Case Study: Unifying ITSM Practices and Technology

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1 Case Study: Unifying ITSM Practices and Technology SBM Offshore Reference Code: EI Publication Date: 17 Jun 2014 Author: Adam Holtby SUMMARY Catalyst As a result of corporate expansions, mergers, and acquisitions, the teams and technologies that support an organization's IT service management (ITSM) practices can over time become somewhat dispersed. Supporting an organization's strategic objectives, and providing consistent and quality IT support is essential, but this can be challenging where disconnected support environments exist. While physically centralizing support is not always possible, nor is it always desirable, delivering a consistent and high-quality service to business users certainly is. The challenge in achieving this is often in encouraging dispersed support teams in the use of common best practices and, where relevant, technology that can help them achieve the desired outcomes and deliver more valuable and actionable insight. Key findings Support channels that facilitate a faster response can improve the value proposition of IT as a whole. When rolling out new technology across a variety of dispersed functions, it is important to have a team leading the project that is both aware and considerate of the varying needs of those using the technology. Self-service and automation technologies can help provide first-line analysts with opportunities to engage in second and third-line support activities. Technology alone will not help IT teams improve ITIL process maturity or the way in which the IT department ultimately helps the business execute against strategic objectives. Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 1

2 Ovum view Reducing IT-related costs and maximizing resources is often the promise of effective IT self-service. However, realizing this can be difficult and will require investment in more than just new technology. It can be especially difficult for organizations that adopt multiple ITSM technologies, because the branding of service catalog solutions can become inconsistent, and multiple knowledge bases can become established that require a duplication of efforts to maintain. Embracing a more unified approach across various support teams can help ensure that the level of service delivered is of a consistent standard, which is beneficial to those both delivering and receiving IT support. Development of a single IT self-service portal was not the only key objective that oil platform leasing firm SBM Offshore SBM Offshore hoped to achieve with this project. However, the Netherlands-based company recognized that different teams were delivering levels of support that varied in terms of quality. The support teams were of various levels of maturity, and as a result, service quality across the group was inconsistent. Through educating teams on common best practices that the group wanted to establish, and with the help of frameworks such as ITIL, SBM Offshore succeeded in improving its capability to deliver consistent levels of service and support across all sites, and therefore to users supported worldwide. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENTERPRISES Key lessons learned The deployment of the solution highlighted the importance of how people, processes, and technology can be effectively exploited in positioning IT departments as true business-enablers. SBM Offshore identified how support channels that facilitated more rapid response times could improve the value proposition of IT to the business. In delivering on this ideal, SBM Offshore recognized and understood that it was not technology alone that would result in the company achieving its objectives, and that culture, working practices, and functional structures would also have to be considered and improved upon where required. When rolling out new technology across a variety of dispersed functions, it is also important that the team leading the project is both aware and considerate of the varying needs of those using the technology. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to fully embrace any new technology, so cultural considerations must also be made. Providing a platform of communication where discussions may be held relating to this potential obstacle can be a valuable first step while also aiding continuous improvement efforts relating to the technology over the long term. SOLUTION SELECTION Background SBM Offshore is a leader in floating production and mooring systems. The company has more than 9,600 employees worldwide, spread over five main execution centers, 11 operational shore bases, several construction yards, and onboard offshore fleets. Before its investment in FrontRange HEAT Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 2

3 Service Management, SBM Offshore had multiple ITSM solutions across the company's various service desks in locations that included France, the US, China, Singapore, Brazil, and Africa. SBM Offshore wanted ITSM technology unification while also improving ITSM processes and practices across various service desk functions worldwide. Before this initiative, the service desks in operation across the various locations used multiple and disparate ITSM technologies in support of incident management efforts, including Microsoft Sharepoint, ASP, BMC Track-it, and other legacy tools. Technology aside, the multiple service desk functions were also demonstrating varying levels of process maturity, which resulted in an inconsistent level of service quality being delivered across the business. The project team wanted to change this through establishing consistent processes and working practices throughout the multiple service desks in operation. This was a challenge because some service desks were more mature than others in their operations. Selection criteria The ultimate goal of the project was to deliver 24/7 support to a global user base by aligning the operations teams in a more uniform way. The project team was also keen to develop the various service desks in operation through embracing ITIL processes and practices. ITIL was viewed by SBM Offshore as a framework that could contribute to helping the company achieve the desired maturity and unified way of working. Another of the key motivations for SBM Offshore was that the company wanted to develop a self-service portal that would allow end users to submit incidents and requests via one global interface, along with a centralized knowledge base that would help improve the effectiveness of processes including incident management and request fulfillment. SBM Offshore recognized the important role that a feature-rich and mature group-wide ITSM tool could play in supporting the company's global IT departments in helping to centralize important information that could be used as part of continual service improvement. Change management represented another area that SBM Offshore was keen to improve, driven by a need to better manage changes and new releases. The company required processes that could help with accountability and administration. As with technology deployment, successful change and release management practices are dependent on more than simply process. It is important that cultural, communication, and management practices are also considered and leveraged effectively. Once the business needs and benefits were identified, the project of adopting new ITSM technology, along with processes and practices to support the identified objectives could be undertaken. A project organization was appointed based on PRINCE2 methodology, a structured and widely adopted project management methodology. SBM Offshore considered a total of 10 solutions that could be deployed both on-premise and via the cloud. Using comparative research, these solutions were narrowed down to three. Representatives of the vendors who offered the shortlisted solutions were then invited to present information about both their company and the solution offered. Technology selection was based on functionality identified by SBM Offshore that the company felt would help in achieving the objectives identified. The intuitiveness Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 3

