Category Archives: Bright Horse

  • Why you’ll never ‘be ready’ to improve user experience

    Bright Horse

    We continue to enjoy running half-day workshops across the UK, designed to explore the steps required to build towards pro-active service delivery that prioritises driving value around user experience. At these events we discuss how to shift from service level agreements (SLAs) to experience level agreements (XLAs).

    The discussions our workshops foster, coupled with attendee feedback, show that organisations are at varying stages of this transformation and that it requires a cultural step-change in thinking – Nexthinking you could say!

    “Really great ideas to implement into the XLA journey’ Wolseley Group”

    A quote often attributed to Henry Ford is ‘if I had asked people what they wanted, it would have been faster horses’, and our esteemed industry colleague Paul Wilkinson has a great quote about CSI, that ‘continual improvement of the candle did not invent the light bulb’.

    For us this symbolises service delivery keeping IT in reactive, fire-fighting mode, versus taking steps to improve user experience in a proactive way, that better aligns IT to the business.
    It requires a different way of thinking, after all “the thinking that got you to where you are now, won’t get you to where you need to be”

    Does your current service model and technology allow you to effectively measure end user experience in real time, from the employee’s perspective? Focus tends to be on issues reported to the service desk, but how many are never reported? What if degraded performance has become the norm? The perception of IT is also degraded. When your users don’t bother to complain anymore – because there is no point – you are not winning the service journey.

    So when is the right time to make the shift? Afterall, IT cannot fire-fight their way to continual improvement, it requires a decision today to take the first step in a new direction.
    Nexthink empowers organisations to gain full visibility into user experience and where to improve. Their digital experience score provides IT with a single score out of 10 that comprises rich data and real user feedback to inform IT where to make pro-active changes that will boost employee IT experience, and increase productivity and engagement.

    With our most recent roadshow sessions stopping in London and Leeds, we look forward to meeting with more organisations in Manchester in September, and Edinburgh in December. Reserve your free ticket today and become part of the journey.

    • Can chatbots really improve digital employee experience?

      Bright Horse

      Bright Horse always look for new innovations, tools and services that can help our customers on their service maturity journey.

      Everywhere, the talk is of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and NLP (Natural language processing), and the rise of chatbots and virtual agents are seen as core routes to improving the experience of IT support for today’s workforce.

      So where do you need to be on the maturity journey for chatbots to be appropriate and how do they improve and modernise IT support as we currently know it?

      Nexthink recently published an article ‘Evolving Digital Employee Experience – The Next Generation of Chatbots is Powered with Actionable Insight’ which is relevant as we are currently running a series of events with Nexthink entitled – From Service To Experience, which charts the IT maturity path from ‘chaos’ to optimisation’ and all the steps in between. Book Now

      The bigger reason this is so relevant, is that our customers ask “what must we have in place to make this a reality?”.

      According to Gartner analysts, “By 2021, more than 50 percent of enterprises will be spending more per annum on bots and chatbot creations than on traditional mobile app developers”.

      What abilities, capabilities, technologies and supporting processes should be embedded to ensure the adoption of new technologies delivers not only on ROI but on results and business objectives for improved productivity and experience?

      At the most basic level, surely it has to be about the quality of the underlying data used to inform the chatbots. The integration of front-end communication channels can only satisfy user requests if they are able to access information that is accurate. There is a technical requirement to integrate chatbots to an existing ITSM tool (suite) or new toolset for any organisation, but also to have real time information feeding it that provides the required level of service expected by users.

      Service requests are primarily managed by the service desk and therefore whichever chatbot technology is chosen, it must route users seamlessly if it cannot answer the question through the appropriate escalations to match their expectations. People don’t want to be ‘passed around’ from one support channel to another, for example, from self-service, to email, to telephone.

      The beauty of Nexthink technologies is that it provides the ability to find and fix issues and incidents faster than ever possible with a traditional tool, because it views the infrastructure from the end points’ perspective; back in towards IT, rather from an IT perspective out. It informs the ITSM tool and the chatbot about the user’s equipment and devices, which applications and versions of software are installed, as well as connectivity.

