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My SITS 2013: A Service Desk Show with Sensible People Saying Sensible Things

By | April 30, 2013 in Service Desk

This time last year, I was just about to commence a new career as a writer and ITSM Analyst, and kicked this all off with two days at SITS 2012.

In that year, I have written for a number of IT and ITSM related publications, and the experience was a very different one from twelve months ago.

This time last year, I was walking round, introducing myself as the new girl in school and getting to know the wealth of IT Support vendors, training companies and consultancies on the scene.

I knew quite literally a handful of people.

This time, I could not pass a corner without recognising people I had met at itSMF UK events and regional meetings, vendors, consultants, and the buzz this year was great.

My Highlight

The highlight over the two days for me was the Breakfast Briefing on Day 1: Demonstrating Service Desk Value with Meaningful Metrics.

Panel members were:

Tony Probert - European Managing Director, Cherwell

Howard Kendall - Founder, Service Desk Institute

Rosh Hosany - Global Service Desk Manager

Ken Goff - Consultant and Briefing Facilitator

Dean Coleman - Director of Client Services, UKN Group

The briefing was accompanied with a glossy set of results from a survey, but interestingly the survey was not put to the business, but rather put to the service desk.

There are two key elements to what I’d like to term the mishap of metrics.

Hands up who has configured a system to collect all kinds of numbers, prepared vibrantly glossy decks of graphs, showing what happened?

Now, hands up who has regularly analysed, and formed action plans to address what the metrics show?

The question is—what are these elusive business value metrics?

They are, or at least were, the unicorn of reporting.

It is far easier to pick up on values that are easy to report on, and all the while we believe that it is showing us the value of customer satisfaction.

But let's pick this apart.

If you run an application that needs to be up 99% of the time, and you meet those objectives, you would think you had done yourself a good job, pat yourself on the back and enjoy Happy Hour with the team.

But what if that 1% outage happened on the one day that the application had to run a crucial business transaction?

The truth of it is, there are no easy answers to defining business value.

What it requires is something much more magical than a unicorn.

It requires communication and empowerment.

Communication between the Service Desk and the business to understand why their SLAs are set up the way they are.

And what of the perspective of managed service providers (MSPs)?

They have multiple customers, all with different business drivers, so how do they demonstrate business value, when most of the time their metrics are based on performance?

They are in a unique position, actually, because they should already understand the business even before providing the service.

Their opportunity, therefore, is to show how issues are resolved more efficiently, to bring more of a financial value to the managed service.

There is a real opportunity for companies to evaluate where to deliver real-time data.

Key Points from the Briefing

My key takeaways were:

  • Get close to the business, and work together to understand what the value is.
  • Add that extra dimension to the relationship with the business – not just blindly working to whatever the SLA tells you to do.
  • Be collaborative – become a business partner instead of a trusted service provider.

SITS13 started this year for me with sensible people talking sense, and I look forward to analysing how the ITSM market chooses to innovate in this area.

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.

Ros Satar

About Ros Satar

Ros Satar started out her life in ITSM tackling Configuration Management head on in 2005. Ros worked as an ITSM Solution Architect and Process Consultant before deciding to combine a career in IT with journalism, now working as a freelance ITSM Analyst and Consultant.

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