Critical Capabilities for IT Service Support Management Tools


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Critical Capabilities for IT Service Support Management Tools

Published: 24 August 2016 ID: G00291750
Analyst(s):
 

Summary

IT service support management tools enable infrastructure and operations organizations to support and deliver IT services. To choose the correct tool, I&O leaders should determine which of the popular ITSSM products are best-suited to their I&O maturity levels.

Overview

Key Findings

  • Vendors try to sell IT service support management products to infrastructure and operations leaders based on the size of their organizations; however, I&O maturity is the key factor to consider when selecting a suitable ITSSM tool.
  • ITSSM tools suited to basic and intermediate maturity I&O organizations focus on incident and problem management competencies, but lack depth in change, configuration and release management.
  • ITSSM tools suited to advanced I&O maturity organizations focus on integration with broader IT operations management tools, and are often complex and expensive.
  • Vendors promote non-ITSSM functions, such as shared services (e.g., HR and facilities), to the detriment of the core capabilities that most I&O organizations require.

Recommendations

I&O leaders should:
  • Use an assessment, such as Gartner's IT Score for Infrastructure and Operations, to determine their organization's I&O maturity level.
  • Match their I&O maturity levels to the appropriate I&O maturity use cases in this Critical Capabilities research to determine how popular ITSSM tools address the capabilities that are the most critical to their scenarios.
  • Use the digital workplace ITSSM use case that's most appropriate to their I&O maturity when prioritizing business user engagement through the IT self-service features of ITSSM tools.
  • Consult stakeholders and experts (including Gartner analysts) from outside I&O, when selecting an ITSSM tool for capabilities beyond ITSM 2.0.

What You Need to Know

Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to learn how to match their I&O maturity to a wide selection of offerings (see "IT Service Support Management Tool Acquisitions Must Be Based on I&O Maturity" ). Gartner has established 11 critical capabilities that differentiate the most popular large-enterprise-focused products on the market, and three infrastructure and operations (I&O) maturity-related use cases (plus two for the digital workplace) to filter and prioritize the features that will have the most beneficial impacts. This research focuses on the critical capabilities of IT service support management (ITSSM) tools, rather than the strengths and weaknesses of the ITSSM vendors.
This analysis complements the "Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools," which highlights a broad set of factors, including the corporate viability, vision, marketing and geographic focus of the vendors that offer these ITSSM products. We strongly recommend that organizations use this research in conjunction with the Magic Quadrant, inquiries with Gartner analysts and other Gartner research to define their requirements and select the solutions that match their needs.
This year, we have separated the key critical capabilities of change/release management and configuration management to reflect the importance of configuration management in higher I&O maturity use cases. We also added the collaboration capability to evaluate advanced digital workplace use cases and address the growing importance of peer-to-peer (P2P) support.

Analysis

Critical Capabilities Use-Case Graphics

Figure 1. Vendors' Product Scores for the Basic-Maturity I&O Use Case
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
Figure 2. Vendors' Product Scores for the Intermediate-Maturity I&O Use Case
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
Figure 3. Vendors' Product Scores for the High-Maturity I&O Use Case
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
Figure 4. Vendors' Product Scores for the Basic Digital Workplace ITSSM Use Case
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
Figure 5. Vendors' Product Scores for the Advanced Digital Workplace ITSSM Use Case
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.
Source: Gartner (August 2016)

Vendors

Axios Systems assyst v.10.7

Axios Systems' Assyst v.10.7 is available as an on-premises and a software as a service (SaaS) offering, via both named and concurrent licensing.
Assyst's incident SLA history provides a useful graphical timeline diagram that shows escalations, when the clock and priority changed, and plots this alongside applicable underpinning contracts. Knowledge management (KM)-enabling crowdsourcing between end users and IT service desk agents supports the ability to tap into intrinsic organizational knowledge. An Infozone panel on the right-hand side of the Incident Management screen provides persistent, contextually relevant information to the incident at hand, and suggests next actions.
The user interface (UI) for IT workers is dated. As a result, it's not very intuitive to work with. Conflicts in the change calendar are not highlighted clearly, and automatic rescheduling was not demonstrated. Gartner found that reporting dashboards drill down into the underlying dataset, but not into specific, filtered data elements when clicking on graphical charts.
Axios assyst is an intermediate to advanced ITSSM tool suited to IT organizations that need focused ITSSM capabilities.

