The Risk of Using IT Service Management Tools (ITSM- Tools) Outside of ITSM


TSM tool vendors are increasingly extending their functionality to non-ITSM areas such as Program & Portfolio Management. This sounds tempting, but there are dangers that are addressed in this article.

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Figure 1. ITSM tools with core and adjacent use cases, Gartner (August 2018)

The risks we are facing

According to Gartner Inc., „the market for ITSM tools” is saturated with more than 450 products, making it increasingly difficult for most vendors to grow their market share. For this reason, vendors complicate purchasing decisions by trying to upsell their products for existing customers and rebrand their offerings as general-purpose workflow tools that can connect anything and everything. Vendors most commonly refer to this use case as enterprise service management, and some have rebranded their products as ESM tools.” Some examples of adjacent use cases are “Program & Portfolio Management, Procurement & Sourcing Technology und Integrated Risk Management”.

The approach of Gartner, Inc.

Gartner Inc. advises, “I&O leaders that like the idea of using ITSM tools beyond the scope of the ITOM engagement management tools minisuite must carefully weigh their options when considering an ITSM tool for its versatility.” It goes to say, “The marketing language that vendors use is reminiscent of the rush to deploy enterprisewide ERP software suites at the turn of this century. The legacy of that rush was bloated customized applications that didn‘t fully meet the needs of the business and from which organizations struggled to migrate.“

We could not agree more! With expensive customizations, companies bind themselves to individual solutions that are not designed for the intended purpose. Additionally, there is a far- reaching dependency on the vendor.

Often the vendor cannot meet the high demand for consulting services. In particular, there is a lack of process competence at management level. As a result, complex technical functionalities are implemented in the systems and the possibilities of better and simpler processes are often not recognized due to a lack of experience – the customer is left without adequate support.

But what to do? After all, there are many different areas in IT that require suitable solutions. The idea of doing all this using one system is not that far-fetched…

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Figure 2: Holistic IT management with Bee4IT

The approach of Gartner, Inc.

With Bee4IT, we at Clausmark offer a straightforward but fundamentally different approach to this problem. Bee4IT offers data-driven IT management with fast and transparent decision making. The main facets of IT management in Bee4IT are:

1. Enterprise Architecture Management- what is our business, our technical heritage and our digital ambition?
2. Financial Management- what are the costs and what resources do we have?
3. Program & Portfolio Management – how do we manage change to support the business fast and cost efficient?

Bee4IT is designed to integrate into the existing systems and thereby meets the need for information and data-driven IT management:

1. The ERP system primarily for fetching actual financial data and linkage to the corporate budgets
2. An ITSM tool for ticketing, request, problem and change management with focus on operational service delivery
3. An enterprise content management (ECM) tool for the document management and the Wiki
4. Development tools (DEV) for integrated custom software delivery

Our way of avoiding the risks is based on a lean and effective IT system landscape and creates a central point of access for the entire IT management. All this using only standard solutions from the vendors.

Subscribers read the complete report „The Reality of ITSM Tools as Enterprise Service Management Tools“ at Gartner (external link).