The Journey or the Destination? There’s Value in Both on the ITOM Summit

Most IT practitioners know that, if implemented correctly, Destination: ITOM is pretty spectacular. Just a few of the big value wins that can be seen from this vista:

  • Reduced hours staffing front line operations and trouble-shooting tier 1 issues,
  • Reduced waste of cloud resources (publicly leased and/or privately owned),
  • Decreased downtime for revenue generating applications and services through quicker understanding of root cause (this one will get your C-Suite’s attention),
  • And in the most mature cases, automated remediation through orchestration. You heard it here first friends (or probably not)—this is the future.

This pretty postcard alone makes developing a strategy to get to that ITOM summit worthwhile. However, as someone who has lived and breathed ITOM over the past few years, I have come to realize that there is also a less obvious, intrinsic value that is realized on the journey of deploying an ITOM strategy—and these are the hidden wins no one’s really talking about. Now, sit back, and listen to the wisdom of a grizzled, (ahem), I mean, rugged ITOM trail guide.

A Quick Disclaimer: Pack wisely. Once you know where you’re going, you will want to bring that strategy to life with the technology you need to get you there. You will need tools that:

  • Give you a comprehensive view of your assets and the services they support.
  • Aggregate all of the events from the monitoring tools you’re using today.
  • Support automation or integrate to allow for automation using third party tools.
  • Manage cloud resources.

You could use a variety of tools to power you up that ITOM mountain, or you could go the route I would recommend and hop on the ServiceNow platform instead which deftly handles all of these needs in an integrated technology solution. (Trust me, this is basically equivalent to riding a chair lift vs. climbing a series of ropes.)

Now that we are packed for the journey, let’s get started. Here’s what I’ve experienced as I’ve implemented ITOM in ServiceNow for my clients.

Discovery: Welcome to ITOM Basecamp

Discovery is typically IT’s first foray into the ITOM world. It’s the most logical place to start since, when implemented correctly, Discovery gives IT a clear and concise view of the current assets in service and many important attributes about each asset. The intrinsic value of getting to this true “basecamp” is that along the way, the team gains an understanding from a network standpoint, of the scope of what they want to find.

Many teams think they’ve already reached basecamp, but they actually haven’t. For example, some organizations have a spreadsheet that contains what they believe to be a comprehensive list of the IP ranges they want to discover. They think they’re all set to start their ITOM journey. Then they realize that there are sly little pockets of devices in places that aren’t tracked or haven’t been kept up-to-date. Sorry, keep going. Not there yet.

Another common roadblock is a lack of consistent credentials/permissions throughout the environment. Especially in the case of SSH and/or SNMP credentials, that may or may not be able to be mass ‘pushed’ to multiple devices. Yet another is FW communication that doesn’t allow the ports for discovery traffic to go where it needs to go. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. You haven’t made it to basecamp yet.

So how do you know if you’ve arrived at true basecamp? You’ll know because you will be able to see the full mountain in your view. All of your assets will be accounted for and….with Discovery, you’ll be able to actually KEEP IT THAT WAY!

Come back for our next installment where we journey further up the ITOM mountain, passing through Service Mapping, Event Management, and Orchestration, and reaching all the way up through Cloud Provisioning. Stay the course and learn how the journey keeps making us stronger as we work those ITOM muscles (what doesn’t kill us, am I right?), not to mention that view that just keeps getting better.

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Donald (Terry) Henderson

Senior Consultant, ITOM Capability Leader, AERITAE