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Archive for the ‘Social IT Maturity’ Category

What is the State of Social IT Research and Adoption?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Today, ITinvolve announced The Social IT Index, the first of its kind survey into the state of research and adoption of Social IT capabilities by IT organizations. The Index is based on the survey responses from nearly 400 US IT professionals, managers, and executives, and was conducted during the second half of May 2013.

The survey results clearly show that the state of Social IT research and adoption is quite active.

  • About a third (31%) of survey respondents indicated they have documented questions and answers about what Social IT can mean for their organizations, with 40% of respondents from organizations over 1,000 employees and 48% of those in job roles of manager or higher saying the same.
  • 37% of respondents said they have researched vendor Social IT capabilities and 44% said they have invested internal resources in prototyping Social IT capabilities. Again the numbers are higher for large companies (49% and 59%, respectively) and those in manager or executive roles (51% and 55%, respectively).
  • Slightly more than a third of survey respondents (35%) indicated they have implemented at least one Social IT capability, most commonly a Facebook-style wall for their IT organization.

Respondents also provided their feedback on the value of various Social IT capabilities naming their Top 5 to be:

  1. The ability to facilitate collaboration among individuals in the context of a specific IT activity like triaging an incident, planning a change, or determining the root-cause of a recurring problem.
  2. The ability to actively promote and push IT knowledge to specific individuals based on their role.
  3. A social object model for IT process activities like incidents, changes, problems, etc.
  4. A Facebook-style wall for their IT organization
  5. The ability to enhance traditional IT processes with social capabilities (such as weighing in on a change among key stakeholders prior to a formal change approval)

Despite all of the research and adoption underway, only 19% of those surveyed said they had a formal plan for Social IT drafted or approved (managers and executives again reported higher results with 31% saying they have a plan drafted or approved). Of those respondents with a formal plan, just half (51%) said they have quantified the expected benefits.

Other top level findings reveal that 58% of respondents have Social IT communication policies in place in their organizations (67% for large company respondents) and 25% say they have rewards and recognition in place for Social IT or are considering doing so.

So what does this mean for you?

If you haven’t yet started on a Social IT initiative, I’d encourage you to read the full Social IT Index report, which is available free of charge and without requiring any registration. Have a look at what your peers are reporting about their Social IT activity and start to document questions and answers about what Social IT can mean for your organization. How could greater collaboration and stakeholder engagement help you to speed the time to plan and approve changes, for example? How could more real-time knowledge capture and sharing speed the mean-time-to-restore service? How could improving collaboration between development and operations teams ensuring smoother application releases?  These are just a few of the possible questions you might ask.

Once you’ve documented your questions and answers, I’d encourage you to develop a formal plan with expected quantified benefits. This will help ensure your project is  judged objectively and also will help you secure funding if needed. Then have a look at what your current IT management software vendors and other vendors offer that might assist you in addition to what you could consider developing on your own.

For those of you who are already well down the path with Social IT, and from the survey results there are quite a lot of you, be sure you’ve got a plan with quantified expected results in place, and if you don’t, start building one. Otherwise, you’ll be putting the measurement of the success or failure of your efforts in a risky, subjective position. And if you don’t have a communication policy in place around Social IT yet, I’d encourage you to do so. Having such a policy will give your IT team the guidance they need to be free to use Social IT capabilities for communicating within IT and between IT and your end users. Finally, take a serious look at how rewards and recognition efforts can help you achieve your goals. Even something as basic as recognizing employees during an all-hands meeting (e.g. for using Social IT capabilities to resolve issues or better collaborate to plan a change that resulted in no adverse business impact) can go a long way toward ensuring employees know Social IT is something their management supports and encourages.

To summarize, this inaugural Social IT Index reveals what might be characterized as a real “growing up” of Social IT maturity. What may have begun on a whim to explore how social principles in our personal lives might apply to our IT work lives now seems to be trending toward a fundamental rethinking of how IT gets work done. And that bodes very well for IT organizations, which have been characterized for a long time as operating with a silo mentality and putting too much focus on rigid processes that can stifle knowledge worker creativity and innovation.

