Our mission is to provide independent industry news, reviews, resources and networking opportunities to worldwide vendors, partners, consultants and end users working in ITAM or ITSM.
The ITAM Review was founded in 2008, sister site The ITSM Review followed in 2011
100% organic growth through social media and word of mouth
7,000+ opt-in verified newsletter subscribers, 70K+ impressions a month worldwide (Typically 35% USA, 15% UK, other large audiences in Germany, Australia, Canada, France and India)
We are privately owned and proud to be vendor and service provider independent and impartial.
We’re looking for an ITSM Analyst who can act as a spokesperson and representative for the ITSM Review – online, in person and at worldwide events. The role involves creating high value ITSM analyst content and conducting reviews of products and services.
Our goal is to help ITSM Review readers navigate and understand the market – in terms of explaining or curating the latest news, explaining key concepts and navigating new technology and innovation.
Content published on the ITSM Review is driven by engaging and supporting our readers – so a key part of the role is to engage and assist with our readers and identify opportunities to help them via high value media in various formats.
Employment Type: Full-time
Location: Remote and flexible working
Working style: Being a self-starter is essential. The role is based on delivering against objectives not hours on the clock
Travel: Maybe 10-15% of the role requires international travel to conferences or consulting engagements. You own your diary.
Salary: Dependent on experience
A curious technologist
An ITSM Industry enthusiast
Knows how the IT industry works
Can write clearly and concisely
Can explain things, help readers join the dots, build frameworks and generally educate our audience
Good public speaker
Is willing to take a stand
Can take and leverage criticism
Likes to roll up sleeves, play with technology and trying to break things
How to Apply
Provide a one-minute video review of a product, service, event or ITSM concept
Provide a 500-800 word written piece of work to accompany the video
Send both via social media (publicly or discreetly)
At The ITSM Review, we come across a range of IT service management professionals, covering the full spectrum of experience.
Within our community of contributors and visitors, you’re rubbing shoulders with experienced ITSM practitioners, industry analysts and commentators, and those who may have been assigned their first service management improvement project.
Where do you go when you have a question about ITSM and all of its related frameworks, processes and methodologies?
Maybe you’re googling or hitting up one of the dozen-or-so LinkedIn groups. It’s hard to know where to put your trust; and when we saw the same sorts of questions come up day in and day out in all those LinkedIn groups, we felt there must be better way to help you find out what you need to know.
And more than that: it’s not very gratifying when you’ve taken the time to respond to someone’s call for help, only to watch that conversation sink down the page into a black hole when you know your answer could have helped the many others that would come afterwards!
The ITSM Review Q&A has been established as an industry knowledge base where you can access industry experts and practitioners whenever you’ve got a burning question in mind. Browse by topic, or start posting your question and existing answers will be suggested to you.
How do organisations plan tens or hundreds of releases a year across project delivery, vendor patching, infrastructure changes and more? How do they manage competition for access to test environments, ensure they spot colliding production releases in good time and avoid overbooking their test teams?
How do they articulate this enterprise-wide release roadmap to senior stakeholders, customers and IT staff?
Traditional answers to these questions usually take the form of project plans and spreadsheets. They rely on regular meetings between project office, operations & technical staff to keep them in sync, and are rarely, if ever, accurate in real time.
Today, a new breed of release management planning tools is emerging. Enterprise Release Management tools are agnostic of functional requirements or constituent change requests, and they don’t manage the actual deployment of code. They simply allow the entire IT organisation to track and manage the entire portfolio of releases across all environments. They have the scope breadth of a Change Schedule, but go into more detail.
At their simplest, they are a single source of the truth for the multitude of spreadsheets they replace, but most can pivot this data to provide people with the information they care about in customised and intuitive views – from CIO roadmaps to a test manager’s forward work plan.
Ultimately, they give Service Operations a reliable, realtime view of all upcoming releases with at-a-glance assurance that the right governance has been completed for each. And since they span both development and operations, many are starting to be called DevOps Release tools.
What does an Enterprise Release Management tool do?
Plans (and scopes) a release – Allows the construction of an end to end release plan following a user-customisable structure which could map to eg. an organisations’ project governance gateways. Should be able to record both governance activities/milestones as well as physical activities in multiple environments (deployments, test runs etc). Ideally should be templatable and re-usable.