      If it is possible to automate a higher percentage of low level, manual repetitive tasks and queries, then perhaps staff can be freed up to focus on the higher value work, making everyone more productive and cost effective! That would then be a very positive outcome for the overall employee experience.

      There is a great BrightTALK webinar—it’s free to sign up to the platform if you are not already—called ‘The Bots Are Coming! An overview of Virtual Agents and How They Modernize Support’ by Richard Graves of Luma.

      If you want to talk to us about how we help you with any aspect of your IT service maturity journey (regardless of where you are) we would be delighted to help you identify which of our automation partners can help you to deliver your business outcomes for employee experience.

      • How Does ITIL4 Help Digital Workplace Experience?

        Bright Horse

        If the premise of ITIL® was always to ensure that IT services were fit for quality and purpose and ensured business would remain competitive and responsive– it is safe to say there have been a few issues with it over the past few years.

        Many IT practitioners become obsessed with ITIL for ITIL sake – and lose sight of the overall purpose of the framework. Lots of emphasis on qualifications over practical application. Many clients want to know which version of the framework or which books you can now find Change Management in! Why is this relevant if the purpose is to improve services. Who cares which version it is, or which book its in – or whether it was in the original library and made a come back two versions later. Surely the point is as above – every organisation must design their services to suit the size, scale and complexity of the business they support – or what is the point?

        There is increasing interest in the relevance of IT Service Management as we move into the digital era with promises of AI and Cognitive Automation, but surely the point is that business must adapt and survive, or die in a world where start-ups now seem to have the agile advantage over the very large corporates who struggle to adjust. So, if Service Management supports that objective, then surely it’s still relevant?

        Historically we have seen the use (or misuse) of SLA’s – Service Level Agreements. These are now being superseded by Experience Level Agreements (XLA’s) – does this mean IT is finally listening to its customers? The new outside in view of IT Service is being driven primarily by a new generation and workforce of technically savvy demanding employees who don’t care what KPI’s IT has written – they are all about the PRODUCTIVITY. Can they do their jobs? Surely it was always about this.

        So, whether you are a supporter or vehement hater of ITIL and all that has gone before in versions 1-3 – does version 4 serve a purpose that is current, valid and that offers REAL value to the organisations who intend to adopt the principles? I decided to take a look to see what I could establish as it is still early days.

        Using an integrated framework approach this new version of ITIL acknowledges almost all business processes are now digital and focus has to be on value delivery from the service provider, incorporating many concepts from DevOps, LEAN and Agile. Value is a core area of focus for this new version. Increasing speed, reducing cost and improving quality are the key areas delivered through a LEAN approach. These are all necessary to meet the challenges businesses are facing today. The premise of DevOps was to create a culture of collaboration in consistently siloed teams and ways of working.

        As the environment and workforce demand more and at greater speed – traditional IT may struggle to keep up and the customers will find alternative service suppliers – shadow IT is becoming more and more of an issue – but this is due to a lack of delivering VALUE to the organisation. The focus of v3 was on processes – 26 of them no less. The new version looks more at what capabilities are required for IT to service and enable the business. One of my previous blogs talked about how many frameworks now exist and how tribal people have been about the adoption of these in isolation. The value comes with the integration of lots of principles which is where ITIL4 has aimed.

        ITIL was always good at saying WHAT should be done – it didn’t tell HOW that should happen which created issues for many organisations who then sought external assistance. The Service Value System is a central tenet, holistic thinking around how all the parts of any system need to work together.

        It seems to have included the concept of managing projects and building and developing software products or services into the framework rather than it sitting outside of the framework.

        Process has evolved to become practices, something that IT needs to be good at. There are 34 basic practices broken into 3 key areas, general business, service management and technical categories into logical groupings. Additions include organisational change, talent management and risk. Some have updates such as relationship management. Ultimately the Service Value Chain crosses many practices to deliver value.

        So whilst bringing together multiple frameworks might elevate the value proposition – how that translates to delivering VALUE to customers who in turn are trying to deliver VALUE internally has yet to be seen!

