desk, in dialogue, in workflow, and again, in understanding where things are, managing the assets, managing their life cycle, etc. So, dive into the theme and you'll see integration, insights, and analysis, analytics plays a role here, visualization, workflow, automation.
 
When we look at functional priorities. So, we separated that out as a separate question from strategic, and the top five were improved project and improved automation for self-service, and reaching that end consumer with mobile and other capabilities, a theme we'll look at shortly. Enhanced CMDB/CMS and application discovery, dependency mapping. We looked those together, but they came in for in second, and, obviously, since we just did a book on this topic, that made me very happy. I could say a lot more about it, but that probably will be a longer conversation. It's on the rise, however, with cloud and agile.
 
Think about it, understanding service inter-dependencies is never more relevant, even with things like software defined data centers where you need to bring them into that broader CMS, over time, anyway. Service catalog for self-service, a cross-domain IT asset management, and then mobile for IT stakeholders. And we look more granularly at mobile because there's many dimensions to that. But mobile for IT stakeholders brings a lot of benefit.
 
Also, I'm sure some of you have heard of IT operations analytics. It's not a term that EMA coined. We've called it other things, partly because it's transcendent to operations. It's really an analytic layer that can be shared by different stakeholders, service desk, and operations, and that's how it's evolving. And so, we asked this question, and as you can see, 69% viewed it as a shared or... In fact, 22...rather 14% of those 69% viewed it as primarily a service desk requirement, 55% viewed it as shared, and others thought it was a little more eccentric in the operations area.
 
And when it came to the priorities for analytics, I'll share that with you right now. Incident and problem management, hey, not a surprise, given that other strategic priority, analytics to support change management, not a surprise given the other priority. And then governance, analytics to promote better decision making between IT service management and operations, and that also fits right in, more from a governance perspective, sometimes the service desk. We need to be service aware and help some more siloed operations fabric work more cohesively. And then governance analytics to support better decision making between IT and business stakeholders in areas like business and digital transformation. That's a big topic in and of itself. And, of course, dashboards informed by analytics to support that business to IT dialogue.
 
Kevin: Yeah, Dennis, I was gonna mention, we talked about service catalog earlier. So that's clearly an important one, but also that mobile number five, mobile support both...many businesses are thinking about how they make business tools available to their mobile workforce, which is really important because we have better platforms for that, and smartphones, tablets, and the like, but also how the business manages their mobile devices and their endpoints coming from the other side. That is clearly gonna be shaping the charter of IT in the future, is how do they provide access to these great tools on a mobile device? But coming from the other side, how is the business going to manage those endpoints and secure those endpoints?
 
Dennis: Yeah, absolutely. And we'll look a little more closely at that later, Kevin. But I think mobile is beginning to redefine, maybe "beginning" is even too cautious a word, the service...I like to call the service consumer - I'm not too fond of the word "user" - and their expectations in who they are and how they work. And self-support for mobile is clearly on the horizon, with all its challenges much needed. It has many dimensions to it as well. So, as you can imagine, given, again, our little book on CMDB systems with Morgan Kaufmann, we were very pleased to see actually a rise again, based on a consumer research we did a couple of years ago, a growth in ownership of CMDB, a growth in plans to purchase.
 
And, again, think about the need to model and understand inter-dependencies. It does suggest maybe a more dynamic world, and so some changes in technology are needing to do that, but the need to understand those inter-dependencies has never been greater. It says three use cases were the average. And, interestingly enough, when we looked at use case, the number one use case was service impact, a very dynamic awareness of what happens when you make changes and how it might impact the performance of delivered services, asset and change management which is central to the CMDB/CMS right behind it. So we did see an average of three priorities.
 
We also...you know, some of the other use cases, security compliance, audits, financial optimization, data center migration, all scored pretty high. There's also a move, continuing move to federation, which can mean something different depending on who you talk to in different groups. But certainly, it means pulling in data from other sources and leveraging data without always moving the data, ideally. And that trend shows 44% were doing it, and 37% had plans to federate at some level.
 