Plans ALL releases – Takes the individual releases and plots them against a common timeline to spot resource over/under utilisation, go-live collisions and tells operations when to brace for action.
Manages environment & resource usage – Pivots the data from all releases and show an environment – or resource -centric view of the same data. Helps answer questions such as “what’s happening in our Pre-Prod environment next week?” or “can I deliver everything I promised?”
Presents data in various views depending on audience – The steering committee has different needs to those of a test manager, and the project needs to be able to see anything relevant with a few clicks. Does the tool allow varying levels of detail to be presented over user-defined timescales in a clean and coherent way no matter the format?
And not forgetting… – Role based access to stop people from seeing the wrong things (or changing them), the ability to dynamically import and update change requests from other tools (data exchange mechanisms such as XML and RESTful APIs are becoming the norm in service tools).
To test these, we’re constructing an entire fictitious company with a busy year of releases including new system deliveries, infrastructure refreshes, monthly & quarterly patching to cloud and on-premise services. We’re covering both agile and waterfall development & delivery methodologies, and even introducing some DevOps practice. We’re sharing this case study with the participating vendors, and we’re also going to make our own spreadsheet versions of the plans (which we won’t share with the vendors in advance). Our case study also includes some fairly thorny problems which a typical organisation could encounter eg. scheduling conflicts, people not following process and people whose idea of planning is far removed from the reality of their customers’ needs.
We will be rolling out a new Q&A forum and knowledge base for The ITSM Review shortly.
This is a short blog to discuss our goals and direction for the project (code name Angels on a Pin).
Why a Q&A Forum?
LinkedIn and Facebook are proving popular for discussion of ITSM topics. The weakness of these platforms is that a) the good stuff gets lost in the stream and b) common questions get repeated over and over. Noise and ‘the stream’ take precedent.
Our new forum aims to curate and moderate discussions and tag and categorize content for future reference.
The ITSM Review Q&A Forum
Our objective is to provide a useful, independent resource for worldwide ITSM professionals.
Actively moderated to remove spam or promotional messages in accordance with an open published code of conduct
Moderated to tag and categorize questions to avoid duplicates and allow the good stuff to be found
Curated to generate knowledge base articles for most popular topics and discussion areas
Game mechanics – proactively reward participation and the best answers
All content published creative commons / [UPDATE] non-commercial license
Free to access
Respect Intellectual Property – Give credit where it is due, only link to content that is freely accessible
Egalitarian – everyone has a voice. Provide a destination for newcomers and experts alike.
Knowledge Management – proactively clip the best content into a knowledge base for easy navigation.
I would appreciate your feedback to this project. Good, bad or indifferent.
In August of this year, we will be kicking off our product review dedicated to “Proactive Problem Management”, the use of ITSM technology that enables organizations to practice proactive or pre-emptive problem management.
The aim of this review is to showcase best of breed ITSM software in use outside the IT department, highlight key competitive differentiators and provide readers of The ITSM Review with impartial market intelligence to enable informed purchasing decisions.
This review will support prospective buyers with their selection process by providing features to consider when selecting ITSM systems and highlighting key competitive differentiators between suppliers.
Proactive Problem Management – if problem management is concerned with addressing the root cause of incidents, then proactive problem management is the systems and techniques to address these incidents before they occur and cause service disruption, or reduce or eliminate recurring incidents.
This review looks at the technology to assist organizations take a proactive step towards managing incidents and problems and explore problems before they results in incidents.
Solving problems, root causes and problem solving methodologies
Known errors / managing work in progress / CSI
Integrations, monitoring and triggers
Solutions that do not include all of the criteria above will not necessarily score badly – the criteria simply define the scope of areas will be covered. The goal is to highlight strengths and identify differences, whilst placing every vendor in the best light possible.
Please note: The assessment criteria are just a starting point; they tend to flux and evolve as we delve into solutions and discover unique features and leading edge innovation. Identifying key competitive differentiators is a higher priority than the assessment criteria.
Vendors who wish to participate in this “Proactive Problem Management” product review should contact us directly. We also welcome feedback from readers on their experience with their use of ITSM tools and proactive problem management (although this feedback will not directly impact the review).
