VerisVisalign CEO Deborah Moses: Every Organization Needs a Service Management Office
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This blog marks the kickoff of our brand new “View from the Top” series. This series will examine critical trends, challenges, and opportunities as seen through the eyes of leaders and experts in service management.
Our inaugural post features an interview with Deborah Moses, Founder and CEO of VerisVisalign. In addition to being a knowledgeable and respected IT veteran, Moses is also an accomplished professional speaker and author of "Change Your Life! The CORE Approach® to Creating the Life You Want" and "Conversations on Success." Her ‘day job’ is leading a company that blends expertise in technology products with the consultative insight around governance and process management to make those solutions successful for their customers. In this interview, Moses offers a unique perspective on challenges and best practices within the service management industry today.
What current service management challenge do you feel is most hindering to the success of your customers?
It’s an ongoing challenge for all areas of the IT organization to stay on top of what’s going on within their business at any one time. Mountains of valuable operational data and reports are generated every day but taking the time to analyze and act on the information is extremely difficult for lean IT shops to keep up, thus hindering the possible value they deliver. Frequently the end result is that organizations do not leverage this data to its fullest extent and many times, do not utilize it at all. The reasons for this are often two-fold: 1) The amount of data generated leads to “analysis paralysis” where an abundance of information seems too cumbersome to derive conclusions and 2) In a common IT organization, continual service improvement (CSI) is not specifically any one person’s job, so therefore it’s no one’s job. Without true ownership, process improvement falls by the wayside, delaying growth and stifling the value IT delivers to the organization. As a result, IT suffers and can be perceived as tactical and archaic by the organization.
What implications does this hold for organizations not analyzing their data?
When analyzed, data turns into information and then into knowledge. From that knowledge comes the wisdom enabling calculated actions toward service improvements. Most organizations are progressive in collecting data needed to implement great efficiencies. But, next steps are required to understand what that data, and the data trends mean in order to make impactful business decisions. Frequently, IT Directors are unable to take action—such as process changes, additional training, or the adoption of new technologies and capabilities—because ‘someone’ must own the task of analyzing the data and take action on it to reach that final stage in the improvement process.
Without action, service improvement and IT solutions clearly cannot be optimized. This means that IT’s effectiveness is reduced, maturity levels within an IT organization stagnate, and IT products can be labeled as “ineffective” or “not good enough,” when in reality they have the capabilities to be more effective. Ultimately, IT is not getting the most value from their ITSM solutions.
What advice do you have for organizations struggling with Continual Service Improvement?
First, I always stress the importance of having an internal Service Management Office (SMO)—a group or person tasked to be responsible for CSI. The SMO is directly responsible for driving the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery throughout the business. This means all the valuable data and reports that are generated are threaded to actions, and finally organizational value in the way of efficiencies, cost control, etc…The SMO acts as a go-between for IT and the business, transforming IT from basic ITSM to a business-aligned value driver. This role bridges that gap between an IT culture of status quo and the proper analysis of data, reports, and KPIs, generating business improvement through IT performance.
My second piece of advice would be to ensure your IT team, including the SMO, has the right tools to manage and gain usable knowledge from your data. This is where we have deep partnerships with best-of-breed technology companies such as EasyVista. EasyVista provides the capabilities within its mobile-first service management platform that including ITIL best practices and reporting. This gives our customers all they need to drive world-class process improvements, provided they take ownership to exploit this valuable asset. The right tools and expertise allow you to not only efficiently manage the people, processes, and data throughout the entire lifecycle of a service request or incident, but also provide the insights you need to make continual improvement decisions and take action.