So, in terms of automation, here are the top for change related automation. And, by the way, in my mind, these two things are linked. I think of service modeling, CMS, CMDB, or ADDM for that matter, I think of visibility, understanding, creating a kind of super highway in which you can operate more effectively because you kind of know where the road is, and it's wider and bigger, and more visible. And automation allows you to move quickly down that path. Automation without visibility can result in train wrecks, and I've seen that a number of times. So the two go hand in hand.
 
And the top priorities here were IT process automation, which is, of course, the way to unifying different automation priorities with its task management or on boarding a new employee, or provisioning a new service, bringing those pieces together in a common flow. Systems config, workflow between the service desk and operations, again, another exclamation point there. Looking at the infrastructure more broadly towards the network, and life cycle asset.
 
So, service catalogs are also a part of that modeling story, right? As the CMDB [inaudible 00:26:20] I guess, there are times when I call them the pretty face to the CMS, right? They smile out at the consumer, but if they're well done, they capture those inter-dependencies and leverage the automation and insights that can be provided. And they sort of divide it up between internal for IT, for helping the IT professionals' provision and perform in terms of project requirements more efficiently. So there is sort of internal opportunities, but then a lot of end-user targets in terms of access to enterprise applications, endpoint provisioning, and support from the service desk. So those are sort of the two clusters. 
 
And in the middle, we talk about support for cloud and non-cloud delivered apps. And so, that was a growth area. You know, the cloud is not a new story anymore, but it's certainly, in many ways, a more meaningful one than ever. And when I say cloud, I mean those public enterprises. And so when we look at the growth of what could be in a service catalog, we saw in a kind of balance, internal leadings, software-as-a-service, and then infrastructure-as-a-service, some of that, of course, for IT professionals. And then external, public cloud software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service came in sort of third and forth, neatly behind, all within the service catalog.
 
Now, I'll take just a moment to talk a little about cloud. What's cloud doing for IT service management in general? So we asked that question, and the number one thing was, and this is especially true for the more progressive ITSM teams, they saw it as a resource. Cloud could be a resource to expand the service desk in various ways, and the functionality of IT overall. It is a very open-ended area when we expand the resources. But then the next three were quite interesting. Cloud was requiring higher levels of automation. It was requiring greater attention to dev-ops. And I should say greater levels of automation for provisioning services, that sense of speeding things up. That sense of competing in a way with the public opportunity that, you know, might go to a shadow IT or a line of business. So speed and flexibility were paramount.
 
Cloud also makes asset management a little more challenging in most cases because the fabric of where assets are and how they're performing and their life cycle is more challenging. And then there's, you know, pressures for reducing cost and times as well. So cloud is both a good and a bad thing, but mostly good, but it does require attention.
 
Kevin: Yeah, that's a good point, is just mainly understanding. It's not for everybody, but for some companies it is exactly the right solution. And we're just saying more educated clients who understand beyond the hype of what we saw with cloud five years ago when it initially came to the service management market, now people understand that people are being more pragmatic and looking deeper into what's the right fit for their business.
 
Dennis: Yeah, I probably shouldn't say this on the webinar, but I will because it's, I think, reflective, Kevin, of exactly your perspective. I'm not very good on Twitter, and I haven't tweeted in a couple of years actually. But I did tweet once, that everybody liked, and the tweet was, "Journey to the Cloud - soon to be a major motion picture about obscure New Zealand cult." The whole reason for the tweet was exactly what you said, you know, this idea of getting to the cloud as an end game can be quite a dangerous assumption and lead to a lot of chaos. But, you know, viewing cloud as a set of resources to be understood, optimized, and managed, and integrated with broader service requirements, that's really what's needed. And, of course, cloud presents challenges, and it also presents opportunities.
 
Kevin: Yeah, well put.
 
Dennis: Moving on to mobile, and the many cases of mobile, and we're gonna just hit some of the highlights here. So, this is sort of what mobile can do within the IT team in terms of [inaudible 00:31:21] really strong values, by the way, that you can get when the IT professionals can communicate and share problems [inaudible 00:31:29] you know, within the service desk, and then between service desk and operations. What happens when you've got mobile there?
 
