EMA/CXP Research Report: The Changing Role of the Service Desk in the Age of Cloud and Agile

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1 EMA/CXP Research Report: The Changing Role of the Service Desk in the Age of Cloud and Agile Report Summary By Dennis Drogseth, Dominique Dupuis, Pascal Paysant An ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES (EMA ) and CXP Research Report April 2013 This research has been sponsored by: IT & DATA MANAGEMENT RESEARCH, INDUSTRY ANALYSIS & CONSULTING

2 Table of Contents ExecutIve Introduction... 1 Methodology... 1 Adoption Trends and Overall Priorities for Service Desk and ITSM... 2 Multiple Service Desks, Multiple Roles... 4 Success Factors... 5 Conclusion... 6 About IBM... 6

3 ExecutIve Introduction IT Service Management (ITSM) is in a clear state of transition, just as IT is itself undergoing a significant transformation in role and requirements. Many of these pressures for change center in the consumerization of IT as IT services increasingly need to support a more technology savvy, demanding, and diverse set of service consumers. In the midst of all this, the role of the service desk as a center of governance, facilitation, communication and active interactions is, needless to say, also changing. An effective service desk can no longer be a separate kingdom devoted to reigning in operations and providing a primarily reactive foundation for dealing with customer complaints. As this research shows, service desks are undergoing pressures to become more diverse and better integrated across a wide range of technologies in which automation, mobility and enhanced visibility and analytic insights can more proactively complement and inform on traditional ITSM processes. Some of the highlights from this research include: One of the most significant data points from the research was the strong focus on better integrations with operations (29%), as well as internal and external user experience (27%), as top priorities for service desk management. When asked about the impact of cloud, many respondents saw it as a resource for expanding our service desk capabilities. But 21% insisted that they saw no impact from cloud. Service desk support for both IT and non-it customer service is widespread, with 52% already in operation. Only 25% have no plans to consolidate these functions. Traditional or on-premise licensing is still dominant, as it is expressly preferred by 45% of the respondents. However, a significant number (30%) prefer a choice or balance between on-premise and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and 25% expressly prefer Software-as-a-Service. The average service desk team in our survey comprised about 20 people, with an average outreach for employee support at about 2,000, or a 100 to 1 ratio. Slightly more than half of the respondents (52%) owned or were about to purchase a CMDB. Of those, 31% have completed at least Phase 1 Deployment as a part of an integrated service desk offering and 17% have completed Phase 1 as a separate solution not integrated with the service desk. When it came to providing support for mobility among service desk customers, 64% view mobility as significantly or critically impacting service desk operations. Best practices continue to be important for service desk operations, as 47% believed that the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL ) was very important or critical, and only 14% thought that ITIL was slightly important or unimportant. And 40% see ITIL as becoming more important versus only 6% who view it as becoming less important in the future. Moreover, those 17% who are completely satisfied with their service desk deployment are more than six times more likely to view ITIL as critical than those who are less satisfied. Methodology This research includes a total of 326 respondents, 154 of whom were from North America and 172 of whom were from Europe primarily France and Germany. Collection began in late Q and was complete by early February The questionnaire required respondents to have an active role in the purchasing, day-to-day operations, and/or deployment of service desk or help desk products. Page 1

4 Adoption Trends and Overall Priorities for Service Desk and ITSM One of the most significant data points from the research was the strong focus on better integrations with operations, as well as user experience. Figure 1 shows that if you combine integrated operations for incident and problem management with integrated operations for change and configuration management, you arrive at a dominant 29% as a top priority for service desk management. Similarly, if you combine user experience for internal and external constituencies, you get a dominant 27%. The combination well exceeds 50% of priorities for service desk management going forward. Not surprisingly, enhanced asset management, enhanced mobile support, and improved cost effectiveness come in next, but still in the single digits. Which of the following describes your organization s current management priorities with respect to help/service desk operation? Improve operations-to-service desk integrations/ processes for incident/problem management Improve end-user experience (internal to business) 17% 17% Improve operations-to-service desk integrations/ processes for configuration/change management 12% Improve customer/ partner/ supply chain experience 10% Enhance asset management strengths across IT 8% Trim or cut back on resource requirements Enhance mobile support for service desk agents 6% 6% Support for change management 5% Support the move to internal/external cloud Implement service catalog Support for Dev/Ops and accelerated agile application deployments Enhance support for mobile end users 4% 4% 4% 4% Support enterprise asset requirements 2% Other (Please specify) 1% 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% Figure 1: Integrated Operations and Improved User Experience across internal and external constituencies clearly lead in priorities for service desk management. Page 2

5 When asked about the impact of cloud, many respondents saw it as a resource for expanding our service desk capabilities (Figure 2). But 21% insisted that they saw no impact from cloud. Automation, cost justification, new challenges to asset management and shortened review cycles were also key. In a separate question, cloud was also viewed as driving improved self-service capabilities, improved integrations with operations for monitoring and service assurance, enhanced service catalog capabilities, and improved integrations with provisioning and configuration automation, as lead priorities. What is the MOST IMPORTANT impact of cloud on the role of the service desk in your organization? We see cloud as a resource for expanding our service desk capabilities 25% We see no impact from cloud 21% Cloud is requiring higher levels of automation in provisioning services 12% Cloud is putting pressures on us to justify costs 10% Cloud and virtualization have made asset management challenging 10% Cloud is shortening review cycles for managing change 9% Cloud is pushing us to pay more attention to DevOps 8% Cloud is pushing us to represent third-party SaaS services in our catalog 5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Figure 2: While many saw cloud as providing value in expanding their service desk capabilities, more than one fifth claimed no impact from cloud. Page 3