BMC Remedy Service Management Suite v.9.1.00

BMC's Remedy Service Management Suite v.9.1.00 is available as an on-premises and a SaaS offering, via both named and concurrent licensing.
Remedy's configuration management database (CMDB) leverages the improved capabilities of the updated BMC Discovery (previously ADDM) to offer visualization and mapping capabilities that provide change management teams with the collision detection required to improve change success rates. Remedy's Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS)-based quality scorecards support quality-monitoring activities for knowledge articles. The Smart IT UI has been expanded to include change management, and the MyIT UI for business users provides appointment-booking features for employees that help IT service desks operate walk-up services.
A few modules, such as release management, do not yet offer the Smart IT UI, and the transition back to the older UI can be disorientating. Remedy ITSM Suite is one of the more-expensive tools on the market, and may cost too much for many small or midsize businesses (SMBs; i.e., fewer than 1,000 employees). Remedy now offers a native reporting tool; however, it is not yet fully featured for advanced uses, such as predictive analytics. As a result, third-party reporting tools may be required
Remedy Service Management Suite is an advanced ITSSM tool that is suited to large IT organizations with mature ITSSM requirements, especially those that want strong links to other IT operations management (ITOM) tools inside and outside the BMC product set.

BMC Remedyforce Summer 15

Remedyforce Summer 15, which resulted from a partnership between BMC and Salesforce, is available as SaaS, via named licensing.
Remedyforce can use Salesforce's native process designer, which has good links to external processes that organizations already using Salesforce for other applications will be able to leverage. Global search returns knowledge from multiple sources (including external sources, if federated) and sorts the knowledge types effectively for easy viewing and selection. The licensing model includes a lower monthly fee for casual users who spend at least 60% less time using it than standard users of the tool. This makes the product more affordable than other vendors' products, which are based on a flat-rate, named-user subscription model.
The UI resembles an older version of Remedy designed to look like Salesforce, rather than something that feels as if it had been built specifically for ITSSM. Self-service is weak, with the included portal designed with the IT user in mind, but not the business user at which it should be aimed. Remedyforce's dashboards are not fully interactive, using static lists of text.
Remedyforce is an intermediate ITSSM tool suited to low-maturity IT organizations that need core ITSSM capabilities in a SaaS solution.

CA Service Management v.14.1.02

CA Technologies' CA Service Management v.14.1.02 is available on-premises, via both named and concurrent licensing.
Strong bidirectional integration is natively provided to the wider portfolio of ITOM products from CA Technologies. For example, when incidents in CA Service Management generated by CA Event Management are resolved, the related event is cleared. Users are provided the ability to subscribe to knowledge articles and receive notification of changes or updates to the article. The product provides auto-assignment features for the fast routing of tickets to support teams.
IT users are provided with a dated UI that's not well-suited to IT service desk analyst workflows. CA Service Management's discovery components are unable to identify those assets with life cycles that begin and end between traditional discovery sweeps. Gartner found weak governance regarding standard changes, where requesters could self-identify standard changes and, therefore, avoid any risk and impact analysis that should normally identify the change as low-risk and repeatable.
CA Service Management is an advanced ITSSM tool suited to large IT organizations with complex ITSSM requirements and a desire to integrate with other ITOM tools from CA Technologies.

Cherwell Service Management v.8.02

Cherwell Software's Cherwell Service Management v.8.02 is available as on-premises and SaaS, via concurrent licensing.
The core incident management module detects and matches related incidents, problems and known errors as IT service desk agents assist business users. There is an effective visual workflow for managing the life cycle of a service and an associated panel that shows how many incidents have been logged against the service and the status of those incidents. Although the core installation is initially suited to basic and intermediate-maturity I&O organizations, a selection of advanced features can easily be added by installing a related mergeable applications ("mApp") add-on from the catalog provided.
Remote control, IT support livechat and collaboration capabilities are not fully present and require third-party applications to be integrated via a mApp plugin. The native CMDB is more useful as a configuration repository than as an IT service view CMDB, because it requires third-party add-ons to be proficient at detecting and automating the visualization and management of relationships and dependencies among configuration items (CIs). Although it is easy to run foundational reports and create dashboards, the product lacks advanced analytics capabilities.
Cherwell Service Management is an intermediate to advanced ITSSM tool suited to midsize-to-large IT organizations that need good ITSSM capabilities that they can use with third-party ITOM solutions.