Owing to the success of our ad hoc social gatherings in London in 2013, we’re planning a full schedule for 2014! The first of which will take place on Sunday 9th February at 6pm GMT. Sunday I hear you cry?! You can blame that on our US ITSM friends John Custy and Brian Hollandsworth, as they don’t have any other availability during their visit to the UK and we couldn’t have them leave without a social get together. Actually that is unfair, John had space during the week so just blame Brian!
Full details on location, costs and how to RSVP can be found below. Whether you’re a practitioner, vendor, or consultant we would love to have you come along for some informal networking, putting the ITSM and ITAM world to rights, a few tipples, and generally just a fabulous time.
Also, for anyone who is interested, we will also be arranging an afternoon of sightseeing across London for our dear American friends and anybody and everybody is welcome to come along. Please just let me know when you confirm your place for dinner.
A full schedule of all of our planned socials will be published soon. Apologies to all of our readers outside of the UK, as our sites continue to grow and prosper we hope to be able to arrange similar networking events like this on a more global basis.
Informal ITSM and ITAM social gathering
Somewhere yummy in London. Exact location TBC.
Sunday 9th February from 6pm GMT
Cost of your individual meal and drinks will be payable on the night. We recommend budgeting between £20-40 for the evening. Please note that we will not be responsible for the final bill. There is a £10 deposit required per person.
We’re excited to be kicking off our research briefings next week for our competitive analysis on Change, Configuration and Release. Scheduled for publication in May, vendors confirmed to participate so far include:
The research will highlight competitive differentiators; feature key strengths (and weaknesses too of course); and showcase innovation within each product. Once reviewed, we will crown one Vendor “Best in Class” and the “leader” in Change, Configuration and Release.
Our research is based solely on responses to an in-depth questionnaire as well as a series of briefings, but we are always interested in hearing the end-user perspective.
Do you have experience with any of the participating Vendors? Do you have any views on their capabilities when it comes to Change, Configuration and Release? Are there any Vendors that you think are successful in this area who are not currently scheduled to participate in this review?
The review will be conducted by Rebecca Beach. For more information on the assessment view the Group Test criteria here. Vendors can still sign up to be involved up until Friday 31st January.
Subscribe to the ITSM Review newsletter or follow us on Twitter to receive a notification when the research is published.
As 2013 begins to draw to a close, I thought it would be nice to finish off the year with a final article that’s an overview of what has happened at the ITSM Review over the last 12 months. That’s right, this will be our last post for 2013 because the entire team is heading off to fill their faces with mince pies and sherry. But don’t worry we’ll be back in 2014 with slightly bigger waistlines and lots of exciting plans for 2014 (insight into which you can find at the end of this article).
Ironically I like neither mince pies nor sherry.
Visits and Growth
We have had nearly 230,000 page views this year, an increase of a whopping 210% from 2012!!! A huge thank you to the circa 120,000 of you for coming to read our content.
Visits to our site increased by an astounding 58% between the end of June and end of July alone, and then continued to grow on average by 5.5% every month.
Our Twitter followers increased by 193%.
One thing that I think it’s worth pointing out here as well is that the bulk of our readers are not actually situated in the UK (which is what a lot of people presume given that this is where we are based). In 2013, 17% of our readers were from the UK, but an impressive 30% were actually from the USA. Perhaps we should open a US office?! A large proportion of visitors also came from India, Germany, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, France and Sweden, as well as plenty of other countries too.
Owing to us attracting more and more visitors year-on-year from outside of the UK and America, we are increasingly being asked to produce region-specific content. We are therefore looking for practitioners, consultants or analysts based in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe who would be interested in writing about their experiences of ITSM in other countries. If you are interested please get in touch.
Of those articles only number 3 was actually written and published in 2013.
I have to say congratulations specifically to Simon Morris here as well, because his KEDB article was not only the most-read article of the year, but it achieved 37% more hits than the second most popular article of the year! (And that’s not counting the hits it originally got in the year it was published).
Of the articles written and contributed in 2013, the top 3 were:
Is there a specific topic that you would like us to write about? Are there are practical pieces that you would like to see us cover to help you in your day-to-day job? Please let us know.
In 2013, we were pleased to welcome 3 new, regular content contributors to the ITSM Review. These are people who now write for us on a regular basis (roughly once a month), so you can expect to see a lot more great content from them in 2014. They are:
A great big thank-you to all of our regular and ad hoc contributors for helping supply with us with such fantastic content.
