Raptek Summer Series: 6 of 6 - Is there a future for ITSM in a Software Defined environment?

In our latest interview (part 6 of 6) with Gordon Hodgson, resident Process Architect with Rapid Technologies', we discuss whether there is a future for ITSM in a software defined environment.


Matt Duntsch: "Is there a future for ITSM in a Software Defined environment?"

Gordon:  “Absolutely.  We need to look at the way in which we are defining our processes.  For example, in a virtual environment, you can stand up a VM within the organization probably within 15 minutes, but if you have a change control process that takes 5 days, you are defeating the purpose of being able to use the virtualization quickly and efficiently.

Same goes for whether you have a software defined data center, or whether you have some other virtualization within the organization, or whether you have apps in the cloud.

Because at the end of the day it's still about process. Just because the app might reside in the cloud, doesn't mean that you don’t need to be managing it with the same ITSM processes that you do today.  So as we are thinking about all the different ways we do things, yes they are going to change. 

If you get into software defined data centers, if you get into DevOps, all these different methodologies that are becoming very popular and streamlining these operations ,really don’t change the need for IT Service Management.  It just defines the way we do it and streamlines that process.

In my mind it's not going away by any means.  Even the ITIL methodology, the current version, the v3 version, was not designed for cloud applications, or software defined data centers, or even DevOps.

But it's still a framework you can use to build your ITSM processes as you move into these more advanced delivery services such as defined data centers, or the cloud, and/or DevOps.

If you answer the question, no it doesn't go away, it just redefines it on how you are going to do it, how you are going to provide that same service in a more technologically sound method than we did in the past.

That make sense? We are trying to do things in new technologies but the same need for process and for structure still exists, it just needs to be streamlined."


Raptek Summer Series: 5 of 6 - Why do processes need to be tool agnostic?

In our latest interview (part 5 of 6) with Gordon Hodgson, resident Process Architect with Rapid Technologies', we discuss why processes should be tool agnostic.


Matt Duntsch: "Why do processes need to be tool agnostic?"

Gordon Hodgson:  "At the end of the day, it's about how you do a process.  Let's pick on change control for example.  Most tools today whether its Remedy, ServiceNow, Cherwell, pick one.  Everybody has a change control process.  What you are trying to accomplish when you develop a process for change control, is what is going to let me manage my infrastructure and keep my CI’s and keep my CMDB as accurate as possible.

And still make it a smooth and easy to use process across the enterprise.   Because the more complex your process is, the less chance that people are going to follow it, at least to the letter.  So you try and make it streamlined as possible but still delivering what you need which is control over your infrastructure, your CMDB, and your CI’s.

Once you design that process, and you design, this is what I want to do.  Unless you are doing something really unique, much of the tools today, such as ServiceNow, probably do it right out of the box with minimal configuration. But you really go into the process design, in my opinion, designing what we need to do change control, and then we look at the tool, and say okay, tool, ServiceNow, Remedy, whatever it might be, how can you make this process work within that platform?

As opposed to taking the platform and trying to design your process in reverse of that.  You really want to get your processes aligned, understand what you are doing with change control, get everybody on board, and then configure your tool.  

And I think, like I said, most tools are going to be able to do what you want to do."


Raptek Summer Series: 4 of 6, Should I follow ITIL to the letter?

In our latest interview (part 4 of 6) with Gordon Hodgson, resident Process Architect with Rapid Technologies', we discuss whether to follow ITIL to the letter.


Matt Duntsch: "Should I follow ITIL to the letter?"

Gordon Hodgson:  "In a word, no.  Because remember, we go back and we look at ITIL, and ITIL is a framework.  It is a framework that we work within to design the way we want to do IT Service Management.  There are a number of things in there certainly that we want to glean from that,  and we want to make work for us.

But the whole concept of ITIL in my mind was to take this framework and design your systems so they work for your company.  And everybody is going to be a little bit different.  If you take ITIL and it becomes a religion, and you say, oh no, I got to follow this, I've got to do that, I've got to do this.  

