IT Governance

ITSM Futures: Ambient Intelligence and Data Culture

“Ambient intelligence” – the word sends tingles down the spine. Imagine data just flowing like a stream to each and every individual in your company. This isn’t some far-fetched futurist scenario. As Joe the IT Guy sees it, ambient intelligence is what ITSM is already doing by providing tools that enable users to seek insight from data systems.

Opening the ITSM Data Box

The term “data culture” comes from the Open Data Institute term “data as culture” and describes “data that anyone can access, use, and share.” Your ITSM tool is a benevolent Pandora’s Box just waiting to be unlocked:

As ITSM and the enabling technology evolves to meet new IT and business challenges, the days of an ITSM system being maintained by users filling out 20th century forms (on their desktop) to update a [1980s] relational database are incompatible with ambient intelligence and data culture, and will eventually need to be relegated to the past.

The future of ITSM is more in line with Microsoft CIO Satya Nadella’s “cloud first, mobile first” strategy. Already you hear ITSM tool vendors chattering about configuration management databases (CMDBs) and the like, all transaction-based and heavily reliant on data. Reliance on data, in turn, demands a better data strategy:

Data Ingress and Egress Should Be as Friction-Free as Possible – It’s a sexy statement isn’t it? What this means is having great UIs for humans, and great APIs for non-humans, to be able to collect ambient data from systems. It means having a flexible data model using unstructured data, not just the relational databases of the past.

To run further with this vision of ITSM innovation, Joe advises a platform strategy that uses APIs and allows third-party vendors to develop apps on top of existing systems. The same goes for in-house developers. Unleashed from proprietary APIs, developers are free to use tools in creative ways.

Data itself is being “democratized,” as seen by the efforts of many web-scale companies like Google, but this first requires a mindset that puts data at ITSM’s center state. Joe summarizes the transition to a data-driven future in three basic steps:

  • Open data for use.
  • Reduce data friction (ingress and egress).
  • Allow / encourage experimentation.

Read the original post at:

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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