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What are the obstacles to Social IT in ITSM?

I heard last May in San Diego an excellent speech by Chris Dancy from PinkElephant. Chris explained to the audience about the evolution of IT: in the 1980s our bosses didn’t want us to use the phone because of the potential loss of productivity. In the 90s the problem was with email. In the 2000s, the web was seen as something that decreased productivity. Today, all these tools form part of our daily work and nobody is concerned about them. In the 2010 decade, tools such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter are seen as the problem, but companies can extract huge advantage from these tools to boost their efficiency and productivity.

For example, the number of employees asking one of their colleagues for IT help is difficult to avoid, even where there is a very efficient service desk. When users have a problem, complaint or question they want answers quickly. More importantly, they want a result, their problem solved. On top of that, this common practice does not allow companies to gather valuable information about the problems their employees are finding in their daily work and as such, companies cannot act accordingly.

Something that is helping organisations to solve such a problem is knowledge management; a process responsible for collecting and maintaining the knowledge crucial to all of the IT processes, including information about configuration items, company policies, asset information, etc. In this way employees can easily and quickly find answers to their problems.

But the next step must be to introduce Social Networks into your company (intra Social Networks), and especially in the ITSM arena. ServiceNow, a privately held San Diego-based company, which specialises in on-demand IT management software, has made the first move here by integration within its cloud-based solution, chat and live feeds. We see the benefits of Social IT as:

  • Organisations can easily identify subject matter experts and talented people
  • Reduction of email usage by a large percentage
  • Information is not stored in private employee email inboxes but in a shared environment. No loses when an employee leaves the organisation
  • Incorporates a new searchable knowledge source
  • Fosters innovation since the best innovation comes from our employees

So why are organisations holding back and what are the main obstacles you see when applying Social IT within your company?

Albert Franquesa, Principal Consultant, GFT


Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 17 October, 2011, 19:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

We see the relatively high cost of on-premise "social IT" solutions as a major entry barrier. On the other hand, enterprises have security-related concerns for adopting more cost-effective cloud-based alternatives. We see far better adoption when vendors of such solutions package them around high-ROI use cases viz. build blockbuster products with greater collaboration with the extended ecosystem, create winning marketing campaigns by tapping into the extended ecosystem to elicit more success stories of actual usage by other customers, etc. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 19 October, 2011, 17:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Good point Ketharaman

We need to consider that cloud is here to stay, and these companies are investing much more in security on a regular basis that any other company can ever do, since reputational risk is key. Other matters such data acts as the one we have in Europe can be solved by having the data centers in Europe.



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