        I believe the guiding principles are valid, however all of this still relies on organisational culture, great leadership, collaboration, communication and co-operation across current organisation structures not necessarily aligned with shared vision or objectives. Overcoming this is paramount to whether adoption of ITIL4 happens – much as it was with ITIL 1, 2 and 3 -in my opinion!

        Would love to hear our customers opinions on this subject.

        ITIL® – “ITIL® is a (registered) Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.”

        • From Service To Experience

          Bright Horse

          Bright Horse recently ran an event based on the Service Maturity journey, talking about how to move from Chaos and Reactive support, to an Automated environment and Optimised support to deliver an excellent digital employee experience.

          When we look at the characteristics of each of these maturity stages, organisations are able to recognise where they are in their own journey.

          There is a new area of focus emerging for ITSM, as technology has moved on in orders of magnitude and this coincides with the launch of the new ITIL 4 model for the digital era.

          Employees are put first, as an outside in perspective of how they experience the technology they use in the workplace. Bearing in mind most people’s expectations are now driven by the technology they consume on a personal level. Cloud based apps, no ownership of data and immediate response and delivery of service. This is usually not the experience they receive in the workplace, where often response times to requests or issues take a long time to resolve, IT are reactive, and systems are unstable, slow or unavailable when needed.

          Combine the fact that employees only use the Service Desk when there is a problem and it is a short step to IT being identified AS the problem.

          IT needs to move from the fire-fighting mentality – to one of the fire prevention officer, to look at a more proactive approach that comes with well-trained IT teams who collaborate, have the right tools and robust fit-for-purpose tools in place that facilitate proactive support.

          On average, research shows that UK workers lose 9 days per year due to technology troubles. However hard downtime metrics are only part of the problem, there are issues with focus when people are constantly interrupted and attention is shifted – it is difficult to recover and when this happens repeatedly – productivity is significantly reduced.

          IT need to understand whether the ITSM tool (Cherwell etc) they have in place is fit for purpose, does it facilitate not only servicing requests and incidents, but also Problem Management as this is one of the next steps into proactive support.

          The key issue with statistics is that they don’t capture the whole issue. Firstly, the tool cannot collate all of the data to present a view of what the users experience on a daily basis. Secondly employees don’t report many of the issues they have with technology and applications. If their applications are constantly crashing they may well be rebooting on a daily basis, and IT have no sight of this. Lastly Service Level Agreements historically have been written by IT and for IT, knowing they can achieve them, rather than it being an agreement of what the business needs.

          A service level can be achieved an show ‘green’ for IT performance KPI’s but the degraded levels of service may mean the employee experience is a world away from satisfied.

          The next generation of service tools such as Nexthink, are able to capture and process data from employee end points and analyse it so that support and resolution can be delivered BEFORE the employee has called to register their complaints. This collector and data analysis allows IT to see what is happening from the employees perspective – IN REAL TIME.

          No lagging reports with data a month or 3 out of date, this is real time analytics that show the health of the employees experience from every connected part of their experience from their device all the way back into the data centre. It can help with device performance, productivity tools such as office 365, and combine hard scores with employee sentiment – collected at the point of experience.

          Nexthink have a Digital Experience score which is used alongside Hard Metrics to provide a more accurate representation of the customers experience.

          Combine all of this with a need to ensure IT staff are trained in good Customer Service to ensure they have the Essential Skills needed to deliver a positive personal experience each time they interact with a customer – they need to communicate, to manage expectation, treat customers with respect, be available and speak the customers language.

          The definition of Experience is something that leaves an impression on someone.

          The definition of Empathy is seeing something from the other persons Experience.

          IT needs to get much better at delivering a quality Experience that supports workplace productivity and leaves an excellent lasting impression!

          • From Service To Experience – The journey from chaos to optimised!

            Bright Horse

            Over the past 30 years we have often discussed elements of IT Service Management maturity with our clients, whether related to tools, process or change, but now we are talking more and more frequently about the overall maturity of the services – as they relate to the ability to deliver what the business needs in the digital era.

