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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 OpEx Efficiencies Equals IT Efficiencies

In preparing for this blog I interviewed a global support manager at an international agribusiness corporation where SysAid was enabling increased end-user responsiveness, improved asset and change management, and enhanced OpEx efficiencies overall. As it turned out, this very strong narrative aligned very well with EMA research data on how IT service management (ITSM) operational efficiencies are impacting IT OpEx effectiveness overall.

Looking at this bigger picture, the role of ITSM teams is growing, not shrinking in importance. ITSM is increasingly providing a source of governance and efficiency in supporting all of IT in incident and problem management, release management (including agile and DevOps), change management, and asset management. In many cases ITSM teams are also leading the charge in supporting mobile requirements both for IT service consumers and IT professionals for improved efficiencies. So given all these trends, which I’ll examine in a little more depth in this blog, I think it’s safe to say that ITSM operational efficiencies reside at the very center of improving IT efficiencies overall.

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Posted by on in Events


Pink ITSM conference

It’s that time again, for one of IT service management’s (ITSM) “grand slam” industry conferences – Pink Elephant’s Pink16, now in its 20th year at the swanky Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. But sadly not for me, instead I’ll be watching the conference from afar this year (via Twitter). It doesn’t stop me dreaming of the sessions I’d attend though, and I’ll be recommending these to my colleague Ami Shimkin and anyone else willing to listen.

The theme of this year's conference is “IT @ The Speed of Change” – with Pink Elephant stating that IT teams now “need to be quick, lean, innovative, proactive, timely and effective.” As per usual, there’s a wide range of content, some would say too much content, crammed into three days across the following session types and tracks:

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Posted by on in ITIL

Manage Availability of IT Services

In my recent blog 5 New Year’s Resolutions for ITSM Practitioners, I recommended that people should think about how they manage availability. I was surprised by the number of people who contacted me to say that they thought I had got this one wrong since availability management isn’t that important. I don’t think I got it wrong and this blog explains why.

Well-run IT services make a huge contribution to a customer’s business, and this means that when those services aren’t available, the negative impact can be huge too. If we don’t plan to deliver the right level of availability, we’re just relying on luck, and, as we all know, hoping for the best isn’t a viable management strategy.

Availability management activities can be broken up into three distinct areas:

  • Understanding and negotiating customer requirements
  • Designing services so they are able to deliver the required availability
  • Ongoing management to ensure agreed targets are met or exceeded
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Posted by on in Technologies


I’ve written about IT service management (ITSM) and the opportunities of business intelligence (BI) before, but that was four years ago, as an industry analyst. Since then, I’ve seen very few vendors shouting about the fact that they have upped their reporting, and potentially BI, game. It’s really odd, especially when you consider how the ITSM marketplace has embraced the Nexus of Forces, a concept (developed by global research and analysis firm Gartner) that describes “the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobility, cloud and information patterns that drive new business scenarios.”

So while the ITSM world has dipped its toes into the first three of these forces (social, mobility, and cloud) with varying degrees of success, the latter (information patterns) continues to be largely overlooked.

Why do we continue to waste the BI opportunity that sits atop our wealth of ITSM data?

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Posted by on in ITIL

Problem & incident management go together

Nearly 30 years ago, ITIL® launched itself on an unsuspecting world with five books published. One of those was called Help Desk, and another one dealt separately with Problem Management. The separation of two requirements – dealing with calls and getting people working again – was one of the key elements of the fledgling ITIL guidance. The help desk, via the incident management process, was meant to deal with the immediate effects and get people working again. Problem management, on the other hand, was all about finding out what went wrong and preventing it from happening again.

They Are Different But…

In the 1990s ITIL advocated the need for a clear distinction between incident and problem management, but later thinking promoted the idea that integration of the two is very beneficial.

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Posted by on in ITIL

Change management poll

In my recent webinar for SysAid, Never Underestimate the Importance of Change Management, I had the chance to ask three polling questions to those listening. Encouragingly, we got around 160 answers to each question – easily enough to justify us talking about the result.

First though, a gentle warning. This wasn’t a professional survey with a balanced sample of people. It is what those who attended the webinar thought. So, we can assume this is the situation for interested people in the ITSM profession who are motivated enough to subscribe to a change management webinar.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

New Year's Resolutions for ITSM Practitioners

New Year’s resolutions are traditional at this time of year. So I’ve been thinking about what would be great resolutions for people who work in IT service management (ITSM). Here are my top five suggestions for you to consider.

Measure and Report What’s Important

Do you create lots of reports, full of numbers, charts and tables? When did you last talk to your stakeholders about what’s really important to them, so that you could make sure that your reports are relevant and focused?

A short report that has the information your customers really need is much more valuable than a long report full of numbers that they don’t care about. The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on what you’re reporting and consider whether you could create more value by reporting less. So why not take the time to review what you’re doing, and make changes if they’re needed?

Remember to talk to your customers before you make any changes, to ensure that you really are improving their experience.

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Posted by on in Technologies

IT predictions

Anyone can predict the future, although whether they are right or not is a different matter. Just look at the Y2K predictions, or those stating that online shopping would never take off. Or that the Apple iPhone would never sell – I bet Nokia was relieved to hear this back in 2007.

There must be lots of cloud predictions too – in particular that large companies wouldn’t adopt cloud or even software-as-a-service (SaaS) due to security concerns. Finally, if you want to go old-school technology, that the Titanic was unsinkable.

Despite these, the tech media will no doubt be full of 2016 predictions as the New Year approaches. And neither this prediction blitz nor my list of failed technology predictions is enough to stop me from using my crystal ball…

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Posted by on in SysAid

SysAid ITSM Reporting

“The new reporting is SUCH an improvement! I love the new design too, but the functionality in the reporting though… Fantastic.” -lola412

“New reporting is a big improvement” -cdkarp

“Thanks for updating the Reporting UI. It's definitely much improved.” -GopherTech

Hey guys! It’s SysAid Beta time again and I feel like we’re in a winter wonderland – well, it is the season, right?

SysAid Winter 16 (also known as v15.4) On-Premise Beta testing is progressing quite nicely – we’re receiving lots of positive reactions and constructive feedback from our Pathfinders, and have recently moved to Beta Phase 2. Part of the feedback resulted in our opening numerous bugs, which our R&D team is busy fixing literally as I’m typing this :)

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Posted by on in Service Desk

First call resolution (FCR) trap

You’ve no doubt heard the saying "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it." Therefore, naturally, we try to measure things so we can effectively manage them. Makes sense, as far as that goes, but there's a lesser-known saying  - "be careful what you measure, it just might improve."

Be Careful What You Measure

Somewhere along the way, the world of call centers became enamored with first call resolution (FCR). The idea is fairly sound, really – customers who are helped immediately (on the first call) are happier, more satisfied customers.

But, as Doug Tedder points out in The First Contact Resolution Trap, it may not be the end-all metric it's often though to be.

Hear me out on this one.

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