If you’re reading this and think you might be interested in contributing content (we welcome content from all, including) please get in touch.
Given that we had over 230,000 pages view this year, I thought that many of you might be interested to see what it was that people were searching for on our site. The top 20 searches of the year were as follows:
Known Error Database
Proactive Problem Management
What is Service Management
Cherwell Software Review
Gartner ITSM Magic Quadrant
ITSM Software Review
Major Incident Management Process
Free ITIL Training
KEDB in ITIL
Are there any search terms that you are surprised to see on there? Or anything that you would have expected to see that isn’t?
Our aim was not only to spread the word about The ITSM Review, but to spend time with delegates to find out what things they are struggling with and how we might be able to help them.
Next year you can expect to see us the PINK conference in Las Vegas, and we hope to announce some other new, exciting partnerships for 2015 in the New Year!
In May we launched the ITSM Review App (Search ‘ITSM’ in the Apple App Store).
Then there is the ITSM Tools Universe, which we launched at the end of November. The Tools Universe hopes to shed light on the emerging ITSM players (as well as the major competitors) and, over time, the changes in the position of the companies involved and moves in market share. Most importantly it is free to participate and unlike any Magic Quadrant or Wave, the ITSM Tools Universe is open to ALL ITSM vendors. 9 vendors are already confirmed.
If you are a Vendor and are interested in learning more the ITSM Tools Universe please contact us.
Additions to the team
As of 1st January 2013 the ITSM Review was still simply just the man you all know and love Martin Thompson (he tried desperately to get me to remove what I just said there… modest and all that jazz).
However, ITSM Review finished 2013 with an additional 3 employees:
In January 2013 Glenn Thompson (you’d be right to suspect that they might be related) joined full-time as the company’s Commercial Director. For some reason there was no official announcement (we’ll blame Martin) so for some of you this might be the first you’ve heard of it! Without Glenn we’d struggle to continue to offer all of our content to readers free of charge, so despite the fact that he’s a Chelsea fan, you’ve got to like him.
In July, for some reason Martin decided it would be a good move to hire some strange blonde lady who liked penguins (that would be me) as the Marketing and Community Manager.
Finally, in October Rebecca Beach joined as a Research Analyst. Famous for being a “gobby midget”, Rebecca will be writing most of our ITSM research and reviews in 2014. Rebecca also spends time (in conjunction with me) making fun of Martin and Glenn on a regular basis (it’s not our fault they make it so easy).
So then there was 4.
If you’re interested in any upcoming job opportunities at the ITSM Review (or ITAM Review), then please let us know. We certainly plan on increasing that number 4 in 2014.
What’s planned for 2014?
Next year we are hoping to broaden our coverage of the ITSM space even further by securing new content contributors; participating in more industry events; launching new products (such as video product reviews, webinars, and case studies); and more.
We’re also looking very seriously at the possibility of running regular ‘social meet ups’ like we recently did with the Christmas get-together.
In addition to the publication of our ITSM Tools Universe in the Spring we will also be continuing our Group Tests, and a full list of topics for the Group Test series will be published early January.
In addition to the above we also have some planned changes in the works for our website. Nothing too major (it will still look like the ITSM Review that you know and love), just some cosmetic updates to make it easier on the eye and increase your ability to easily find what you are looking for.
Watch this space and we’ll keep you updated of our plans throughout 2014!
Is there anything you would like to see us doing in 2014 that we’re not doing currently? Are there any changes that you would like to suggest to the website? Would you be interested in a tooling event or social get-togethers? Are you a Vendor who is interested in our Group Tests? We welcome your feedback, so please get in touch.
2013 is drawing to a close. Our success and growth throughout the year has made everybody here happy bunnies; but most importantly we hope that our content / site / presence this year has made YOU a bunch of happy bunnies. The whole purpose of the ITSM Review is to help ITSM practitioners, and everything we do has that end goal in mind. Even if we only gain an additional 5 readers in 2014, so long as our content aids those 5 people and makes their work lives easier then these bunnies will continue to have smiles on their faces.
So with that image of turning the entire ITSM industry into smiley rabbits, I bid you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for reading throughout 2013; without you… the ITSM Review doesn’t exist.