Broadly speaking, improved responsiveness to consumers because you're more efficient. And that's number two, is increased IT efficiencies and reduced OpEx costs. So they go hand in hand. Interestingly enough, if you look up at the top, you'll see by one percentage point, improved collaboration between service desk and operations is one percentage point higher than improved collaboration among service desk professionals. So that's not a meaningful difference, but it does show the fact that mobile can help to unify the IT team in a much more efficient way as subject matter experts, service desk managers, and service desk professionals can work together more cohesively. You know, decreased number of tickets, and then, you know, access to reports, etc. Very strong values.
 
Now, let's look at that sort of end-user picture. I thought rather strikingly, 85% of our [inaudible 00:32:46] had some mobile support at some level for end users. And that mobile tends to be not one single face, but multiple faces: Tablets, iPhones, Android, etc. It is a bit of a heterogeneous mix. And so, what are they using it for? So an access for end users for applications at some level, again. So they're all business apps, but some applications...that was 65%. Again, I thought rather high, but good to see. Fifty percent for accessing IT service desk support. And those who did that were 50%, and 78% had very dramatic, unique or dramatic improvement in service delivery. So, again, it's sort of a communications fabric of a new order that affects both internal IT and the end customer. And [inaudible 00:33:52]...I'm sorry, Kevin. Go ahead. Were you gonna ask a question?
 
Kevin: Oh, no. I didn't have anything. I'm sorry, Dennis.
 
Dennis: Okay. I thought I heard a voice. Hopefully, that wasn't a pure delusion. Anyway, top priorities for self-service. And self-service and mobile go hand in hand, right? You know, sort of that notion with more flexible, more progressive consumer, and mobile go hand in hand. So automation for end user for accessing services, getting access to knowledge, management of resources for tracking incidents and problems for the end consumer. Also, again, for sharing and working with the service desk for resolving issues, and then provisioning through the service catalog, and, of course, mobile itself. All are in the very top flight.
 
And managing endpoints. You know, mobile is one, and mobile is eclectic already. But then you look at the total picture and it's even more so in terms of laptops, desktops, whatever on [inaudible 00:35:07] fill in the blank. Top five priorities for endpoint life cycle: software usage, license management, software distribution, OS deployment, and patch management. Makes sense, and so, again, there's that sense of optimizing that investment, optimizing the usage, understanding how it's being used is key. And the priority is to do this with integrated view, both in terms of a single application, and then a single console for mobile and non-mobile endpoints. So it's a cohesive story that people want, not surprisingly.
 
Moving on to best practices and success. Getting near the end. So, hopefully, if you get your questions queued up, we'll have a Q&A soon. So we looked at what people were using as best practices, and this is not a complete list, I realize. Not surprisingly, IL version three was their number one. And then version two scored pretty well. So if you added those two together, IL would do very well.
 
But really, in reality, you could see a lot of other options. Six Sigma, very high, IT balanced scorecard. I think the net here is, best practices have not gone away. They're still important. But it's still a bit of a scramble. We didn't include scrum [SP], by the way, I missed. But we have another research and that can score fairly high as well. And I did want to document for the book a C2B deployment used to support a development, moved into operations, and they were using scrum. So it can be a wide choice. Of those who were using IL, we asked them how important it was to them. Was it sort of an afterthought or was it really important? And 71% viewed it as either very important or critical. No one viewed it as unimportant. So it's still there. It still has a lot of really valuable insights. 
 
What are the big challenges in going forward with IT service management? And I have to say the data here is generally consistent with a lot of the strategic research we do. You know, a kind of crude but resonate way to say it is, guess what's the big issue? It's politics. Politics is really not pretty almost anywhere you look, and they're not always great within IT. And there's a lot in our book, by the way, about the dialogues needed to help to improve and rectify that. So it's not surprising that that's number one. And, of course, with things like digital transformation and the pressures of the business, the need to have those dialogues and a sort of political unit that's much more aligned with business issues increases the challenge, and it's a cultural challenge, as well as a technical one.
 