            There are other maturity models that can be referenced, such as Business Relationship Management (BRM) and the maturity of the alignment with the business. We are talking here specifically about the maturity of managing the services.

            IT historically had technical, infrastructure-based focus, and IT Service management evolved to align closer to the business with a service focus, but with that shift has also come an inward focused view.

            Service level agreements are needed as part of the journey to maturity – but may mean the efforts of service delivery are focused on how well IT perform – regardless of how the customers or end users are experiencing that service.

            If Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) have been created from an IT perspective with no real view of the priorities of the business services – the targets set and reports on those achieving and those breaching targets – may bear no relation whatsoever to the experience of those using the services.

            An example of this is the reporting of ‘degradation of service’ still showing services as available and running within the parameters set and measured whether they align with timings, critical business periods and outages for the customers or not – the customers perspective and experience is not visible to IT within this reporting mechanism (especially if they don’t report to the service desk and are not asked for their feedback).

            The risk for IT in this scenario is that the customers are wholly dissatisfied with the service at certain points in time – and this level of potential misunderstanding means the reputation of IT as a whole is based upon their daily experience at the desktop – justified or otherwise.

            The evolution of digital transformation and the business demand for services in the enterprise that match the personal experience – means there is now an increasing focus on Experience Level Agreement (XLA’s) and the customer.

            Experience Level Agreements and Digital End User Experience is one of the subjects we will be covering at our upcoming event – ‘From Service To Experience’

            If you are interested to find out what this means in relation to your maturity as a service provider – click here and take a look at the agenda and register your place now – seats are limited!

            • Thinking Differently – SLA to XLA?

              Bright Horse

              Moving from reactive to proactive IT Services?

              Many IT teams are working ‘flat out’ just to keep the infrastructure running, and even with a state of the art ITSM implementation – still can’t get beyond the basic processes of Incident, Request, Problem and Change Management. Even in those areas, practitioners face real challenges and a lack of ownership, discipline, understanding or ‘care’ means IT service can still seem pretty poor in the eyes of the customers.

              If the majority of time is spent re-actively responding to issues with the infrastructure – how refreshing would it be to proactively reduce incidents and identify trends and problems – BEFORE the customer has decided they are unhappy enough with it to call the Service Desk.

              Research has shown that many unsatisfactory breaks in productivity are not even reported for resolution – if the impression of IT or the Service Desk is that they are incompetent and unresponsive – the chances are the users will perform their own reboot and fix the issue themselves – whilst IT are none the wiser of issue.  If all of these ‘minor’ incidents were extrapolated across the employees within the organisation – what would that look like in lost time and money?

              What if you could find a solution that would allow you to see the following:

              – Clarity on wasted salaries paid to employees unable to work?
              – Potential issues or success levels for a recent migration project?
              – The lifespan and performance of certain types of hardware and allow for memory upgrades rather than expensive hardware refresh across the entire organisation – because it has been depreciated on the books?
              – How many employees had disabled their anti-virus or malware software creating a breach of policy and security risk for the organisation?

              What if you could see things differently? What if there was a way of collecting information from every connected end point on the network that sent real time performance information to an engine that feeds a dashboard showing the real health of the IT estate? What if you had a tool that could overlay all the process functionality in your chosen ITSM tool – and collate real time, leading indicators and analytics about the performance of IT and the customers ‘real’ experience?

              Surely this would be a step forward for service maturity giving better indicators than monthly management reports, lagging by at least one month which focus on the performance of the Service Desk against KPI’s than the actual productivity experience within the business. Is this the start of the next big thing? A time where experience level agreements are given priority over service level agreements…

              If you think this is something to consider and resonates – perhaps you should join us for our next FREE event – register here, places are limited!

               

               

              • Time To Change Those Working Habits?

                Bright Horse

                ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit’.
                – Aristotle

                Happy New Year and all the very best for 2019!

