Thursday, 27 December 2012

ITSM Predictions for 2013

Last year’s post on my predictions for 2012 turned out be very popular. So I guess it is worth taking time to look back and say where I was right and where I have yet to be proved right. 

I’m going to make a smaller set of new predictions for 2013 because in some ways I think we’ll see more evolution than revolution.

So how did I do last year?

1. Service Integration

I predicted this to be big in 2012, and it was.

If you didn’t notice this then it is probably because many of the deals that were done in this domain remain under wraps for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that a lot of SI is being driven by commercially sensitive big business changes within the organisations that are adopting it.

I’m glad to say that TCS, and my team in Europe in particular, have been at the forefront but the reality is that SI remains relatively immature within the industry and so my follow on prediction for 2013 is that you will begin to see collaboration across suppliers to develop a standard framework for SI to make life easier for suppliers, third party advisers and for customers.

2. Service Architecture

My prediction was that we would see a realisation of the fundamental importance of understanding of how systems and IT services map on to business value networks and a higher profile for OBASHI and the emergence of a new breed of top down architect.

This was certainly backed up by my experience of the year as it unfolded with many of the deals I worked on being built around a joint ITSM and Architectural transformation. OBASHI has certainly become part of the IT lexicon even if many of us haven’t yet reached a final conclusion about its usefulness

3. Service Design

Sadly this was one of my misses. ITSM seems intent on remaining resolutely inside-out with the customer experience bolted on to the solution rather than driving the solution

4. Shadow IT 2.0

Perhaps it is just my perception but as the year has progressed I’ve seen a real shift away from “we won’t support BYOD” and towards “BYOD is a reality, so how do we support it?”

We’ve also seen a rise in consumer orientated cloud solutions which I suspect will have far-reaching implications for commercial use of the cloud.

My 2013 prediction is that we will see an increased number of SI deals where both the provisioning of the service and the business involvement in the management of services will be key factors , and a lot less fear and denial.

5. Service Desk 2.0

There is no doubt in my mind that 2012 is when self service came of age. It was notable at this year’s SDITS show that there had been a real sea change in people’s attitude towards it. It is also clear that it is very high up on the business customers’ wish lists.

In the UK the SDI seems to be going from strength to strength and becoming a much more authoritative and innovative organisation, building on the excellent foundations that have been established in recent years.
There is still a lot of work to be done in freeing up preconceptions and constraints about the role of the Service Deck that belong to the last century.

My 2013 prediction is that this will prove to be painful for the ITSM community and for individuals working in the Service Desk, but ultimately will prove to be empowering.

6. Soft Skills

I argued that in 2012 people would” 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.”

Again I can only speak from my own experience but time and again prospective clients echoed this message.  Not only that but I suspect several incumbent suppliers have had a wake-up call as they have lost  out to suppliers prepared to put effort into building relationship.

It was interesting as well to see the positive response Matt Burrows got whenever I saw him present on SFIA this year .

My prediction for 2013 is there will be a real focus on non-IT professional skills within the Retained Organisation, such as vendor management.

7. Hard Facts - Hard choices

I said “ 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.”

So just substitute 2013 for 2012 and it will hold good for next year as well.

8. ITIL is so 2011

OK, I’m not sure if when I wrote this prediction I knew quite what Aale Roos had in store for us with his approach to Unlearning ITIL, or as he might say

“Älä kuuntele kaikkea tuota hullua ITIL juttua”

Nor did I see the violently emotional reaction this would provoke, primarily in those with British blood and of a certain age. I’ll be honest I don’t think it showed us in a good light, especially when other countries seemed to get where Aale is coming from.

I’ve inadvertently become a bit of an apologist for Unlearning ITIL. Unfortunately I think many who are criticising it are not listening to what is actually being said, and are defending aspect of ITIL based on what they would like to be true about ITIL rather than reality itself.

That reality is that ITIL, and the current official ITIL training, isn’t really that useful to those who most need it. That is those who are just starting out on the ITSM journey and need sound basic advice, and those faced with new ITSM challenges associated with new technologies and delivery models.