And then "all of the above" was number two. And then number three, just poor dialog and communication. So, that's fairly consistent. And technology...I will say this for technology, and good technology that IT can provide. So they can't be completely the cure that they can empower you to have those dialogues in a much more efficient way, and to reform some of the organizational issues even, because there's better data access, there's better facilities for communication, higher levels of automation to codify process issues. They tend to really work together.
 
So, we generally find that when we asked, "How successful you are or are you?" in a research like this, people tend to give pretty optimistic answers overall. So I would say the data here in and of itself isn't all that meaningful. What is meaningful and what we did do, is we took the extremely successful, and we knocked them to the somewhat successful to understand what the differences were. Really looking at the two extremes to see how they map against each other. And those data came in quite, I think, consistent with what we might want to look for. Some a little more emphatic even than we expected.
 
Much more likely to work together as a ITSM and operations. Four times more likely to have integrated some level of enterprise with their IT service desk. Twice as likely to have a CMDB/CMS, twice as likely to be leveraging mobile for ITSM professionals, nearly four times more likely to offer service consumers mobile support for ITSM-related actions, and twice as likely to offer users access to corporate apps through mobile. Three times more likely to have an overarching strategy for managing endpoints. And, by the way, more than twice as likely to be slated for growth. Just a couple of other things. They were dramatically more likely to have a cloud services in their service catalogs. And, dramatically more likely to look at agile as transformative as an integrated aspect of their ITSM initiative.
 
Kevin: Yeah, those are great insights. For those of you that are looking for kind of the habits of successful organizations, these are some great points to potentially save a lot of time and a lot of pain, and take advantage of what has worked out there in the marketplace.
 
Dennis: Yeah, thanks, Kevin. That was our hope, to give you a kind of a war-room-like look at what's working in the real world when it comes to the ITSM growth and ITSM need. And by the way, this data is...we do a lot of research. This data is consistent with other focus areas when we look at analytics adoption or we look at CMDB more specifically. We look at cloud. These things do resonate. They're consistent in many ways, to see from different perspectives.
 
So my last slide before Q&A. Is there a fast track for ITSM evolution? I would say, overall, if you look at those attributes, the answer really is "yes." Integrated operations, as we've been talking about. Integrated DevOps and workflows, as I've been talking about some. Attention to change management, service impact, investments in service modeling, CMDB/CMS, or ADDM. A progressive approach to cloud rather than a reactive and fearful one, I guess, and embracing cloud and realizing that it's an opportunity for governance and control.
 
Mobile and unified endpoint management, very core, right at the heart, and even more so as consumers continue to become more empowered and more impatient and more demanding. Support for enterprise services outside of IT. And again, not only important in itself, bringing those efficiencies to the enterprise, a great PR for IT, IT organization. And these groups are slated for growth. I would say at least, in so far as I've seen, unfortunately, most of sort of the cartoons about what's true in the market still haven't really captured this phenomenon, but IT organizations increasingly seem to understand it.
 
And the last bullet is, you know, there is no single magic that you can do, but you should pay attention to that intersection of good technology, looking at your cultural and communication issues, process issues, bring them together, automate when you can. And, again, I guess I'll default and say, in our CMDB book, we do give a structured approach to how to bring those pieces together.
 
So, Kevin, I'll turn it back to you for Q&A.
 
Kevin: Yeah. Thank you, Dennis. And I'd ask all of you listening to submit your questions. We've got a couple here that have come in. But get your fingers warmed up and send us your questions, and we'll be happy to take as many of those as we can. The first one I had for you, Dennis, that came in, and I think is an interesting one, and that is continuing with that theme of DevOps. So you touched on the DevOps and agile in your last slide, can you explain a little bit more about ITSM's role in DevOps?
 