You tend to be very prescriptive in the way in which you design your services, and it might be more administration than you really need. You put in the administration and the heavy lifting where you need it.  

But you don’t just simply put take this ITIL thing and try it and push into your operations.  To follow ITIL to the letter, exactly, absolute not.  I would not recommend that at all. I would simply use it as it was designed, it’s a framework.  

Pick and choose from there what works for your organization.  Really what you're trying to do is get your IT organization under control.  That’s the whole goal.  We want it under control, we want to run it like a business, we want to be cost efficient, and we want to provide services to our business community as quickly, and rapidly, and cheaply if you will, as possible.  

And if we took the entire framework of all five disciplines within ITIL and tried to do that in any one organization, I think it would be prescriptive and you wouldn't be able to accomplish what you want to do.  

Use it as a framework, take the good from it, leave the rest behind, and make this process work for your organization."



Raptek Summer Series: 3 of 6, IT as an End to End Service

In our latest interview (part 3 of 6) with Gordon Hodgson, resident Process Architect with Rapid Technologies', we discuss "IT as an End to End Service."


Matt Duntsch: "You mentioned IT needs to run like a business, what do you mean by an end to end service?"

Gordon Hodgson:  "Basically an end to end service within the IT organization, you are looking at people, process, and technology.  

You are trying to take a lot of the steps and the middle people out of that picture, so that the service can be provided directly to the customer, your customer which is the business that you are working in.

And you are going through a very streamlined process to get there.  You don’t have to hand it off to a lot of middle people along the way.  So an end to end services begins with the IT, with the technology, with a streamlined process, so that you end up delivering to the customer in a more efficient, faster, and cheaper methodology.  

That’s the high level view of what an end to end service is in my mind."


Raptek Summer Series: 2 of 6, Cloud, ITaaS and DevOps


Last week I sat down with Rapid Technologies' process expert Gordon Hodgson, former CIO of World Vision to discuss ITaaS, Cloud, and DevOps. This is our second installment in a 6 part series centered on ITSM in the Enterprise.


Matt Duntsch: "IT is changing rapidly with the Cloud, IT as a Service and DevOps, how can I get my origination on the right path?"

Gordon Hodgson: "The problem is that all of these things, especially DevOps, and even some of the IT as a Service, are new concepts within your organization.  And what we tend to do sometimes is mandate that we do this, not recognizing that there is a culture that our organization has.  

I spent a few years as a CIO for a large NGO, and I found that mandating things within an organization like that was really not possible, because there was a tremendous amount of pushback.

And so what you need to do is think about, okay, I'm going to implement DevOps for example, what do I need to do from an Organizational Change Management perspective to make sure that my organization understands why I am going to DevOps, why it's important to do this, and what’s in it for me?  

Because the guy sitting out in the cubicle, seeing the mandate coming from the CIO, his or her first reaction is going to be, “what’s in it for me?”

Is this going to be more work? Am I going to lose my job? What’s this going to mean for me?

The important thing is with OCM or Organizational Change Management, is communication and training.  We communicate what we are going to do in a lot of different ways.

And then we make sure that across the organization, we are trained not only on why we are going to do it, but how to do it, and what its going to do for the overall organization,.

Simply sitting back and saying, “Well I’m the CIO, I want this to happen, make it happen.” Is not necessarily the best way to do it.  Mark Fields, the former CEO of Ford, alluded to the fact that you can have the best strategy in the world, but corporate culture can trump that strategy very very easily.

Because you get resistance, you get things that people don't want to do, you get pushback, and you don’t get full cooperation when your just trying to shove something down somebody’s throat.

So having an Organizational Change Management, recognizing that you have a culture, whatever it is, each organization has its own culture, recognize that it's there, and learn to deal with it, and make sure that you are covering your bases, so that you have a smoother transition.

Because the majority of people, when you look at the statistics that have been in published literature, you look out there and you see that the majority of the people are resisters and fence sitters.

