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April 3, 2009

Breakthrough Finding: Service Management Maturity Is Highly Correlated with IT Success

We recently conducted an online 2009 ITSM and IT Financial Management (ITFM) Industry Survey, with the goal of eliciting some of the prevailing trends and attitudes among ITSM and ITFM professionals. Some of the results confirmed our read of the industry's pulse, while others caught us a little bit by surprise. I presented the results two days ago at the ITFM Association's conference in Atlanta. We are going to publish a white paper detailing the survey results shortly, but I wanted to give my blog readers a sneak peak at some of the most exciting findings.

Service Catalog / Costing / Demand Management Maturity vs IT Success
This was probably the most interesting set of results, that shows that the concepts we advocate really do pan out in practice. The idea here was to see if there is a correlation between an IT organization's ITSM/ITFM maturity, and its success. So we asked a number of questions (33 in total) about people's assessment of their organization's ITSM/ITFM maturity -- service catalog adoption, service costing and cost transparency, demand-driven budgeting and demand management, etc. -- and used these results to come up with a Maturity Score for each respondent. Then we asked another set of questions (14 altogether) measuring assessments of IT success -- customer satisfaction, perception of IT by business customers, operational efficiency, communication with customers, etc. -- and used these results to come up with a Success Score for each respondent. We then plotted these results on the scatter plot below. We expected some alignment -- but not the very strong correlation that we got!


Even without the best fit line, the trend is quite clear -- organizations with high ITSM/ITFM maturity scores are more successful.

The next thing we did was break down the maturity questions into three subsets -- 13 Service Catalog adoption questions, 10 service costing (ITFM) questions, and 10 demand management (ITDM) questions -- and calculate an individual maturity score based on each subset. Then we made a plot just like the above for each of these subsets. The results revealed a very interesting pattern that is very much in line with what we have been advocating for years.

Take a look at the graph below. The Success Trend is the slope of the best fit line for the corresponding plot. It turns out that the Success Trend is 0.38 for Service Catalog adoption maturity, 0.5 for ITFM maturity, and 0.71 for ITDM maturity. This is a very interesting result! It means that if you just have a Service Catalog but don't implement any costing, pricing, demand-driven budgeting, etc. around it -- your IT department will become more successful, but not by a whole lot. If you implement some cost management and service costing concepts on top of your catalog, the benefits are greater. And if you start using your Service Catalog and cost model to manage demand, the benefits are still greater. This is exactly what we have been telling our customers for years -- and now we have direct quantitative proof!


You can get the full report here.

Posted on April 3, 2009 | Permalink


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