Today we begin our competitive analysis of Change, Config and Release. As with previous reviews our goal will be to highlight the key strengths, competitive differentiators and innovation in the industry.
Widely recognised as key to the successful preservation of production systems, the ITSM processes of Change, Config and Release are perceived as pivotal to maintaining the integrity and stability of the IT environment.
In a nutshell:
Change Management is the process used to track and communicate any changes in service that may impact the customer such as when systems are taken offline for updates.
Configuration Management is the process used to track individual CI’s (Configuration Items) and the way in which they interact with one another.
Release Management is the process of managing software releases from development right through to release.
Each process can be used individually but more often than not you will find these processes intertwined. When considering either a Change or Release you will need to know the CI’s that will be affected before you begin.
E.g: Your organisation needs to upgrade your in-house software package to all of its desktop pc’s, tablet devices and kiosks.
Release Management is used to track the in-house development of the software in question, Config management is used to scope the number of devices, number of people and types of people affected while Change Management is used to ensure the changes take place on a date that will cause the least disruption and that the why, how and when the changes will take place are communicated to the relevant people.
The criteria we will be using for our assessment is published below.
Ability to maintain a detailed record of each system’s configuration
Ability to interface with all internal Management Data Repositories (MDR) allowing the tool to compare reported configuration with actual configuration stored in the MDR
Ability to define dependency relationships between CIs
Ability to assign maintenance windows to CIs
Ability to auto discover CIs
Ability to interface with Inventory Control tools (to automate gathering of asset and inventory information) and barcode scanners
Ability to create automated alerts when a CI is found to be in an unauthorised state
Ability to link Release records to Change records
Ability to provide a Change/Release calendar with scheduled change viewing by group, and to customize the sorting and filtering of calendar views and link to existing calendar products
Calculate an objective risk assessment considering business impact and affected services
Show logical links between components included in a service in order to carry out business impact analysis
Ability to automatically create a Change Request when unauthorised changes are made to CI’s
Ability to schedule recurring events and maintenance
Ability to create and select pre-approved Change/Release from a pre-defined list
Pre-determined fields to auto-populate when Standard Change/Release from list used
Ability to capture the Change/Release date and time and who will be responsible for implementation
Ability to automatically send approval requests to the appropriate approvers
Ability to notify the assignee of the task and due date
Ability to link resources/approvers to Changes/Releases
Ability to assign tasks to individuals to be accomplished within specific time frames
Ability to alert Change/Release managers when approvals are past due
Ability to change status of Change/Release approvals
Ability to easily identify scheduling conflicts and reschedule appropriately
Ability to attach and store documentation with a Change/Release record
Ability to authorize and schedule Release deployments in conjunction with Change Management processes
Ability to change status of Release and linked Changes
Automatic notification for scheduled start/end and when the status of a Change associated with a Release changes
Ability to build, bundle and schedule different types of release packages for deployment
Ability to change status of Change/Release documentation
Ability to create sub activities or tasks for separate assignment to an individual, group or vendor
Ability to version release components and packages
Ability to assign tasks to teams/resolver groups
Ability to track the physical location of contracts and agreements, and identify the individuals responsible for them
Ability to define Change and Release Windows (including freeze windows)
Ability to document back-out procedures
Ability to ensure that Release deployments are subject to scheduling and approval requirements managed by the Change management process
Ability to provide proactive notification to stakeholders and Change Advisory Board (CAB)members for Changes with critical business impact and provide fully configurable filtered views of scheduled changes to multiple stakeholders
Ability to designate back up approvers
Ability to set thresholds for automated approval process
History of approval requests logged
Ability to easily identify affected CIs whenever a change is made
Ability to maintain an audit trail of changes made to a CI
Ability to track Asset status and lifecycle management
Support of multiple software audit options
Ability to perform software license management including automated notification of license expiration and non-compliance
Ability to create and publish a Master Release Schedule
Ability to associate the Master Release Schedule with Service Level Agreement information
Ability to store approver comments with the approval, and store approval history for a Release
Ability to track and trace post deployment activities
Ability to trace implementation to the authorized version in the Document Management Library (DML)
Bulk import of licensing data
Ability to track costs of CI’s
Alignment with industry frameworks
Ability to support a “virtual” CAB (i.e. approvals/issues stored electronically)