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Welcome to the SysAid Blog - the place to go to find out where the IT industry is going, and what is SysAid’s role in it.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

.ITSM communications is a two-way process

How many times does the word ‘communications’ get mentioned as an issue in your organization (and we’re not referring to networks and routers)?

The basic human function of communicating information accurately and appropriately between people seems to pop up regularly as the reason for failure, the stumbling block, the broken link in the supply chain, and generally as the barrier to success.

Often the term ‘communications’ is used to cover a multitude of issues, from lack of information, to too much information, plus of course inappropriate information. Usually, however, this comes down to the extent to which individuals are aware of their own communications actions (or lack of them) and how this is received or experienced by others. Often it’s about misunderstandings, or in some cases personality clashes – i.e. when people don’t get on with each other.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

In IT, we don't do people?!.

When I started in the IT industry I was a fairly junior hardware engineer. One day I went out with an experienced engineer to learn about a particular mini-computer that he was going to mend. It was a complex problem and I learned a lot from watching him work. On returning to the office our manager told us that she had received a complaint from the customer, because the engineer had been rude and didn’t provide updates about what was happening. The engineer’s reply to his manager was so shocking that I still remember the exact words he used. What he said was “I don’t do people, I only do computers”.

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Posted by on in ITIL

Show true leadership in your ITSM projects

One of the most quoted words in use in tech management and marketing these days is ‘governance’. What do we actually mean by this and why is it such a big and ongoing topic?

Governance refers to "all processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market or network, whether over a family, tribe, formal or informal organization or territory and whether through laws, norms, power or language” (Wikipedia)

Governance is the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority necessary to manage a nation’s affairs (OED)

We get that fact that it’s about overseeing and running and managing. In fact, it’s basically running the show.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

ITSM/service desk solution in hospital healthcare

Over the last few weeks I had the opportunity to speak with several customers in various industries about the exciting and quirky ways that they’re using SysAid’s ITSM solution in the field. I’m truly amazed at the myriad of ways in which they have implemented their service desks – from Australian emergency services to Italian fashion designers; from elite U.S. universities to Irish hospital networks.

I was fortunate enough to talk with Andrina O’Neill (pictured above), Senior Systems & UC Engineer/Service Desk Supervisor at St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services – Ireland’s largest independent provider of mental health services for adults and adolescents. Andrina is based at the organization’s main campus – St. Patrick’s University Hospital (associated with Trinity College). She is the pioneer IT professional who was brought into the hospital six years ago to assist in revamping the existing ineffective service desk in order to provide better quality IT services. Coming from a background of IT in the corporate sector, Andrina experienced a professional and mental shift upon entering this not-for-profit hospital environment.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

Information technology, service desk, help desk - what's your business?

Think Nike is in the athletic shoes and apparel business? Not on your life.

“Nike sells shoes but it’s not in the shoe-selling business. It’s in the business of selling emotion and aspiration. Nike sells achievement, Nike sells perseverance and Nike sells Victory.“ (

If you ask most IT people what business they're in, their answer will invariably focus on “technology”.  But are we actually in the technology business, or something more fundamental (like enabling business outcomes)?

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Posted by on in Events

IT transformation in ITSM

We talk a lot about transformation in IT.

That the changing IT landscape is causing us to evaluate and ultimately adopt new technologies. Or at the other end of the spectrum, that business transformation is driving the need for new, and more, IT services to support new business and new business models. 2014 was definitely a year filled with “digital business” talk, with the associated opportunity (for either glory or failure) available to corporate IT organizations.

At a high level, most corporate IT organizations are up-to-speed with the need for both IT transformation per se, and that business transformation is also driving the need for IT transformation. But IT transformation is ultimately organizational change – changing the people and process as well as the technology. And when we start to talk about organizational change within the IT organization, it can start to seem scary, or scarier, given that the people part of the ITIL-espoused “people, process, product, and partners” (formerly people, process, and technology) can be a significant barrier to change. At best, it’s a banana skin waiting to be slipped on.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

ITSM and service desk pearls of wisdom

There’s no law that says different IT service management (ITSM) solution vendors can’t play well together. In fact some of my favorite people work for the competition, or used to.

Last year I spoke with some lovely ITSM people, gainfully employed by SysAid’s competitors:

I’m beginning to think that undertaking a blog interview with yours truly might be the ITSM vendor kiss of death.

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Posted by on in ITIL

Defining Metrics for the Service Desk

I have written a number of blogs about metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) recently, each focussing on a different area of IT service management. These blogs were very popular — this is clearly an area where lots of people are looking for help. Here are some links in case you’ve missed any of them.

One response I got to the earlier blogs was “What about the service desk?” so here are my thoughts on how you could set about defining metrics for your service desk.

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Posted by on in ITIL

ITSM Basics: A Simple Introduction to Incident Management

Don’t tell anyone but for some reason I can post to the SysAid blog now... and to start I want to provide a simple introduction to incident management. Humble is what I do best. Oh, and I’d better be on my best behavior. So I’ll quickly cover:

  • What incident management is
  • Major incidents and service requests
  • The objectives of incident management
  • The “incident lifecycle”
  • The benefits of incident management

If you read my blog, then you know I refer to ITIL quite a bit (you might think too much) but you can quite easily use your own self-created process and activities or look to alternative sources of advice such as ISO/IEC 20000, ISACA’s COBIT, USMBOK, or Microsoft’s MOF.

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Posted by on in ITIL

The Service Desk and Relationship Management: All You Need Is Love

“Hi, just calling to say everything is working great today!” said no Service Desk caller. Ever.

Like it or not, your customers have a relationship with IT. Sometimes good; sometimes bad.  They are built over time, one interaction at a time. The truth is, every call to the Service Desk either builds it up or tears it down.

In reality, we are all Relationship Managers, and everything we do affects those relationships.

Researchers have identified universal factors that shape all relationships. Successful Service Desks apply these principles of human behavior to relationship management.

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