Matthew Selheimer
VP, Marketing

The industry’s first Social IT Index is coming soon!

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

A few months ago, ITinvolve launched a free 10 minute online assessment of Social IT maturity.  We’ve had a very strong response to this anonymous assessment and will soon be announcing a series of findings based on the responses from well over 250 IT professionals’ experiences with researching and adopting Social IT capabilities.

As a quick refresher, the Social IT Maturity Model defines four levels of maturity.

  • Level 1 – Social Exploration (where IT begins to ask questions about how Social IT can improve service support and delivery, including developing a formal plan with quantified benefits)
  • Level 2 – Social Add-ons (where Social IT capabilities are added onto existing IT management processes and practices)
  • Level 3 – Social Embedding (where traditional IT management processes and practices are re-tuned to incorporate social knowledge and collaboration practices)
  • Level 4 – Social Driven (where the IT organization now has a self-sustaining social community contributing new knowledge through crowd-sourcing and peer review, has put in place rewards and recognition for Social IT activities, and is using Social IT to drive continual service improvement)

If you haven’t had a chance to read the whitepaper, How to Benchmark Your Social IT Maturity?, be sure to read it now as it explains each of these Levels in more detail and their benefits.

We’re still crunching the numbers, but the index results will likely surprise many of you.  Here’s a teaser… More respondents have implemented at least one Level 2 Social IT Add-on than have developed a formal plan for Social IT with defined benefits according to what’s recommended at Level  1.  As with most innovations, a lot of us might want to “leap before we look” but that can be a recipe for serious questions about return on effort from leadership.  We’ll take this point head on in our analysis of the survey responses along with sharing many other exciting observations about the state of Social IT research and adoption in our industry.  Stay tuned for more.

Matt Selheimer
VP, Marketing

Have existing ITSM architectures become obsolete? According to Gartner, they just may be

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

This past year, Gartner introduced a new concept called the “Nexus of Forces” consisting of four forces — Social, Mobile, Cloud, and Information.  These forces, according to Garner, are converging, helping to transform user behavior while creating new business opportunities. As IT becomes more consumerized with nearly every working professional having a mobile smartphone or tablet, IT organizations are challenged to keep pace with rapidly evolving expectations and environments.

In the Nexus of Forces, Gartner maintains that information serves as the context for delivering enhanced social and mobile experiences, while mobile devices provide the platform for effective social networking and new ways of working together. Social forces are linking people to their work and each other in new and unexpected ways, while the Cloud enables delivery of information and functionality to systems and users. All these forces combine and reinforce each other to create what Gartner calls “a user-driven ecosystem of modern computing.”

If you are Gartner client, you can read more in research ID:G00234840.  In reading the report, one of its predictions stood out for me: “Techno-centrism gives way to human-centered design” and that “as the technology matures..simpler, more effective ways of doing things are developed”.

At ITinvolve, these are precisely the key principles that our company and products are founded on.  We’ve developed ITinvolve for Service Management as a cloud service from the ground up, building in new ways of facilitating and managing the social nature of information, knowledge and decision making among IT stakeholders. As Gartner observes, sharing comments, links, and recommendations with friends shouldn’t just take place in our personal lives but should also be “among colleagues about progress of a project or which supplier provides good value.”  At ITinvolve, we’ve applied this lesson in offering a better way to manage your IT environment and processes.

ITinvolve offers you a next generation IT Service Management solution that is powered by the collective knowledge of your teams and is, at its core, social and collaborative.  As Gartner rightly points out “…people actually like using social functionality.”  When was the last time you or anyone on your team said, “I like using our ITSM solution”?  With ITinvolve, you can make that a reality.  To see how, register for one our free webinars co-sponsored by Pink Elephant and get a demonstration of how the Social IT can work for you.

