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ITSM Procurement Advice from CRM

A new relationship is a delicate matter. It’s easy to get caught up with shallow aspects while overlooking a partner’s more sustainable, long-term traits. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a good comparison for companies looking to procure ITSM vendor solutions. Joe the IT Guy offers some tips based on advice by Forrester research VP Kate Leggett.

ITSM-CRM Overlap

In her presentation introduction, Kate describes a state of affairs for CRM that basically mirrors that of ITSM tool selection–a long market legacy, commoditized features, vendors exploring “white space,” and more established companies focusing on differentiating their offerings. Additionally, there is a tendency for procuring organizations to select tools based on what’s available rather than what’s needed. This approach results in overweight ITSM tool kits (i.e. – too much untargeted functionality).

Overselling Customization

As with CRM, ITSM solution vendors tend to oversell their customizable use cases, stressing ease of use. It’s no wonder that procuring organizations who are eager to choose the most flexible tool wind up with tons of flexibility, but relatively little ease of use. That’s because flexible tools may be a simple sell, but they’re not necessarily easy to use.

Flexible Failed Cloud Deployments

Again, a similarity emerges between the two tool procurement scenarios, this time regarding cloud deployments:

There’s no doubt that my SysAid colleagues, and the competition, are seeing more and more interest in, and uptake of, their cloud offerings but procuring organizations need to ensure that they look beyond the SaaS delivery model. As with the “more” and “flexibility” points, there’s no point going for a cloud solution if it will ultimately fail to deliver against your requirements.

In sum, Joe recommends looking up from the particular solution your organization is considering to stare the vendor square in the face and ask (to yourself, of course), “Is this the kind of vendor that is going to support me in the long run? Do they truly care about my organization’s needs?”

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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