4 and interface of the solution, especially relating to the self-service capability, was also a key driving factor in the decision-making process. Through this selection process, SBM Offshore identified FrontRange HEAT Service Management deployed in the cloud as the solution that best met the company's identified needs. While cost was a big factor in the decision to adopt a cloud-based solution over an on-premise tool, it was not the sole and most important factor. The ease of updating a cloud-based solution was another key driver, along with the appeal of being able to free up resources that would otherwise have been managing an internal hardware infrastructure in support of an on-premise solution. SOLUTION ANALYSIS Solution deployment Many ITSM solutions are now marketed in a way that describes them as supportive of ITIL processes out-of-the-box. Ovum believes it is important that potential customers do not consider solutions marketed in this way as being the only technology that will help them realize the benefits of the ITIL framework. Technology alone will not help IT teams improve ITIL process maturity, and ultimately, the way in which the IT department helps the business execute against strategic objectives. Organizational culture and structure, education, partnerships, and leadership are examples of other important factors that must be addressed in order to deliver success against any ITIL initiative. In considering all of these components and more as part of the project, SBM Offshore used the FrontRange HEAT Service Management technology in support of the company's ITIL efforts. SBM Offshore says FrontRange HEAT Service Management is supportive of the practices that the ITIL framework helps establish, and that this capability continues to help the IT department embrace and mature its ITIL processes. Having the right staff skills can help ensure that any technology adoption project is successful in helping the business realize benefits. SBM Offshore recognized this and already had staff with ITIL skills, which was important because one of the organization's goals was to develop more uniform, cross-functional ways of working based on ITIL principles. This helped with the selection process and subsequent scoping of how the solution could help the wider efforts of IT. It also helped encourage a common understanding among stakeholders regarding what needed to be addressed immediately and in the near and distant future in order to improve IT service management efforts. Deployment process When the solution was chosen, the deployment process began with SBM Offshore implementing FrontRange HEAT Service Management at a service desk in the Netherlands. End users were also involved during this pilot stage to help ensure that the self-service capability was adequately delivering against the needs identified. This single-site pilot phase lasted for two months and involved the HEAT Service Management solution being used by an IT team of eight full-time employees. After the successful implementation at this first site, the rollout to the other 11 service desk locations worldwide was planned. The solution was successfully deployed to seven different locations worldwide within a 12-month period, with each implementation taking about two weeks. Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 4

5 Outcomes A solution that would enable SBM Offshore to offer self-service functionality was a key driver in the company's decision-making process. This capability has been received very well by the supported user base, with SBM Offshore reporting that customer satisfaction ratings have increased since its introduction. Enabling end users to log their own low-level incidents and service requests also reduces the reliance on first-line service desk analysts to undertake this work. Commonly, IT service providers may look at this as an opportunity to cut costs by cutting service desk staff. However, SBM Offshore viewed this as an opportunity to empower service desk analysts and improve customer satisfaction. This was achieved by broadening the skills of first-line analysts and engaging them in more traditional second and third-line case management work. The project has been successful in that the FrontRange HEAT Service Management solution has been implemented based on the agreed scope. The technology, coupled with some of the changes in practice it has helped to encourage, are changing the way that once disparate teams are now working more collaboratively to the benefit of IT and therefore the wider business. Key lessons learned Reporting and analytics is an area that SBM Offshore is now focusing on. As the reporting and analytics capability offered by ITSM solutions continues to evolve, it has become functionality that can be extended for use by both business and IT users. The advantage here is that the functionality allows IT departments to better communicate the value delivered to the organization. DATA SHEET Key facts about the solution Table 1: Data sheet: FrontRange HEAT Service Management Vendor name FrontRange Customer name SBM Offshore Solution name HEAT Service Management, cloud deployment Solution classsification Service management and client management Industry sector Software Geographies covered Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific Relevant company sizes Mid-market to mid-enterprise Platforms supported Microsoft Languages supported English, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish Licensing options Named & concurrent users, perpetual licensing and subscription pricing Deployment options On-premise, cloud, hybrid Route(s) to market Direct and indirect URL Company headquarters Milpitas, CA, US European headquarters Newbury, England North America headquarters Milpitas, CA, US Asia-Pacific headquarters Sydney, Australia Source: Ovum Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 5

6 APPENDIX Author Adam Holtby, Research Analyst, Software Ovum Consulting We hope that this analysis will help you make informed and imaginative business decisions. If you have further requirements, Ovum s consulting team may be able to help you. For more information about Ovum s consulting capabilities, please contact us directly at Disclaimer All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Ovum (an Informa business). The facts of this report are believed to be correct at the time of publication but cannot be guaranteed. Please note that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that Ovum delivers will be based on information gathered in good faith from both primary and secondary sources, whose accuracy we are not always in a position to guarantee. As such Ovum can accept no liability whatever for actions taken based on any information that may subsequently prove to be incorrect. Ovum. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited Page 6

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