Dennis: Yup. So we talked about, you know, some of the scheduling, and feedback loops, and governance. And I think, you know, the number one thing to say about DevOps and the ITSM team is that if you look backwards in time, and you talk to a lot of deployments, it's a very different world. You know, all the tools that are focusing on the DevOps are these fancy automated capabilities that sort of live within their own world. And then there's the CMDB and the service desk, and many organizations, the two are separate, or they do not coincide. And a lot of vendors haven't figured out the fact that they need to have a handshake.
 
What this data is showing is that those two worlds really need to come together and that they can come together in various ways. And that it's not just about speed, agile is also about being smart and doing what's relevant and doing what's needed. And guess who understands that? It's the service desk.
 
Kevin: Yeah, yeah. Good insights. Dennis, another question, a good question, I think, and something that's certainly impacting the market today is, "What is the future of BYOD in IT service management?" Now, I'm gonna assume that's bring-your-own-device, unless you know of another definition. But, "What is the future of BYOD in IT service management? Is this another fad or is it here to stay?
 
Dennis: Yeah, BYOD is I'm pretty sure bring-your-own-device. I'm perversely trying to think of other definitions for it, but I won't go there. So, probably not bring-your-own-dog, for instance. Anyway. I don't think it's a fad, and there are various flavors of it, too. If you bring your own device, what does that mean? Does it mean that it gets registered? You know, do you get a kind of container-like capabilities that's pushed on to it? How random is it? You know, what are the policies surrounding it? So it's really an open-ended discussion. I don't think it's gonna go away and I don't think it's a fad, but I do think that, you know, stage two really looks at it as a series of decisions, and there are various ways to approach that integration. And so there's a level of governance that can be brought to it and needs to be brought to it, obviously.
 
Kevin: Yeah, and then likely that's something that's gonna be with us for a while as devices become more powerful, and more versatile, and more and more part of the workplace. You know, IT has an inherent responsibility for adapting, and evolving, and learning how to manage those. Okay, so we've got questions rolling in here, so let me try to go to the next one here. "Dennis, do you see a convergence over time between an IT service management and IT financial management?" 
 
Dennis: Yeah. And actually, there are on...you know, it's already beginning to recur. So there's a wonderful book out by a friend of mine, who happens to be the current president of itSMF, Charlie Araujo, called, "Quantum Age of IT." And, you know, we hear a lot about how IT is a broker now, right, because of cloud broker services. And Charlie makes the point that I think is quite relevant to, even more relevant, which is, in many ways, IT is a product organization. And guess what its products are? Its products are services.
 
And to become a product organization, you need to understand consumers, value, relevance, benefits, tradeoffs, competition, which cloud is now a shopping mall of competition. And that's a very radical change. So, service management, if you think of the services as the products of IT, they are financial entities. They have cost, they have value, they have benefits. And then bring in another trend, digital transformation, in which businesses are becoming redefined through IT services, and everything from brand awareness to how they deal with partners and suppliers, going through transactions that IT is providing.
 
So I think that the world of the financial optimization both for the business and for IT, and understanding IT services is really coming together, and will continue to come together. A lot of challenges. Obviously, that's a long cut. We could do a whole thing on that. But, yeah, I do see them coming together.
 
Kevin: Yeah, excellent. Good question. Thank you, Dennis. Another question that kind of broadens our thinking a bit here, and I think a great question for today, is social media is having such an impact on everything, business and how we live. We have the question, "How are companies managing the perception of customers of a company, given that there are so many channels now that a company might be communicating with its customers, like Facebook, and Twitter, and the like?" You know, how... Does that make sense, Dennis? So how are companies managing these channels now, and that you can have so many different ways now to communicate with the customers, with that company's customers?
 
Dennis: Yeah, it's a whole world in itself, and it sounds like a question, Kevin, if I understand it, it was targeted at, you know, the external customer, but there's a parallel track when you deal with the internal consumer of IT services in terms of social media, right, too. A little bit different because it flows more through the service desk directly there. Well, one word that comes to mind that is being brought to bear here is analytic investments that can assimilate everything from social media to blog file data to whatever, and look at trends, and understand sort of the integration of social media with service performance, and other issues. Or, service delivery in that digital transformation mindset.
 
