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Tuesday, 14 December 2010 11:08

IT service management hamstrung by skills shortage, says Telstra

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Telstra has released the results of a survey into IT service management (ITSM) implementations in Australia, which found a widespread belief that IT staff lacked the necessary skills to implement and manage major IT service management projects.

Analyst firm Longhaus surveyed 111 Australian companies and government agencies. According to Telstra, "Almost three quarters saw IT service management (ITSM) as a priority, however, the biggest barrier to effective IT service management was an organisation's IT employees."

The study, "IT Service Management in Australia: Improving organisational outcomes through enhanced service provider integration" found:
- a lack of standard ITSM protocols to allow organisations and their suppliers to integrate their respective service management processes;
- employees lacking the necessary skills and knowledge (54 percent), staff resistance to change (46 percent) and implementation budget (42 percent);
- Sixty percent of organisations using or implementing industry recognised ITSM approaches, but only 41 percent having made headway on integrating internal ITSM practices with those of external providers.

Sam Higgins, research director at Longhaus, said: "While ITSM benefits organisations and their customers, most organisations do not have the right mix of people, processes and technology to effectively integrate ITSM in their operations.

"While many organisations understand the importance of an ITSM approach, they also need to undertake an objective analysis to fully experience ITSM's benefits."

Over the past two years Telstra and supplier Infosys have developed what is claimed to be one of the largest ITSM implementations in the region with over 16 million configuration items in its configuration master database. It was launched in June 2010 and in August won the year's Best ITSM (Project of the Year) award, along with an entry from the Department of Immigration, from itSMF Australia, the peak body for IT service management in Australia.

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According to Telstra, the system, dubbed, iTAM, "is designed to reduce the cost, complexity and risk of managing IT issues within Telstra, creating a single unified solution to replace or integrate dozens of applications including legacy ticketing solutions, change management tools, alarm and service impact systems."

Telstra's acting CIO, Ashley Lazaro, described iTAM as "a strategic platform, [that] will be key in our drive to simplify and streamline our business."

A key to integration of service management processes between organisations and their suppliers is conformance to ITIL, The Information Technology Infrastructure Library].

TelstraClear in New Zealand recently implemented BMC's Remedy ITSM suite and is using it to provide outsourced helpdesk and management services to customers. Andrew Crabb, TelstraClear's head of networks and services, told ExchangeDaily last month tht ITIL tools and methodology had evolved significantly enabling the company to standardise its service management offering. "A lot of RFPs coming form our customers want an ITIL service management capability," he added.

Telstra Enterprise and Government, which commissioned the survey, is promoting a similar offering in Australia. Announcing the results of the survey, it said:

"Telstra's service management framework can work closely with customers' IT service management processes for: consulting, architecture and design to help our customers with service strategy and service design; program and project management as well as deployment and integration to successfully manage the service transition; service desk for support and service fulfilment; service operations to support our customers overall service operation; service improvement and reporting to provide continual service improvement."

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