Home > ITIL the Elephant in the room > A Funny Thing Happened Around the Coffee Machine Today

A Funny Thing Happened Around the Coffee Machine Today

So we were discussing why our average monthly Critical Incident Tickets total more than 2x the number of Employees in our [multi-national] company?

And therefore…If each one of our employees is individually affected by 2 major incidents each month, how we are still able to run our business.

That then got us to talking about the fact that:

– the Helpdesk teams (taking the calls and processing the new user and LOB created tickets) are unaware of “causes”

– on the opposite side of the fence, our Event Management team are unaware of the impact, and often unaware of who they should escalate to

– AND (and this was the clincher for us) our infrastructure folks are inundated with an ever increasing list of escalated tickets and sit blissfully unaware of either the causes or the impact but have to work it out.

– while we still get a significant amount of LOB affecting faults where all the proactive monitoring in the world (we have a lot) does not indicate an incident but incidents are triggered by end-users within a LOB calling IT staff directly resulting in no ticket being created but significant IT resources engaged all the same.

A bit about our organization [from the perspective of one of the ITILosaurus Collective]:

– Global business supported by a unified IT infrastructure department

– A handful of LoBs (end customer facing businesses)

– Outsourced L0 and L1 event management and ticketing

In our business, the only constant really is Change. No cliche here, this is reality for us.

We make extensive use of virtualisation and have outsourced commodity infrastructure componentry wherever possible.

We in particular use IBM Tivoli Netcool and are transitioning to a new SaaS ServiceDesk platform [others in our ITILosaurus collective use BMC Event Manager, BMC Remedy and Service-Now] and we have our own inhouse developed CMDB, although it is not a rich CMDB: being only about 40% instrumented for entity relationships and around 80% accurate for managed entity content.

We have a huge amount of filtering in our event management, but even so, an aerial view of our operations shows that the ITIL structured IT operations processes isolates our production IT staff from the monitoring staff, and all of them isolated from the application owners.

ITIL process recommendations are creating bottlenecks in our business and reducing the ability to deliver a consistent quality of service because the tools we use underpinning these processes simply are not up to the task.

1. Our event management cannot handle the amount of events our LOBs could throw at it.

2. We have had to create upwards of 150 individual fields in every Event record to handle our LOB correlation, enrichment and filtering without endangering pre-existing Netcool rules which means our event management schema is getting out of control.

3. Our Service Desk has become a management liability in itself to support the many and varied LOB specific process templates.

4. The CMDB is never going to be accurate and the cost of migration to a commercial product from HP, IBM Tivoli, BMC other other is prohibitive and we know that we’ll never realise the dream anyway and therefore never achieve a return on that investment so we continue to maintain our own CMDB engineering staff.

In all, the cost of ownership of our management tools are beginning to outweigh the value we achieve from those tools.

In fact, our coffee machine discussion ended with someone’s sad but very salient thought that: “because of the legacy of filtering, correlation and auto-ticketing we have put in place, we’re possibly constraining change and the real management of the new technologies and outside relationships [Cloud] we’re currently rolling out.”

So, if you are looking for the reason for this long post…Is there anybody out there? Are we all (and I speak for the ITILosaurus collective here) in the same position of buying and maintaining irrelevant service management tools?

Would it not be more effective if we simply threw away all our legacy management tools when it comes to managing our new technology platforms and just waited for customers to call…when they call, we react so fast and with such positive, friendly zeal that, although our MTTR would not change, our customers and stakeholders perception of us would change for the better?

I am always reminded of a comment I overheard from an Industry Guru several years ago. He said (and I quote): I always buy Jaguar [this was the 1980s!]. Although I know they are going to break down, I also know that when they do, Jaguar will turn up at my door within 30 minutes with a new car that I will drive until they have resolved my problem. Then they deliver my Jaguar back and all with a smile. OK, if I bought a BMW or Mercedes, they would break down less, but when they do, I am treated like a piece of sh1t by them. That’s why I buy Jaguar.”

We are increasingly finding ourselves in a time where our management tools simply do not add value any more. Instead of paying for them to make it look like we are doing something, when clearly we are being hampered and having to cover it up with ineffective processes, let’s throw them away and have great processes. We can use the cash saved on the tools to give that McDonalds smile to our customers!

  1. December 24, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is
    accessible on web?

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