I’ll be exploring more of the how and why techno centrism is giving way to more human-centered ways of conducting IT operations in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned.

Matthew Selheimer,
Vice President, Marketing

Social Driven IT marks the pinnacle of your Social IT Maturity evolution

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Achieving level three in the social IT maturity model—Social Embedding is no small task.  By the time you reach Level 3, you’ve managed to create a social object model for your IT organization and introduce a social knowledge management system that enables you to embed social collaboration functionality into IT operations to dramatically improve your process efficiency.

To move to the highest level of social IT maturity, Level 4 – Social Driven, means that your IT organization must become even more adept at leveraging social collaboration, and be able to benchmark your IT process KPIs against that of other organizations.  At this final stage of social IT maturity, you should be striving to outperform any organization that is not leveraging social collaboration principles, and you should be performing at or above the level of those peer organizations that have also adopted social collaboration principles.

At maturity Level 4, you will have established a self-sustaining community that is actively leveraging the social knowledge management system as part of its day-to-day work.  And you’ll be measuring value in terms of behavioral change in your organization. Metcalf’s law applies directly to social collaboration: The “network effect” increases the value of the social knowledge management system exponentially as you add users to the community.

By now you should be anxious to learn much more about the Social IT Maturity model.  Download the free white paper  to get an in-depth look each of the four maturity levels and gain insights into how social IT can evolve in your organization.

Then take the next step to assess your own Social IT Maturity level by taking a short survey online.  You will get an immediate assessment of where you’re at in your Social IT journey.

Finally, be sure to register for one of our free webinars in December and January co-sponsored by Pink Elephant to get an explanation of how the Social IT Maturity model works.  You’ll also see a demonstration of our ITinvolve for Service Management solution that is transforming the way IT professionals are leveraging social IT to manage changes, resolve incidents and problems and collaborate to make better decisions.  The journey to Social IT maturity will deliver the next big breakthrough in IT performance and productivity—we invite you to join us in leading the way.

Matthew Selheimer
Vice President of Marketing

Social Embedding is key to improving IT performance at Level 3 in your Social IT Maturity evolution

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

After discussing levels one and two of the Social IT Maturity model in my previous blogs, I want to explain the next level of maturity – Level 3: Social Embedding.   Moving beyond Social Exploration and Social Add-ons (Levels 1 and 2) to Social Embedding (Level 3) requires establishing relevant context for social collaboration activities through three specific actions:

  1. The creation of a social object model
  2. The construction of a social knowledge management system that is both role-based and user-specific
  3. The enhancement of established IT processes with social collaboration functionality to improve process efficiency

Your goal at Level 3 maturity is to leverage social embedding to measurably improve IT key performance indicators (KPIs) such as mean-time-to-restore (MTTR) service or change success rate. You should select KPIs that are most meaningful to your organization; KPIs that you have already baselined and can use to track your progress in achieving social IT maturity. While the value of Level 2 maturity can be significant in improving the perception of IT’s responsiveness to users, Level 3 social IT maturity is where you can gain big breakthroughs in IT efficiency and quantifiable business value.

A Word of Caution:  When embedding social IT into your operations, be sure you are targeting and engaging specific audiences. Some vendors offer a Facebook-like wall in addition to the ability to push updates out via Twitter or RSS. In addition to the exposure risk discussed in my last blog, this type of “shotgun” approach to social IT can create a tremendous amount of noise, which will make it difficult for both business users and IT to identify useful information in the feed or on the wall.

You can learn more about the Social IT Maturity model by downloading the free white paper. It explains each of the four maturity levels and offers insights into how social IT should evolve in your organization.

You can also register for one of our free webinars co-sponsored by Pink Elephant to get a demonstration of how the Social IT Maturity model works—including a Level 3 social knowledge management system.

If you’re sufficiently intrigued, you can also assess your own Social IT Maturity level by taking a short survey online that will give you an immediate benchmark of where you’re at in your social IT journey.  Coming next:  Level 4 – Social Driven IT.

