IT service management moves to the cloud

By John Moore, CIO |  Software, help desk, it service management

At Fugro, a desire to pursue ITIL and the inflexibility of its service desk software sparked the SaaS transition. Ismael Carlo, IT manager at Fugro, the U.S. operation of a Netherlands-based multinational company that provides geotechnical and geoscience services, said the company's IT team lacked a formal IT process when he joined the company in September 2011. Fugro, he says, sought to mature its management of IT, but the firm bumped into limitations with its service desk system, Symantec's Altiris.

Carlo says Fugro decided to install a new release of Altiris in a test environment, noting that the software upgrade incorporated a formal IT process. "The problem was the product was very rigid, so we would have to completely change everything we were doing. When we started to use it, it enforced ITIL to the nth degree, and that was really challenging on the service desk team," he says.

Fugro spent about three months trying to adjust to the new software and then began scanning the market for other approaches. The company discovered SaaS as an option. "We realized these cloud vendors have done a pretty good job of capturing our needs," Carlo says.

Fugro considered a few cloud vendors and opted for SAManage's cloud-based offering. Carlo says SAManage provided the right fit of process and functionality but did not restrict the IT team to very specific processes that it wasn't yet ready to adopt. The SaaS solution has been in production for about a year, he says.

In purchasing ServiceNow, meanwhile, Equinix abandoned a Remedy implementation and shut down legacy tools including Altiris, Bugzilla, and Documentum eRoom. The ServiceNow cloud solution has been operating for about a year and a half.

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Over that span, greater consistency across operations has proven a key benefit. Another plus: a higher rate of service-level agreement (SLA) compliance. Greg Ogle, senior director of IT infrastructure operations and engineering at Equinix, says SLA compliance rates were about 70% within months of the early 2011 implementation. By the end of 2011, the IT team hit 90% SLA compliance.

Ogle says the 20 point gain came from greater efficiency; IT wasn't compelled to add headcount. In 2012, IT surpassed 90% compliance with the same staffing levels.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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