Business service management adoption growing: Forrester

ICT management standards such as BSM and ITIL are tipped to become more widely adoped

There is an encouraging move internationally towards getting better control of ICT and making sure it provides relevant services to the business, according to analyst firm Forrester. At any rate, this is true of large companies, the firm has found.

In a survey earlier this year of companies with an annual turnover of US$1 billion (NZ$1.5 billion) or more, Forrester found a large proportion either implementing or planning to implement such changes as IT asset management, service-level management, ITIL, a configuration management database or business service management (BSM).

Forrester has ranked the changes in order of indicative maturity of the ICT operation and claims to show the lower-level measures such as IT asset management will be adopted by the vast majority of companies by 2010. The proportions tail off as more mature changes are measured. Only 30% of companies aim to implement full BSM by 2010 and only 12% see themselves having achieved fully “integrated” ICT management by that date.

Forrester sees the ICT operation moving through five stages of increasing maturity — chaotic, reactive, stable, proactive and predictive.

“Proactive” means dealing with potential problems before they arise but in a “predictive” mode, said BMC Australia-New Zealand country manager Mike Davies, speaking to Computerworld at a recent BMC conference in Sydney. That means foreseeing precisely how service can be improved in the longer term and instituting changes in ICT to serve that goal, he says.

Working the various changes into those five stages shows clear progress towards a predictive environment, Forrester says.

The sample of companies is international but “centred on North America”, Davies says.

Closer to home, Peter Cross of the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) talked at the conference about IT service management adoption in Australia. A survey of 80 companies was done in August this year at an itSMF Australia conference and analysed by the University of Southern Queensland.

Only 3% of the sample claimed to have fully implemented ITIL, but 22% had “largely” implemented it and 48% “partially”. All of the companies had at least started on implementation.

Improving the focus of ICT on services to the business was cited by 81% of the sample as one of the main aims of adopting a service-oriented view of ICT. This goal was well in the lead, with the next being cost reduction, cited by 25%. One company apparently did not know why it was making the changes.

Asked what the essential factors were to adopt a service management approach successfully, companies cited top management commitment, the presence of a “champion” to drive change and an understanding of business needs as their top three factors.

Already, says BMC’s Davies, “most tender documents we see express a clear preferences for suppliers who have implemented ITIL. He predicts that many tender issuers, seeking clearer evidence of progress, will prefer suppliers who have been formally certified to the ISO/IEC 20000 standard, an IT management standard recently published by the International Standards Organisation.

Bell travelled to Sydney courtesy of BMC

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