[The following is compiled from various websites, webcasts and blogs freely available in the public domain.]
VeriSM™ is a new approach to help organisations deliver digital services in a time when the pressure to deliver value and agility is intense. VeriSM is not a product that competes with frameworks and methodologies like DevOps, Agile and ITIL; instead it’s a way to analyse them and place them in context, utilising their individual strengths (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts). VeriSM is about taking a step back, looking at the problems you have, the various methods you currently use, and then rethinking and evolving your approach.
[VeriSM is both an acronym (Value-driven, Evolving, Responsive, Integrated Service Management) and a defined term “strict representation of truth and reality (in art and literature)”.
No single process is the answer – saying “we are deploying the latest ITIL version” or “we are a DevOps company”, or “we are doing Agile” is just chasing the latest methodology – changing direction and strategy each time a new one is launched.
Additionally VeriSM states that treating your business as a customer is not working – digital services are not just about technology. IT must be seen as part of the whole along with HR, Logistics, Recruitment, Sales etc. Processes need to exist at an organisational level, not department by department.
So what actually is it?
Part of the VeriSM approach is to help organisations define their service management principles. These principles will be relevant to all products and services, and include areas like security, quality, cost and risk. Service management principles are defined and communicated throughout the organisation, acting as ‘guardrails’ or guides for all product and service development and operation.
It also introduces at its heart “the Management Mesh”. The Management Mesh is built by considering the organisation’s environment, the available resources, emerging technologies, and the methodologies, standards and frameworks that could be used. Together, these are used to create an integrated, cohesive strategy. Organisations with a high level of service management maturity may consider this as being the approach they already take, but VeriSM is about documenting this approach and offering it to a wider audience – and to the next generation of service managers. It is positioned as highly collaborative – with real case studies and regular industry input so that it reflects reality not theory.
What is the driver?
To be an effective service provider organisation, service management can no longer be confined to a single department like the IT department or customer services; it touches every element of the organisation. Certainly at ECS we know that service management plays a leading role in the digital transformation – a digital transformation must look outwards; with a hyper-focus on the consumer experience. Service management can help shift the mind-set from ’inside-out’ to ’outside-in’ by developing effective, transparent principles that support delivery of services that are valuable to the customer.
The VeriSM approach is specifically tailored to support the entire organisation – to help them succeed in the world of digital services. When the focus changes to look at service management from the organisational perspective, service providers can start to see how to use all organisational capabilities, from IT to marketing, finance to customer service, to deliver value. ECS has this at the heart of both its approach to SIAM and to the Cloud Operating Model.
VeriSM also helps organisations to evolve their operating model, based on an integrated selection of available management practices – ECS’s own Cloud Operating Model recognises this, with an emphasis on breaking down the traditional silo’s between IT areas and the business. VeriSM provides flexibility and responsiveness as opposed to a ‘one size fits all’ approach. This is necessary since all organisations are different, in terms of their size, the types of customers they serve, and their culture. We are pleased to see that VeriSM doesn’t tie organisations to a single management product or methodology and it allows the operating model to change when required.
One of the most important part of the VeriSM approach is accepting that service management is part of everyone’s role and an essential organisational capability. There isn’t a VeriSM team, or a department locked away behind a closed door. Everyone from senior management down has a role to play, increasingly T-shaped professionals will be required (many broad competencies, one deep skill).
The other key success factor is to accept the impact of technology on products and services. Digital transformation is changing every aspect of how we operate as organisations, whether we are large or small, private sector or public sector. We need to think in terms of technology-enabled services, rather than ‘IT projects’. Business projects and processes are enabled by technology. Controversially perhaps, they suggest Shadow-IT should be embraced as part of the overall business capability.
Finally, we need to accept that as employees of an organisation, we are all in this together. It’s not solely the responsibility of an IT department to assess how technology can improve services, just as it’s not solely the responsibility of the customer service team to interact with customers. Every employee of the organisation works together to create products and services that will support the organisational goals.
It’s important to remember that VeriSM doesn’t replace any effective ways of working that you might already have in place. Instead, it shows you how to fit these into an overall organisational context and flexibly adopt different management practices to meet different service management situations.
Who’s behind it?
A Netherlands based not-for-profit organisation called the International Foundation for Digital Competences (IFDC). Partners already include APMG, BCS, EXIN, The Open Group, ITSM Zone, itSMF.
A global launch is already underway. Industry representation / attendance has so far included IBM, ATOS, SopraSteria, Sogeti (Capgemini), ServiceNow and Accenture. ECS were present at the Edinburgh launch, as co-sponsors of “IT in the Park”.