                As we enter the new year full of positive enthusiasm for what might be – or trepidation of those events which may unfold at an economic level – we are only able to control one thing. How we respond to events. This is true for every individual. We cannot control external events, world politics, tragedy, death or the day to day uncertainty of business. But the one thing we CAN control is how we decide to respond to the ups and downs and ever-changing speed at which the world evolves.

                Changing habits is a popular and growing field of personal development. Equipping individuals whether leaders or new team members with the skills to better adapt to changing environments and conditions can deliver huge benefits. At a company level this equates to the collective ability to change and adapt – which in turn dictates culture and the cultural norms of an organisation.

                Neuroscience and the NeuroLeadership Institute, shows that an increased focus on this area brings tangible performance benefits. If you foster an environment where failure is a lesson, you earn or you learn, where ideas are shared openly and feedback is fostered from all directions and used to drive improvements – then you drive true cultural change. An open, honest environment where everyone is respected will create a far more driven, positive and engaged culture than one where people are scared to say what could really work better.

                As with personal change its all about daily habits. You need to identify those which serve you – and perhaps those that don’t. As humans we seek the security and certainty that comes with the familiar, if we can translate this into the workspace and apply the principles of personal change to corporate change – the results will be clear to see.

                Think about what could be done differently consistently and daily to affect a different outcome. Focus on the solutions rather than the problems and ensure that acceptable and desired behaviours are encouraged and reinforced. Often times people will tolerate people who create a negative desired effect internally as they ‘do a good job’, perhaps this should be reviewed as part of performance to encourage the right behaviours and to set the intention and tone for all members of staff.

                Any programme of transformation or change requires focus not only on the technological enhancements and subsequent process redesign, but most importantly on the impact that changing working practices has on the people. Understand this and communicate well and improvement programmes will be greatly improved!

                • Is ITSM still relevant in the Digital Age?

                  Bright Horse

                  Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?

                  Why does IT always show up after the event?

                  The Bright Horse team have just returned from ITSM18 – the theme of the event and the big question being asked was ‘is IT Service Management still relevant in the age of Digital Customer Experience?’

                  Tony Price of Virtual Clarity and David D’Agostino of Nexthink did a great session entitled ‘Experience Level Agreements: Kicking the KPI habit’…and in that session Tony identified that shift left has been (mis)used to represent the passing of IT issues to the customer by way of self-service – all the while adding to the ongoing obsession with fixing issues – rather than preventing them.

                  We are having the same conversations at these events that we were having 20 years ago. Why are organisations still experiencing the same issues?

                  David alluded to the context for this in that employees & customers have an experience of technology at home like a luxury dream-liner and go to work and experience that of an old army aircraft.

                  The enraged customer is becoming more prevalent and people are working in sub optimal environments. Service desk generally hear about issues reactively – people will have complained to everyone including the CIO before issues are registered, by which time they are enraged.

                  Productivity in the workplace is a huge issue. The average UK worker loses about 9 days per year due to technology issues.  Extrapolate that out to the number of employees and average salaries and you are beginning to get a view on one cost element of downtime, outages and a lack of system and service availability.

                  Instead of focusing upon the creation of endless KPI reports, detailing irrelevant metrics, which takes man hours, if not days of peoples’ valuable time, why doesn’t IT focus upon a proactive approach that has prevention as a critical success factor?

                  The digital customer experience is still an experience. An experience is consumed, it creates a feeling within someone. A positive feeling is a positive outcome for a service provider. Emphasis is usually placed on automating the service though the use of tools and processes to remove manual steps. Emphasis should also be placed upon the human element of any service. This could be to free up our most valuable assets at the support end to focus on higher value complex tasks, giving them greater motivation and job satisfaction. Whilst the ability to pre-empt customer issues and to resolve them before an experience becomes negative, is very powerful in positioning IT as a proactive, coordinated, intelligent function that has its customers at is core.

                  We strive to help our clients improve services in IT, from a people, process and technology perspective. We have partners with excellent tools that can offer automation at the service desk, for Service Request, Incident and Change management, but also that can support and underpin Problem Management, Capacity, Availability and Service Asset & Configuration – managing the estate, hardware, software, licensing – to ensure a better all round experience for the customer.