Of course, it can be a Pandora's box because...and social media is not well-orchestrated or well-designed. You can get a lot of random and potentially meaningless content as well. So I think we're still in the early stages of optimizing that and understanding how to optimize it. But, you know, the gun has already sounded, the horses are running. But probably the first word that comes to mind, again, would be "analytics," to unify those insights.
 
Kevin: Yeah, what I'm hearing from clients is that social media is both a great opportunity in how we can communicate with customers. At its best, it's real time, it's open, it's immediate. But it also creates...for a company, it creates a level of responsibility in somehow observing a code of conduct, and what should be and what should not be communicated with customers. So, as with many powerful tools, there's both a great opportunity and a great responsibility in how we use that tool. And it is so early. We have already been through several generations of social media. We probably have, you know, several, several more to come.
 
Dennis: Yeah. Within IT, one of the things that I feel is a big opportunity is integrating social media with workflow, and even visibility and service modeling, when you're talking about getting stakeholders' insights, right, to understand who they are and have tracks around them. When you're dealing with the general public, that's not always so easy or relevant. But I think, you know, you and I are in 100% agreement. We're very early in this game still. It can be very powerful. It's certainly not gonna go away, but it also needs to be approached with discipline and caution as well.
 
Kevin: Well, we have a couple of minutes left, so let's take one more question. And thank you, everybody, again for all the questions, and apologize if there any of the questions we could not get to. But this question, Dennis, is, "If 88%, almost 90% of organizations are either doing or planning for some utilization of the cloud resource, or different cloud-centric services, how successful have they been up until now?"
 
Dennis: Wow. So we've done cloud research, and we've done quite a bit of it, specific to cloud. You know, one of the challenges in answering that is it depends on...cloud has got so many faces to it, right? Internal, external, software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and then now, you're getting containers, and you're getting, you know, data center...software to find data centers, etc. The reality that I see versus what the data...the data tends to be fairly optimistic with people, just like you see here. You know, people tend to say they're pretty successful. I would say that cloud adoption and assimilation is consistently challenging, but can often be successful, especially if it's done with good intent, with the right thought, and the right preparation. You know, there are cloud service providers that are good partners, and there are some cloud service providers that are not.
 
And, you know, if you're looking at public cloud, that kind of choice can make a huge difference. So I guess I would say it's really...there's no one answer to that because cloud has so many faces to it, and then success itself has so many faces. But, generally, what does cloud enable? It allows a lot of flexibility for scalability, opportunities to scale up and scale down quickly, opportunities to try things out, you know, new applications out that you may not wanna commit to but can sort of, you know, taste before you eat, so to speak. Any number of values, and it can also promote a much more progressive development environment, although you get security issues sometimes when you get too progressive.
 
So it's definitely a good thing, but needs to be managed, and understood, and approached with discipline. And, you know, it's really an exercise in service management.
 
Kevin: Yeah, that's exactly right. Again, I think the thing that comes to mind is choice is good. You know, ultimately, choice for the business is a good thing, so take the time as you would with any important business decision to investigate what is right for your business, and view cloud as a potentially valuable resource that can be leveraged, a valuable deployment model that can be leveraged. And then, ultimately, the business that makes thoughtful investments is going to be better off for it in the long run, and cloud is...and social media, from our discussion earlier, is certainly part of that mix.
 
So with that, thank you, again, Dennis, so much for your comments today and your time. It's been a great session. And thanks again to all of you for joining us today, and we hope you picked up some useful information and insights. You will receive a follow-up email from us with a link in it, so watch for that. And also, please watch for our upcoming webinar that addresses Windows 10 migration, and if a Windows 10 migration or hardware refresh is on your agenda for this year, and we're gonna share with you the top six things to consider when migrating to Windows 10. So that is scheduled for September 9th, so we hope to see you on an event in the future, another event in the future. And if there is anything you'd like to discuss, please don't hesitate to contact us directly at HEAT Software or at EMA, and we would always be happy to hear from you.
 
So, thanks again, and goodbye for now.