6 Multiple Service Desks, Multiple Roles Given merger and acquisitions, line of business differences, and other factors, 52% of the respondents indicated that they have multiple service desks today and 13% plan to in the future. However, plans to consolidate are pervasive, with only 16% committed to multiple service desks longer term. At the same time, service desk support for both IT and non-it customer service is widespread, with 52% already in operation (See Figure 3). Only 25% have no plans to consolidate these functions. In your company, are the IT help-service desk environments and non-it customer service or customer relationship management being managed as a single group? Yes, operational for more than 3 years 28% Yes, operational for 1 to 3 years 24% Yes, implementation is in process or completed past 12 months 10% No, but planning is underway 12% No plans to consolidate these functions 25% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Figure 3: A consolidated approach to customer service for IT and non-it services is surprisingly widespread, indicating that businesses are seeking to optimize their investments in service desk technology for multiple use cases and more diverse service groups. Page 4

7 Success Factors As you can see in Figure 4, 67% are satisfied with their service desk deployment. The question then remains, what factors tend to govern satisfaction and success. One place to look is among those who were not satisfied (those 33%) and these prioritized issues with their organization and its inability to implement the solution. Dissatisfaction with product came in second, and dissatisfaction with the vendor/provider was a distant third. How satisfied are you with your organization's current service desk implementation? Completely satisfied 17% Somewhat satisfied 50% Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied 23% Somewhat dissatisfied 8% Completely dissatisfied 1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Figure 4: The majority of respondents were satisfied at some level with their service desk deployment. Given these organizational challenges, best practices continue to be a factor governing success. Best practices continue to be important for service desk operations, as 47% believed that the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was very important or critical, and only 14% thought that ITIL was slightly important or unimportant. And 40% see ITIL as becoming more important versus only 6% who view it as becoming less important in the future. When EMA and CXP examined the qualities of the 17% who were completely satisfied, they had the following characteristics: They were more likely to reside in the U.S. compared to Europe by a 63% to 37% ratio. They were more than twice as likely to show an increase in IT budget than those who are only somewhat satisfied or less. They were twice as likely to show support non-it services as those who are only somewhat satisfied or less. They were twice as likely to view cloud as a resource for expanding service desk functionality. They were more than six times more likely to view ITIL as critical. Page 5

8 They were significantly more likely to have more service desk functionality deployed but more than 2 to 1 more likely to have: Integrated workflow/process automation Integrated with Operations for SLM and performance Financial planning CMDB/CMS IT portfolio management Project management Application lifecycle management Customer relationship management Service catalog Integrated release management Mobile interfaces for service desk professionals Conclusion This research underscores the fact that the service desk is evolving to support a broader set of functions, roles, and dynamics in support of a more demanding and diverse consumer base. Among the most salient trends is the growing importance of integrated support for operations, enhanced user experience management, and with that enhanced levels of automation, visibility, and participation in critical processes not necessarily associated with the service desk, such as application release management and support for mobile service consumers. The move to cloud is also impacting service desk priorities, with pressures to deliver more value and resources faster. And while social networking is not yet scoring very strongly among respondents, it would appear to be a natural area for growth as service desk functionality extends to require more facile support and better dialog across a more eclectic set of users. About IBM IBM SmartCloud Control Desk, unified asset and service management software solves the challenge of managing a service desk in the age of cloud and agile by providing a common control center for managing business processes for both digital and physical assets across the enterprise. This IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-compliant software is accessible through mobile devices and integrates with cloud, social media, endpoint management, and development tools. Customers can choose to deploy the software on-premise or as Software as a Service (SaaS) - and seamlessly change it for maximum agility should business needs change. IBM is a global provider of IT solutions in over 170 countries. For more information, please go to or Page 6

9 About CXP CXP is a leading independent software industry firm specialized in market analysis and software selection (ERP, BI, ECM, CRM, HRIS...). With 40 years of experience, CXP provides end-users and purchasers with a comprehensive range of services covering the critical aspects of the software and service solutions selection cycle. CXP owns a unique database of over 6000 software applications and offers extensive and proven consulting capabilities supported by a robust proprietary methodology. Today, more than 1500 large and mid-size end-user companies use CXP group services. CXP has expanded its European presence (UK, Germany, Austria...) after merging with BARC (Business Application Research Center), the German leading independent software industry analyst specialized in Data Management, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Content Management. About Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Founded in 1996, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help its clients achieve their goals. Learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise IT professionals, lines of business users, and IT vendors at or follow EMA on Twitter. This report in whole or in part may not be duplicated, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or retransmitted without prior written permission of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All opinions and estimates herein constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. EMA and Enterprise Management Associates are trademarks of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. in the United States and other countries Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. EMA, ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, and the mobius symbol are registered trademarks or common-law trademarks of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Corporate Headquarters: 1995 North 57th Court, Suite 120 Boulder, CO Phone: Fax: IBM

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