                  For further information on how we can help you to improve or automate services and to engage and develop your employees, get in touch and see how we can help.

                   






                  • Science and the 5 Second Rule

                    Bright Horse

                    We are constantly faced with competing priorities – especially in the workplace.  For many this results in overwhelm, procrastination and an inability to make a decision and move forward.

                    A number of issues impact a persons ability to make a decision. No clear vision or clarity around business priorities renders many employees unable to easily make a decision.

                    People have anxiety around making the ‘wrong’ decision. Perhaps the result of a ‘full blame culture’ and the associated consequences of that!

                    If you understand key priorities and still struggle to make a decision, perhaps you use distraction techniques to avoid the responsibility for making a decision.  People achieve many things whilst avoiding doing the ‘important’ thing.

                    So, in my pursuit of finding out what makes it easier for people to make a decision – apart from

                    – Clear Vision

                    – Good Direction

                    – Great Leadership

                    – Management Support

                    – Supportive ‘No Blame’ Culture

                    I found a range of techniques – one of which resonated with me. It’s the 5 Second Rule. A principle, which became a book, which has become a worldwide movement, developed by Mel Robbins.

                    The principle is very, very simple in its nature. Which most successful things are.  When faced with a decision, count down 5,4,3,2,1 then go. Make the decision and take the necessary action. Don’t think about it, don’t over analyse – you’ve no doubt heard of analysis paralysis. Don’t run all potential disaster scenarios in your mind. Just count down and go!

                    Mel Robbins states that it is not the actual task we are avoiding but the perceived stress involved with the task, therefore procrastination is like a coping mechanism. By taking action we are facing the task head on and breaking the cycle.

                    Neuroscience backs up the process. In his article on the same subject – Thomas Koulopoulos states – ‘What’s fascinating about this impulse-driven sort of decision making is that it is rooted in some pretty deep science. Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist doing research on how we make decisions, claims that our emotional decision making is just as important as our more rational and analytical decision making. In fact, if that part of your brain dedicated to gut reaction along with the emotions of punishment and reward (the prefrontal cortex and its orbitofrontal cortex) is damaged, you will get stuck making even the simplest decisions

                    You may be thinking well this is not appropriate for the level of decisions I have to make in my day to day working life – but it applies at all levels and to all areas of our life.

                    I once did a fire-walk across hot coals. The purpose? Well for me it was about confronting a massive fear and seeing how that feels. The real purpose of the exercise is to re-affirm the importance of taking the first step – getting into action.

                    Practical knowledge and formal risk analysis is important, but as with all improvements – it always, always starts with the first step!

                    Whatever you’ve been procrastinating on – 5,4,3,2,1 go make that decision!

                    • An Interview with Tony Price, Principal Consultant for Virtual Clarity

                      Bright Horse
                      Tony Price, IT4IT™ Open Group, Principal Consultant, Virtual Clarity

                      With a stated passion for driving value realisation and differentiation through the exploitation of Information Technology, over the past 30 years Tony has become recognised in the industry for his knowledge and experience in IT Service Management. Mainly due to his personal involvement in large scale global transformation programmes.

                      More recently Tony has become an advocate and practitioner of IT4IT™ from the Open Group® as he states this brings together the “missing link” in IT – a Reference Architecture, Value Based thinking and a far more prescriptive approach to running the business of IT.

                      Having worked across all industry sectors, regularly Global CIO / VP levels within the organisation he has a range of specialities that include (but are not limited to!): IT Operating Models, IT Transformation programmes, ITIL / IT Service Management deployments, Process Engineering (Design and Deployment), CMMi, Cultural Change, Management of organisational change, Business development.

                      Continuing the exploration of the multitude of frameworks available – Tony kindly took time out to speak to us about IT4IT in order that we could try to help our customers better understand the principles behind the framework.

                      How did you become involved with IT4IT?

                      I was late to IT4IT having been involved mainly in ITIL. When I was introduced to it, IT4IT version 1 was largely complete. My immediate reaction to it was “this is brilliant”.

