Monday, August 18, 2008

How Software Vendors Lie About ITIL Support

ITSM Watch columnist Rob England, gets it right this time when it comes to tool vendors and so called "ITIL Compliance."

There is no such thing. He is also correct in his assessment that "it seems some vendors (or at least their marketing people) do not understand IT Service Management, or they are counting on their prospects not understanding it. "

As one tool vendor aptly put it, "a fool with a tool is still a fool."

Here are a few of the " ITIL 101" points for tool vendors to rememeber:
  • Network monitoring is not SLM- SLT monitoring is not SLA monitoring
  • Performance data is not capacity planning, let alone Capacity Management.
  • The lowest level event message is often not the Root Cause, so your drill down data is only a symptom and you are not supporting Problem Management, though you play a useful part in providing one source of data for Incident Management. (Root Cause is often a procedural error and no software can detect it.)
  • Costing is only one part of Financial Management, and asset costs are only one part of costing data. So your Asset Management tool is not playing a huge part in the ITIL financial processes, and the same with your bandwidth or email monitors.
  • Threat detection and defence is one operational outcome of Information Security Management, not the practice of it.
  • Tools that make changes to devices or software or networks are only an end tool for Deployment and not any part of Release or Change processes.- A service is a big thing, obviously bigger than some marketers can imagine.
  • It is nice if your tool measures one tiny part of that service, such as the network links or the database, but it is a stretch to say that it plays much of a part in service measurement other can contributing one data item among many and no part of the process.
  • Reducing costs isn’t part of ITIL, not directly. ITIL is about delivering better service. Using the bandwidth more efficiently or saving money on server purchases is often incidental to that.
  • Business alignment means making sure that IT is operating according to the strategy and needs of the organisation as a whole. It does not mean measuring network usage by user or by application.
  • Trouble shooting is not Incident Management, it is one small part of it.- Data is not information and information is not knowledge. Knowledge comes from people and knowledge management stores what people know. A database is not knowledge management, nor is reporting.

Well said indeed.

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