ITSM Views: Suresh GP, from TauB Solutions
What exactly is your job?
In my current consultancy-based role I help companies to move from where they are now to where they need to be in terms of IT, IT service management (ITSM) and IT service delivery. In many ways I act as a trusted advisor across of the areas of ITSM, IT governance, and project and program management.
What is the best thing about working in ITSM?
The best thing about working in ITSM for me is the variety of challenges that I face when working with my customers. While there are common issues, there are also new challenges that need both creativity and hard work to be traversed. Additionally, I’d have to say that one of the best things about working in this industry is the great people who are in it and the social interactions I have with them. Their ability to make a difference to the way that we in IT deliver value to our parent businesses, along with their vast knowledge, continues to inspire me in my work.
What do you think is the most important element missing from traditional ITSM? And why?
In my opinion, the key element missing from traditional ITSM is agility. With the business landscape changing so quickly, service management needs to adapt beyond the traditional 4 Ps of ITIL (People, Process, Products, and Partners).
Today’s business and IT environments are complex and need a best of breed approach to address different situations as opposed to a one size fits all approach to ITSM. This may encompass the need for aspects of DevOps, SIAM (service integration and management), and IT governance as well as pure ITSM.
What do you think is the biggest mistake that people can make in ITSM, and how can it be avoided?
In my opinion, the biggest mistake people can make is following things blindly simply because industry best practice tells us to do so. There needs to be a strong rigor to challenge the status quo, and go beyond the norm, to implement what is most suited to our own individual environments. Additionally, sometimes people’s competencies are not adequate enough to deliver required outcomes. They assume that having technical skills alone is sufficient, but fail to deliver due to a lack of focus on good attitude, soft skills, and an understanding of their organization’s culture. Senior IT leadership needs to shift its focus to a more holistic approach, developing people capability models as well as technical capabilities.
What one piece of practical advice would you give to somebody working on the Service Desk?
Listen twice and speak once. This, in my view, is crucial for Service Desk success. Don’t hog the customer call, instead take time and effort to truly understand the customer’s explicit and implicit needs before rushing to provide your response or resolution.
What one piece of practical advice would you give to the CIO of a company with regards to ITSM?
As CIO, they are best positioned to market the value of IT to business. As far as ITSM is concerned, most CIOs understand that ITSM is not a magic wand that can create miracles for IT Issues. Instead it requires a structured approach investing in the aforementioned 4 Ps and engendering the right expectation within the business and stakeholders – especially on prerequisites, timelines, and outcomes.
If you could change one thing about the ITSM industry as a whole, what would it be and why?
There has been a misconception that ITSM tool vendors are bad and are only here to sell products and services. In my opinion, this is primarily because of the way that they are seen at industry conferences and tradeshows, and their mass marketing activities. The vendors that are in constant dialogues, about the changing trends and demands, with customers are in best position to predict the future of ITSM. We also undervalue their wealth of experience and expertise in understanding explicit and implicit customer needs. So instead of just ignoring them, it would be worthwhile to respect their position in the ITSM ecosystem and leverage their expertise whenever it’s possible. Having said this, the vendors need to look beyond merely selling product and to contributing more value for the ITSM community.
What do you think the ITSM trend to watch will be in the next 12 months? And why?
With increasing demand for IT from businesses and their customers worldwide, the need to match consumer IT should be at the top of every CIO’s agenda. In order to stay relevant and ahead of the competition, IT organizations need greater agility, shorter release cycles, and improved value chains. This will need better collaboration between development and operations teams, using a DevOps approach to work collectively towards business outcomes. Finally, many organizations are still struggling to handle multiple suppliers, with or without a Service Integrator, and hence the industry is still in need of more practical insights in respect of SIAM.
Where do you see the ITSM industry in 10 years time?
10 years out is a too long time to predict ahead, given that we are witnessing dramatic industry changes even across a shorter 1- 3 year time. In my opinion, in this shorter timeframe, the ITSM industry will undergo a sea of change in terms of adopting best of breed practices related to Agile, DevOps, SIAM, the internet of things (IoT), and Cyber Resilience, and will hopefully become an integral part of business. So ITSM professionals will have to possess a wider understanding of multiple best practice frameworks to be respected as people who truly add value to the business. Keeping abreast of trends, acquiring new competencies, and experimenting will be critical activities in staying ahead of the competition.
Finally, what would be your 5 tips for success in ITSM?
- Take a customer centric approach. Focusing on creating Smarter Service Desks and investing in Service Desk people will be a critical aspect for all organizations delivering fit-for-purpose IT services and support.
- Improved leadership. Great teams are built when you have a leader who inspires the team – through a powerful vision – and supports them in achieving a common goal. This also means taking care of the interests and apprehensions of the staff, and providing avenues to them for personal growth and development.
- Organizational change. Never underestimate the power of organizational change management (OCM). It is critical to get your taskforce excited and involved to make your change (ITSM or otherwise) journey successful.
- Strive for a motivated task force. Great things get accomplished when you have a synergy built across people who are motivated and take pride in the job they do. So the need is to foster an environment that facilitates growth, learning , and fun (e.g. the use of gamification) to help keep them motivated.
- Knowledge Center Support (KCS). If you are not sharing knowledge, it is not only going to impact the organization but it will also affect confidence among customers. KCS must become the DNA of every IT organization that hopes to do well at ITSM and, more importantly, in achieving the desired business outcomes from IT.
Thanks to Suresh for taking the time to conduct this interview. Do you agree with his opinion?
Posted by Joe the IT Guy