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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 ITIL

Software Asset Management (SAM) is also part of IT

So you’re the “go to” guy or gal within IT, and IT service management (ITSM) has been your life for the last five years.  You can soak up ITIL and ISO 20000, and your team is well versed in the nuances of ITSM and how that has been moulded within IT to deliver great service to the rest of the business.  And then someone says to you “What about Software Asset Management (SAM)”?

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Posted by on in ITIL

ITSM-business alignment

Good business-IT alignment (please note that I use this well-known and oft-used phrase reluctantly as IT is part of the business) relies on two things: doing the right thing and doing things right. Without both of these, what IT does will never live up to what business colleagues and stakeholders need and expect; where:

  • Doing the right things” means executing IT initiatives that support business strategy.
  • Doing things right” means executing these initiatives in a way that delivers the proposed value within the required timescale and cost constraints.
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Posted by on in Service Desk

Categorizing incidents in your service desk

Recently a customer asked me how many different categories they should have for managing incidents. They seemed to think that, like a magician, I could pull an “ideal” number of incident categories out of a hat, and that they could somehow compare themselves to this to see if they had the right number. I gave them the typical consultant’s answer of “it depends”, because there really isn’t any right answer to this question. If you only have 3 or 4 categories then you are almost certainly doing something wrong, but if you have more than 1,000 categories then you probably have it wrong in the other direction. Between these extremes it really does depend on the scope of your service desk and what you’re using the categories for.

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Posted by on in ITIL

.itSMF Conference workshop

I recently attended itSMF Norway 15 Conference. What an incredible experience with some of the most dedicated people in IT service management!

I had the privilege of being one of the Service Bazaar workshop leaders. My session was How to Mature a Basic Change Management Process. The format was groups of up to 8 attendees in each of three 90-minute workshops.

Each group had industry leaders (including ITIL book authors) and beginner practitioners side-by-side. The sessions were lively to say the least, and everyone learned something. Me? I got a triple dose, and learned the most.

This blog isn’t a traditional How-To, but rather a summary of some gems that came out of my three workshop sessions. Note that while the sessions focused on maturing Change Management, what we learned applies to any process.

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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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