Friday, 30 December 2011

ITSM Predictions for 2012

I know what you are thinking.

"How come this blog is suddenly so active, he must be going through a quiet patch over the holidays"

Nothing could be further from the truth.

They say that if you want a job done you should give it to a busy man, and at the moment my team and I are very, very busy and the blog is getting written as relaxation in those short periods between client presentations, meetings and teleconferences. Given the global situation that isn't what you might expect, which only goes to show making predictions is a mug's game. So here goes:

1. Service Integration

Expect this to be the next big thing in ITSM.  It is already a central concept behind most of the mega outsourcing deals currently being negotiated in the UK and you can expect to see it filter through to smaller organisations, job adverts for Service Integration Managers, and tool vendors bigging up their support for it. OK I head up the Service Integration consulting team in TCS, so I would say that wouldn't I, but think of it the other way round

Why do you think TCS has a Service Integration consultancy team in the first place?

You don't know what Service Integration is?

Now isn't the time to enlighten you, but we probably need to talk.

2. Service Architecture

You can't take a service integration approach without having a deep understanding of how your systems and IT services map on to business value networks. The various varieties of uber technical architect and frameworks we've seen to date haven't cracked this one yet. Expect to see a higher profile for OBASHI and the emergence of a new breed of top down architect. If you think I'm talking about SOA then you are a lost cause.

3. Service Design

No, not in the ITIL sense, in the real sense that others are using it. Hand in hand with this will come a realization that Ian Clayton was right all along, and ITIL really isn't an Outside-In approach. Oh yes, a bonus prediction: Expect to see the term Outside-In misused and reduced to a meaningless cliché by those who don't get it.

4. Shadow IT 2.0

Not really a prediction because it is already happening and on many levels: BYOD, cloud, SocMed. The difference in 2012 is that IT departments will wake up to the fact is actually happening rather than just threatening to happen. The savvy CIO will think carefully but then act quickly.

5. Service Desk 2.0

The Service Desk has been at the heart of ITIL for so long that perhaps we've all started to take it a little bit for granted, but there are some real game changers out there. Self service, support for Shadow IT, the use of SocMed for support purposes, a renewed focus on the softer skills. Service Desk staff are living in interesting times.

6. Soft Skills

Here's a little insight. Research shows 80% of those who tell you that "People are more important than tools or processes" don't believe it themselves. 90% of those who say it don't practice it.

In 2012 people will become a clear differentiator between service providers. When times are tough you turn to those you can trust to see you through the hard times.

By the way, I made those statistics up.

7. Hard Facts - Hard choices

IT in 2012 is going to have to be able to objectively support every spending decision it makes There are going to be some very hard choices made as a result. There will be real pressure on internal  IT to demonstrate how it is adding value, and a shift towards outsourcers providing the bulk of utility IT services on a wholesale basis. Remember though, like quality, cheapness comes at a price.

8. ITIL is so 2011

Don't get me wrong, ITIL remains a useful resource, but people won't find the answers they need inside its pages. Some will be seduced by the lure of alternative frameworks "Yeah, we used to be an ITIL shop, but now we are Lean/Agile/whatever" and find too late that that they aren't the solution either. Expect to see successful ITSM practitioners looking for answers from their peer groups around the globe and to take charge of their own destiny. Expect them to make new demands on the ITSM training market, tool vendors and conferences.

9. A New Kind of Event

There are incredible pressures on budgets for training and conferences, and a nagging doubt in the minds of many over what value the current offerings are really delivering. Don't expect to see an out and out revolution in 2012, but do expect to see some of the established ITSM events asking some hard questions of themselves and making a real effort to adopt to new realities with more interaction, more ways for those who can't attend in person to participate. Above all else expect them to deliver more real world takeaway action points  that people can apply in the office on Monday morning. If they don't, then let people know and don't waste your money next year.

10. Same Old Same Old

Stephen Mann's blog will continue to be insanely popular. I will continue to say "I think" and "What's really interesting" far too many times on every single ITSMWPROW podcast. Service Now will still be thought of as the exciting new kid on the block whilst getting the bulk of corporate sales. The majority of ITSM practitioners will continue to believe that quick wins are the key to success rather than facing up to the need for fundamental changes. THE event of the ITSM year will be the Pink conference in Vegas, even though my invite must have got lost in the post this year.The ITskeptic will still be scaling the walls of Castle ITIL, even though he's been given the key. Someone, somewhere, will realise that all that time and money they've spent on building a CMDB has provided zero benefit and a week before Xmas 2012 a major high street name will have a major outage that will be traced to a change.

Remember if these things don't happen in 2012 it doesn't mean I'm wrong. 
It just means I'm still ahead of the curve.


  1. HOT HOT HOT, I wish you had more time off to write. LOVING your stuff more than ever.

  2. Thanks Chris. The blog is currently a triumph of multi-tasking and I just wish I had any time off. Expect more along these lines in the next year though.

  3. Very good. I have noticed 3,4 and 5 myself and been also trying to make people see those.


  4. Aale,

    I can honestly foresee something of an industry bloodbath if 5 isn't addressed. Pat Bolger sees self service as freeing up the service desk to do what they should be doing. I see it as potentially leading to massive reductions in service desk headcount, especially but not exclusively offshore.

    I can also honestly say that I feel a great temptation to talk about Help Desk 2.0 rather than Service Desk 2.0, but I guess the ITIL industry wouldn't thank me for that.

  5. Nice and clear globe view.. thanks.number on the top is going to be the most curious experience..this may trigger fundamental shift for IT service delivery models as well as new relationship dimensions between customers and service providers..I am excited about our sincere team attempt for this laboratory experience...Prashant Vora

  6. Keys? His Lordship came down from the castle to my shop in the village and asked me to make a decoration for the Great Hall. That hardly constitutes unfettered access.

    Cool predictions. I'm reading the Black Swan so I've gone off all prognostication; the IT Swami may have to go into retirement. On the other hand, it's irresistible isn't it?

    I'm looking forward to more insights in 2012

  7. Loved this post! Agree with you on the challenges faced by service desks in respect of shadow IT.

  8. I'd love to see a post on this as we near the end of the do you think these predictions worked out?

    I'm interested to see what you have to say about 2013.

  9. Stephen, I'm planning to do an end of year recap, but generally I think I was spot on as far as my own TCS world is concerned. I'm wondering if I still have time to place a bet on the last one.