Matthew Selheimer
Vice President of Marketing

Focus on Social Add-ons at Level 2 in your Social IT Maturity evolution

Friday, November 30th, 2012

After introducing a new Social IT Maturity model in my last blog, I want to explain the levels of maturity in more detail here in the next week or so.   As I pointed out previously, research from McKinsey & Company indicates that social technologies have the potential to raise the productivity of high-skill knowledge workers by 20 to 25 percent.  But to get this kind of productivity gain from Social IT requires an appreciation of how social technologies should evolve in your organization and understanding the four different levels of Social IT Maturity.

Going beyond the first Social Exploration level, organizations typically enter Level 2—Social Add-ons.  At Level 2, you begin taking specific actions to leverage social collaboration capabilities as part of your overall IT management approach, improving communications with users as well as within IT.

Your goal at this stage is to apply specific metrics to demonstrate the value of social technologies such as increasing user satisfaction, or improving the percentage of incidents or requests that have been acted upon within their prescribed SLAs. You should also be creating formal IT collaboration communications policies that clarify what should be communicated to whom and when.  Evaluate your current service management tools to see if they offer any opportunities for adding social technologies such as chat or other collaborative tools.

Beware:  A common pitfall in transitioning from Level 1 to Level 2 maturity occurs when you expect a “quick win” such as broadcasting via Twitter or RSS. Many IT management software vendors include this capability in their products today, so it may seem like an easy way to “go social.” But, if you haven’t taken the time to define your communications policies clearly, you could end up doing more harm than good. Posting IT service status to public feeds could leave your organization exposed or embarrassed, so proceed with caution.

You can learn more about the Social IT Maturity model by downloading our free white paper . It explains each of the four maturity levels and offers insights into how social IT should evolve in your organization.

You can also register for one our free webinars co-sponsored by Pink Elephant to get a demonstration of how the Social IT Maturity model works.

And if you want to assess your own Social IT Maturity level, you can take a short survey online that will give you an immediate benchmark of where you’re at in the leveraging the collaborative advantages of social technologies.  Next up: Level 3 – Social Embedding.

Matthew Selheimer
Vice President of Marketing

Understanding your Social IT Maturity could give you a big productivity boost

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I think most of us realize that social communication and collaboration are part of our daily work lives involving our customers, employees, and other IT stakeholders. What you may not know is that the way you understand and use social IT can make a big difference in operational productivity.  Research from McKinsey & Company, for example, finds that social technologies have the potential to raise the productivity of high-skill knowledge workers by 20 to 25 percent.

How can you and your IT department take advantage of this social media potential?

At ITinvolve we’ve taken the lead in helping you answer this question and more by providing a framework for understanding the different levels of Social IT Maturity.  Here’s an illustration of what we are proposing.

Take a few minutes now and download our free white paper that explains the four levels of Social IT Maturity in more detail.

At Social IT Maturity Level 1, for example, organizations are in the Social Exploration stage where they are just learning how to get value from social collaboration.  Start by defining a plan to guide you in using social media properly.  Make sure your plan includes specific key performance measures that can be tied to financial or other tangible business benefits.

I’ll be giving you more detail about each of the three other Social IT Maturity levels in upcoming blogs. In the meantime, you can learn how to assess your own Social IT Maturity level by attending one of our free webinars in November and December co-sponsored by Pink Elephant.  You can register here!

Keep in mind that our ITinvolve for Service Management™ cloud service is the first ITSM solution built from the ground up to be social and collaborative.  That means you can get a head start in harnessing the power of the collective knowledge of your IT teams with these key advantages.

  • Easily capture, enhance, and deliver knowledge to those who need it using familiar social media concepts
  • Understand and visualize key relationships and dependencies across your IT environment
  • Collaborate virtually across teams and with stakeholders in the context of specific issues and tasks
  • Analyze the impacts of IT changes, incidents, and problems

Matthew Selheimer
Vice President of Marketing