My predictions for 2013 in this are that we will see more ITSM activity that pays no more than lip service to ITIL, increased interest in COBIT5, and some increasingly angry comments from people who really should be worrying about their blood pressure these days.

9. A New Kind of Event

My prediction was “ 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. “
I always find it hard judging ITSM events in retrospect. As I’ve said so often on the podcasts I’m very aware that I’m not the target audience for most conferences, but I think this came partially true. 

The big new event, at least as far as the ITSM social media community was concerned was TFT12, which did indeed set out to be intrinsically different and it will be interesting to see where the concept leads.

10. Same Old Same Old

Oddly enough if I messed up anywhere with last year’s predictions I think it was in this section, except that Stephen Mann’s blog remains very popular and yes we had some major outages in the run up to the holidays.

New Predictions for 2013

Notwithstanding what I’ve said about Stephen Mann’s blog I think we are seeing the death of the individual consistently influential ITSM blog. There is still some very high quality material being pushed out on blogs, but day to day ITSM reading for many will be based on the ITSM communities with blogs only attracting interest when a post is particularly important.

I have a suspicion, and it is no more than that at the moment, that cost models capacity management and contract management will be hot topics.  I’m also tempted to suggest that 2013 will be the year of IT Governance as a truly mainstream topic.

And  remember if these things don't happen in 20123 it doesn't mean I'm wrong.

It just means I'm still ahead of the curve, for yet another year.

For two alternative views of 2013 I recommend Stephen Mann's Challenges for 2013 and the musings  the ever amusing IT Swami shared with Rob England.


  1. "day to day ITSM reading for many will be based on the ITSM communities with blogs only attracting interest when a post is particularly important." Writing your own death warrant? :) You are spot on, I'm seeing this.

    But I would make one modification: the blog is still important as the SOURCE of content, just not as the CHANNEL for its dispersion.

    1. Rob,

      Agreed, and the digital persona of the blog creator extends into the distributed world. Doers it matter if I publish something here, or on G+ or the FB group if it is still recognizably me?

      I tend to use the blog now only for content that I don't think is really mainstream, or, conversely, that I think is so importnat that I want it to be heard without interruption.

    2. And meant to add...

      The question perhaps is how will new voices come to heard and treated as reliable and adding value. My concern remains that there are some voices out there who are more interested in the SocMed part of the equation than the ITSM part.

  2. We would like to see more on the Service Integration part. I am really interested in working on Vendor / Supplier Management (I have worked only at the OLA level till date) and how it evolves more into ITSM. We are waiting :)

    1. Suman,

      We have several large accounts where we are operating this model. Contact me on our internal email and I'll give you some background

  3. I've thought COBIT would take hold for years now and that really hasn't happened. I am not thinking it will this year either.

    I took part of a ITSM Salary Survey through Plexent. The results were just emailed to me. One of the more interesting bits were the certifications held by the respondents.

    A sample - 624 total participants in the survey.

    409 - ITIL Foundations
    116 - ITIL Expert
    99 - PMP
    84 - ITIL v1/v2 Service Manager
    37 - COBIT Foundation
    13 - Prince2 Foundation

    Only 37 out of 600 plus ITSM professionals that participated in this survey have COBIT (of any version) certification. Now, of course, you can be COBIT aware, even proficient without the certification - but the certification should serve as a indicator of how that information/skill is perceived.

    It isn't very high. I don't imagine this year will make it different. Maybe there will be some inroads - but it won't suddenly overtake ITIL...for better or worse.

    I threw in the PMP vs Prince2 just in case Rob England stops by...I know he thinks Prince2 should overtake PMP - but again...not likely, at least here in America.

  4. First of all apologies for late reply.

    It is important we remember that COBIT isn't just an ITSM model. If you surveyed ISACA members I';m sure you would see the proportions pretty much reversed.

    Personally I see less and less value in the members of my team being ITIL qualified (and let us be really honest about the value of the Foundation - it is a piece of paper)