No IT Service Management - no future, global chief warns
"They will either be outsourced very soon or won't be there for much longer," Jan Niessen said in an interview for Amethyst, the customer newsletter of global Help Desk and ITSM software supplier Axios Systems.
Niessen, a Board member of the Dutch itSMF for the past four years, also disclosed that the movement is about to add national Chapters in Russia, Japan, Scandinavia and Hungary.
He said practitioners often had a hard task to convince computer professionals of the cost savings they could achieve by embracing IT Service Management disciplines.
"People can buy products but if they don't have the process implementation right, no product can help them. It can be a struggle to make sure companies see these issues," he added.
Mr Niessen, who is in the second year of his term of office, said Service Management "is not just a procedure or process that you can implement. You must act and make sure that the processes are inside the heads of the people who are working with it."
He said that in order to achieve progress, practitioners had to "treat customers as customers, not as colleagues. If there is a problem you must understand what that means for your customer, and prioritize problems that way. You must speak to your customer in his own language. Don't deliver only an IT solution: deliver a solution that he can work with directly and that he can translate into cost savings for his organization. That is also a difficult question for suppliers!"
"Another important step is to make clear what the implementation costs are. Then you can also start to convince managers of the benefits."
"The principles work every time. You can run a company just by making sure that these are being adhered to. If so, you don't need any processes at all."
The itSMF International Chairman told Axios Systems that one of the main trends in the suppliers' field was better scalability. "This has changed in recent years," he said. Some years ago people wanted loads of flexibility ... but product maintenance costs went sky-high. Now they want quick installation of an 'out-of-the-box' product with standard processing. Platform-independent Web interfacing has also become more important."
Mr Niessen said one of the main roles for itSMF International was to support new national Chapters. The movement already has national organizations in the UK, U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. "National Chapters must guard their independence but we have to make sure we have one face globally and one quality standard that we can live by," he commented.
ITSM was currently experiencing a downturn because of poor market conditions in the computing industry but the market would improve, he said. "We will see a classic recovery - first, hardware and tooling, then projects implementation, followed by greater demand for consultancy," he went on.
The sector could profit from the depressed market by stressing cost savings which could be achieved through ITSM since this was high up on the agendas of IT and Finance Directors.
"The global standing of Service Management is high. We will become even more successful if we help our members align IT with their businesses," Niessen said.
Axios Systems is a leading provider of Best Practice-based IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions. Our customer-centric approach combined with our award-winning solutions, ensure customers worldwide can align their Service and Support organizations with the overall business goals. Our core solution, assyst, intuitively steers users through the ITIL® processes. Axios Global Services provides a range of consulting, project management and training services. Our commitment to Best Practice is demonstrated through being the first to achieve BS 15000 certification which has now become, ISO/IEC 20000, the International standard for ITSM. Axios is headquartered in the UK, with offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.