Have you considered BI for IT Service Management?

A few months ago, I blogged about the fact that, while we were getting “excited” about Cloud and Social in the context of IT service management (ITSM), we were somewhat neglecting the impact of Mobile on our ability to deliver...

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A few months ago, I blogged about the fact that, while we were getting “excited” about Cloud and Social in the context of IT service management (ITSM), we were somewhat neglecting the impact of Mobile on our ability to deliver high-quality IT services ( Social? Cloud? What About Mobile?). At the time, with the title of the blog tantamount to IT buzzword bingo, I chuckled to myself that all I needed was to throw in a reference to Big Data and I could have called “house.” What do we do with all the data imprisoned within our ITSM tools? Big Data? No, not really, more BI While the Big Data perspective will be seen as a little too “large” from an ITSM tool data perspective (the Wikipedia definition of Big Data describes it as “data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time”), I can’t help think that these considerably smaller ITSM data sets are still ripe for the use of business intelligence (BI). We have so much valuable data stored within our ITSM tools and, while we leverage existing reporting and analysis capabilities to identify trends and snapshots such as Top 10 problem areas, do we really mine the ITSM tool data to the best of our ability? If we do (I can’t say I have had ITSM tool vendors making a song and dance about their capabilities), is it something that is both easy to implement and use? Why am I bringing this up now? Are things changing? Hopefully yes. Over the last couple of months, ITSM tool vendor RMS has been talking to me about (and demonstrating) their new ITSM offering RMS Vision. Powered by NeutrinoBI, it is described as an Agile or Self-Service BI solution that can be applied to any ITSM tool not just RMS’. The product blurb offers descriptive phrases such as:
  • “provides the ability to access and analyse all information immediately and intuitively.”
  • “make fast business decisions without cumbersome information collation.”
Whether it is using RMS Vision or another Self-Service BI tool, you can’t deny that there are many opportunities to make better use of all the information we store in our ITSM tools. What can I do? While there are obvious uses in the context of trends in volumes, response metrics, and costing information, I can see other, more interesting, uses such as:
  • Mining incident data as part of a service portfolio management or service catalogue creation exercise. Using service desk data to help create a service taxonomy; we have the former but often lack the latter.
  • Taking a detailed look at the incident classification hierarchy to understand its fitness-for-purpose and opportunities for “tweaking” that make it better suited to both operational use and back-end reporting and analysis.
I could go on (with a little more time to think) but I consider YOU far better positioned to consider, and to articulate, how we could best use BI for ITSM. So what do you currently do (by way of leveraging BI in the context of ITSM)? What would you like to do? The ITSM Community is far smarter than the combined analyst community, so throw me some ideas :) Posted by Stephen Mann