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SMCongress – Viewed Through a Customer Lens

By | November 25, 2013 in ITSM

Future of the ITSM Industry

At FUSION 13, the annual joint itSMF USA and HDI conference, a group of pre-selected people came together to consider and report back on the future of the IT service management (ITSM) industry.

There are many articles and blogs that cover the group’s outputs ranging from the SM Congress site, through a article by the group’s initiator Charles Araujo, through to blogs that take a number of different views on the group’s outputs, including:

These are blogs that cover a wide range of views on the merits of and issues with the SMCongress and its outputs. But I want to put those to one side for now; well, actually for the rest of the blog. I want to give you my views. I want you to think of it from the point of view of our customers.

Putting Our Customers First

Let me lay my cards on the table. I love our customers – we succeed because they succeed. I want them to be the best they can be. I want them to be helped in any way possible. Helped in dealing with the challenges and complexity of modern IT service delivery.

So I value the contributions made to the industry by anyone, or any group, willing to take the time to help. The SMCongress is/was intended to help but there is a “but.” And it is a big “but.”

Are our customers hearing about the SMCongress, let alone buying in to it?

So let’s pause for breath for a moment.

The Customer Point of View

In early November I made a number of UK customer courtesy calls, not to sell to but rather to listen to a number of our customers.

While at one – a sizable media company – I asked what they thought about the SMCongress and its “call to action.” They hadn’t heard of it. And they didn’t have time for it. They also hadn’t heard of Back2ITSM or any of the other sources of conversation and help available “socially.”

In some ways you could say that this is a little like “not having the time to go on a time management course” or not having time for problem management because you are too busy fire-fighting incidents. But it’s not, it’s different. It reflects the realities of the real IT industry, not those of the socially-transmitted conversations that many of us are party to. We need to realize, respect, and respond to this before we can move forward with any form of industry change.

Real-World IT

It might be a generalization but many people in real IT jobs don’t have the time to be socially active at work. They are working with limited resources, missed deadlines, and all-hands-to-the-pumps crises that mean that they are lucky to get home to their families at a reasonable hour. They want and need things to help them get through the day. They need help in dealing with the challenges and pressures of working in IT. But then they also need to ensure that all their hard work is recognized as important by the rest of the business. They need to show their worth.

So they do need something or multiple things. But before we can help them we need to do those three Rs - realize, respect, and respond.

I might be guilty of jumping to a solution here but we need to realize that if we are talking of change without linking it to real-world IT and using the words and communication channels real-world IT actually uses we are just talking amongst ourselves. We might as well be shouting from the moon in terms of the messages being heard, understood, and bought into at a grassroots level.

But We Shouldn’t Give Up

We just need to step back and work out how best to tailor and deliver what is ultimately an important message – that many IT organizations need to change. That is, to change for the better from a business enablement point of view.

So the call to action is needed – take a look at – do you agree that things need to change? How can this call to action be made real for people delivering IT services on a day-to-day basis? And how can we at SysAid help you to help yourself and the colleagues and customers you enable through IT?

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

Sarah Lahav

About Sarah Lahav

As the company’s 1st employee, Sarah has remained the vital link between SysAid Technologies and its customers since 2003. Current CEO, former VP Customer Relations. Always passionate about customer service! Mother of three adorable children – she juggles work, family, and zumba classes with ease.

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