ITSM Antipodean Podcast – Episode 25


Industry Advice on ITSM Technology – What Is It Worth?

Month in Review

Tristan – Just returned from itSMF International AGM in Stockholm held in conjunction with the Swedish Conference. Tristan recorded with the Top of the World podcast.

Rob – Rob ran a Twitter chat on Service Catalogues. Rob grinding through his Standard and Case book and looking for volunteers to use the approach before Christmas for a free copy of the book. Rob would like some practical examples and feedback.

Karen presented at post-conference roadshow in Melbourne and will presenting at the itSMF NSW Q4 seminar on 29th November.

ITSM Technology Advice

There is a lot of industry guidance on ITSM tools such as Gartner Magic Quadrant and PinkVerify.  There is also the HDI Buyers Guide and much more. What are they worth?

Rob has written about the Magic Quadrant on his IT Skeptic blog recently. So has Chris Dancy over at ServiceSphere.

The quadrant has been rebadged as the IT Service Support Management Tools but it will always be seen as a Service Desk tool assessment. The spread is now very different. There are no leaders and only ServiceNow and BMC Software in the Challengers quadrant. The rest are bunched in the Niche Players quadrant.

Your choice of tool should be driven by YOUR requirements. Does the marketing budget influence the inclusion in the Magic Quadrant?

The Listly list of tools indicates just how many tools are out there to be chosen from.

Beetil is a great example of a niche tool, which would be unlikely to spear in the Magic Quadrant. Congratulations to the Beetil guys on being bought by Citrix.

Organisations should seek availability of local skills that don’t work for the vendor and vendor presence locally. There are many things to be considered before the functional requirements of a tool. The organisation should be comfortable with the vendor they choose.

90% of the time the tool works but the failure is in implementation.

Rob has written about PinkVerify in the past. When using PinkVerify to help with the selection of a tool, make sure you review which processes the tool, has been verified against. In Rob’s example, it could be just Incident Management only and the other processes do not work correctly. The requirements of PinkVerify can be downloaded and are fairly basic.

Rob uses the analogy of buying a fridge to selecting an ITSM tool.

PinkVerify is a good starting point to get a sense of what tools are available. However, a tool should not be excluded just because it is not verified. It might raise a red flag though.

The original ITIL Software Scheme criteria for validating a tool were secret. Eventually sanity prevailed and it was published. Many more tools are getting verified by Pink but not as many are getting verified by the Cabinet Office scheme.

The Listly survey was a great idea but the voting could be skewed by organisations getting all their employees to vote. The top three on the list are Hornbill, ServiceNow and Remedy. Like the other sources of information discussed, it is also a good source of information about what tools are available.

There is now an excellent book on the subject of selecting tools from itSMF International – “IT Tools for the Business When the Business is IT” written by Robert Falkowitz. Karen has written a review on the book.

Talk to industry colleagues and peers about their ITSM tool and experience with the vendors. Use social media channels to find out more. Use forums like itSMF seminars and special interest groups. Do reference checks on the vendor and ask for a proof of concept.

Do not forget the organisational change aspects of introducing new technology. You may want to change behaviors and this needs organisational change management.

Customization can be dangerous. Check out the upgrade path following customization.

Karen has written a paper on ITSM tool selection and used the analogy that selecting an ITSM tool is like buying a house. Axios Systems sponsored it so you have to register and download here. Avoid Groundhog Day in Service Management! The grass is not always greener with another ITSM tool.

Get a consultant to help. They see far more tools than most practitioners do. Develop in-depth scripts and get the vendors to show how the tool addresses them. Don’t rely on the vendor’s vanilla demo.

Ensure you have allocated the right number of dedicated resources to the project.

Booby(s) of the Month

  • Software glitches and security issues cause Wheedle shutdown.
  • Jetstar forgets daylight savings.
  • The Interflora service catalogue disaster or “Flowergate”. Read Karen’s blog.

Pick of the Month

  • Chris Dancy’s Edict10. Fantastic stuff!
  • Computer programmer ‘quadruples productivity’ after hiring a woman to slap him in the face every time she catches him looking at Facebook.


The team will record Episode 26 in early December.

Suggestions for guests and podcast content to


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