                      The Open Group realised that the IT industry was not well controlled, vendors were dominating the space and telling people what methods to use and what tools to buy, but many of the tools would not integrate very well and only provided a point solution. IT people were also chasing the trendiest thing, Big Data, DevOps, buying new tools and creating new processes etc, and it was becoming a mess. This allowed IT to effectively take its eye off the ball and  I think IT has focused its efforts on the wrong place, for example we have a whole industry around Service desk because we are poor at IT rather than improving IT so there were no failures or incidents!’

                      How is it relevant in todays environment?

                      Tectonic shifts happen because of numerous global conditions all coming together at once – and we are now there in IT:

                      – Science fiction and science fact have begun to align
                      – Technology can deliver what was once visionary
                      – Bots now speak to bots
                      – There is social and economic revolution due to world economics
                      – And most importantly there is a community of people capable of accepting and exploiting the latest technologies (millennial’s)

                      We are also trying to fix the old technology with the existing frameworks instead of looking to the future and new approaches.

                      So, compare traditional organisations to digital start-ups with no legacy in today’s economy – and people are asking why we can’t be like that?’

                      ‘The premise behind IT4IT was that you would build a reference architecture for building and setting up IT properly. It is about making the standards work, within IT4IT there are references to other approaches, naming ITIL, COBIT, ETOM etc’

                      So what exactly is IT4IT?

                      IT4IT was designed for the business of IT. The goal was not to come up with something revolutionary but to look at existing best practices, such as Michael Porter, Value based thinking, then Value Chains broken down into Value Streams – then broken into IT streams and analysed it.

                      There are 4 core value streams with a backbone of supporting activities, based around the IT Value Chain:

                      – Strategy to portfolio – Drive IT Portfolio to business innovation
                      – Requirement to Deploy – Build what the business needs when it needs it
                      – Request to Fulfill– how to catalog, fulfil and manage service usage
                      – Detect to Connect – Anticipate and resolve production issues

                      The great thing about IT4IT is the key industry themes such as Security, DevOps, IOT, Cloud can be applied to a single structured reference architecture.

                      What are the main benefits over other frameworks?

                      The Functional Components defined in IT4IT have information flows identified between them – it is cutting down the number of integration points, so vendors can better map their technology to them. This enables organisations to rationalising the number of tools used to run IT, reduce cost and operational risk.  Also, many organisations have integrated solution because they can rather than by design creating an over complex, over integrated, sub optimised IT landscape. IT4IT helps organisations to recognise this and simplify whilst “making IT Flow”.

                      When you look at outsourcing contracts often companies are paying for multiple contracts to run the same services and do the same things. When contacts are overlaid onto IT4IT this becomes obvious, so again you can optimise things ensuring you are paying once and using many.

                      Another great benefit from IT4IT is you can see when over optimisation creates systemic waste for example when organisations become obsessed with having the best point solution in the world at the expense of the other solutions that need to integrate. That is what this tries to address along with Kanban, Lean etc.

                      I am extremely passionate about IT4IT – but do I think it will be relevant in ten years – no – its helping people reduce cost and increase efficiency now whilst we wait for the next generation technology and the next generation of Operating models and associated architectural reference models.

                      So who are the Open Group?

                      The Open Group member organisations work to establish open, vendor-neutral IT standards and certifications in a variety of subject areas critical to the enterprise. http://www.opengroup.org/

                      The Open Group IT4IT™ Reference Architecture is a standard reference architecture for managing the business of IT. It uses a value chain approach to create a model of the functions that IT performs to help organisations identify the activities that contribute to business competitiveness. http://www.opengroup.org/it4it/about

                      So what is needed for the future?

                      An audience capable of accepting change – inviting in the younger, up and coming individuals to innovate and bring new ways of working and challenge the norm. I personally like the concept of fail fast, learn, move on – you learn more through failure than success. Bringing in new ways of working and a new audience that will challenge the norm is key for the future.

                      Thank-you Tony for your time.