And those people make up 60-70% of your population.  You don’t have that many early adopters and champions, the majority of the people have some type of resistance, so if you don’t recognize that upfront, and have an OCM plan to go forward along with your technology plan, you have less chance of being successful than if you have one.

And that's what I meant by, how do I get my organization to go along. You communicate, you train, you make sure that everyone is on the same page, as much as possible.

You are still going to have dissenters, that’s just human nature.  But the majority of your people, if you train them and communicate with them, are going to get on board, at least an initial to see how it's going to work, and if it's successful, then they will just follow along with the path.  

But if you don’t recognize the cultural issues and you ignore that , I think you have a less chance of success, moving any initiative across an enterprise."

Raptek Client Loyalty Program 2018 Q2 Update

Childrens Miracle Network.png

Rapid Technologies is proud to announce 2018 Q1/Q2 donations of $13,949.43 to the Children's Miracle Network. Per the Raptek Client Loyalty Program (CLP), a percentage of quarterly revenue is donated to the Children's Miracle on behalf of its clients. This quarter's donation was distributed to the local Children's Hospital where our clients reside:

  • Hasbro Children's Hospital (Providence, RI)
  • The Children's Hospital at St. Francis (Tulsa, OK)
  • Rady Children's Hospital (San Diego, CA)
  • Children's Hospital Colorado (Denver, CO)
  • Children's Hospital & Medical Center (Omaha, NE)
  • The Children's Hospital at Providence (Anchorage, AK)
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)
  • University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (Iowa City, IA)
  • Sanford Children's Hospital (Fargo, ND)
  • Children's National Health System (Washington D.C.)

#itsmforgood #clientloyalty #childrensmiraclenetwork #raptek

Raptek Summer Series: 1 of 6, IT as a Service (ITaaS)

Last week I sat down with Rapid Technologies' process expert Gordon Hodgson, former CIO of World Vision to discuss multiple topics.  IT as a Service is our first installment in a 6 part series centered on ITSM in the Enterprise.


Matt Duntsch: What does it mean for an IT organization to move to IT as a Service?

Gordon Hodgson: IT as a service is the way in which we are now looking to deliver technology.  It is a mindset that every IT organization, if they haven't developed, certainly needs to going forward.  

Because at the end of the day, all we provide in IT is a service.

There was an article written a number of years ago by a guy named Nicholas Carr,  who was a professor at Harvard, and he wrote an article back in May of 2003, and he basically said IT doesn't matter.  

And of course all the prevailing people who were involved in IT at the time got very upset and said, 'what do you mean it doesn't matter?'

But his concept was that IT is a commodity, it is something that is delivered like electricity or water.   Its a service that is provided by the IT organization.

So the technology whether you deliver it from the cloud, whether you deliver it from on-prem, doesn't really matter to the end user.  The end user who is the business is concerned about the service that you are providing.

Whether its email service, video conferencing service, doesn't really matter.  The services you are providing are just that.

And the business for the most part doesn't really care about the technology or the delivery method, what they care about is the end result.

So as we look at moving into the mindset of thinking IT as a service, we need to start realizing that's all we are really doing, is we are providing a service.

As we look at our organizations, we streamline them, so that we can in fact deliver that service faster and cheaper than we were before.

So that’s the concept we are going to. And as I said, most organizations are doing that.  

As you take away, we talked earlier about end to end services, you take away the siloed approach to IT, and you realize that we are providing this to the business and that’s our sole purpose for living is to support that business of operations.

What we do and how we deliver it, is the direct result of the service and satisfaction levels that our business receives.

That’s where I look at software as a service, or IT as service, that’s all it is, I’m providing a service to my end user, and that’s the business community."


ServiceNow: Future of Mobility


ServiceNow is on a quest to shore up the way we use mobile tech in the workplace compared to how we use it in our personal lives.  There is a disparity and the gap is closing:

  • Be more productive and get work done on the go
  • Respond quickly to requests, no matter where you are
  • Stay informed with real-time updates and information