EasyVista IT Service Manager 2015

EasyVista IT Service Manager 2015 from EasyVista is available on-premises and as SaaS, via both named and concurrent licensing.
EasyVista's incident management functions include the ability to show the current location and availability of resolver group resources when assigning incidents. The product's strong telephony integration features screen pop-ups that provide contextual information to IT service desk agents, as they answer phone calls from business users. A graphical CMDB explorer shows related CIs that had active incidents, and a wizard can display just the impacted CIs in a list that makes this quicker and easier.
Building advanced reports is not always intuitive, especially when working with multidimensional charts that compare metrics from different processes (see "Use a Multidimensional Approach to Metrics to Measure and Report on I&O Quality" ). The product lacks collaboration features that enable business users to leverage P2P support. EasyVista can integrate with external sources using web services, but the included list of out-of-the-box integrations is less extensive than other ITSSM products.
EasyVista IT Service Manager is an intermediate ITSSM tool suited to SMB IT organizations that need ITSSM capabilities, but are content to use other products for extended ITOM use.

Heat Service Management v.2015.2

Heat Software's Heat Service Management v.2015.2 is available on-premises and as SaaS, via both named and concurrent licensing.
The incident management features meet the needs of most I&O organizations, such as providing the ability to convert free-form emails into incident tickets. The KM component offers core integration into the incident and request workflows with the ability to federate knowledge from alternative external sources. Heat configuration management provides solid CMDB content to context mapping, and its automated impact analysis detects and escalates misconfigurations and change collisions very well.
The self-service portal's design is not particularly engaging for business users for request or collaboration. The reporting provides standard ITIL metric reports out of the box; however, it is limited in predictive capabilities. Heat's out-of-the-box integration to ITOM automation tools is mostly limited to the vendor's own tools.
Heat Service Management is an intermediate to advanced ITSSM tool suited to midsize IT organizations that want an ITSSM solution that can integrate with Heat's asset and enterprise device management products.

HPE Service Anywhere March 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (HPE's) HPE Service Anywhere March 2016 is available as SaaS, via both named and concurrent licensing.
Strong native telephony integration alerts agents about major incidents (top issues) when users call the service desk, so they can tag their incident to existing issues without speaking to a human. Service Anywhere's change management module offers graphical impact analysis simulation, plus active scheduling for changes to avoid conflicts. The product demonstrates good on-the-fly translation for multilanguage environments.
Gartner found that configuration management was relatively complex to work with for typical users of this product. Configuring workflows is also not very intuitive, and the results can be difficult to read, with overlapping lines linking the process steps. Out-of-the-box integration with other ITOM tools is limited to HPE products, with API connections required for other third-party integrations.
HPE Service Anywhere is an intermediate ITSSM tool suited to IT organizations that want an affordable, SaaS-based ITSSM tool for the IT service desk.

HPE Service Manager v.9.41

HPE's HPE Service Manager v.9.41 is available on-premises, via both named and concurrent licensing.
Service Manager's Hot Topic analytics can identify patterns and trends for optimizing incident management activities, proactive problem identification, and finding candidates for knowledge creation. The "smart classification" on keywords entered in an incident description feature helps IT service desk analysts quickly classify incidents by avoiding the need to search through multiple drop-down lists. Integration with Skype for Business for livechat means that IT service desk analysts use the Service Manager interface, but business users see their own IM clients.
However, P2P support relies on using the Service Manager portal or a simple wiki, rather than the portals that business users prefer to use. Service Manager's incident prioritization is based on an average of impact and urgency, instead of a weighting calculation. Some customer references and Gartner clients report difficulties when integrating the ITSSM tools with other ITOM products from HPE.
HPE Service Manager is an advanced ITSSM tool suited to large, mature IT organizations that want to leverage big data to optimize IT service management (ITSM).

IBM Control Desk v.7.6

IBM's Control Desk v.7.6 is available on-premises and as SaaS , via both named and concurrent licensing.
Change management is enhanced by automated rescheduling suggestions and approvers related to CIs and blackout periods. Service bulletins are launched to advise analysts of ongoing incidents that may be related to the ticket on which they're working. Failed solutions or work-arounds to known errors can be flagged to alert knowledge authors of the need for updates and corrections.
The UI is outdated, which will make it harder for modern IT service desks to use productively. Reporting relies on Cognos, BIRT and expression builders to create reports; however, it is somewhat difficult to use and lacks features such as multidimensional reporting and business value reports. Control Desk is one of the most expensive ITSSM tools on the market, in terms of licensing and the effort required to maintain and develop the system.
IBM Control Desk is an advanced ITSSM tool suited to large, mature IT organizations that have invested in tools from IBM's ITOM software portfolio and professional services.

Landesk Service Desk v.2016

Landesk Service Desk v.2016 from Landesk is available on-premises and as SaaS, via both named and concurrent licensing .
Landesk Service Desk can fully automate many requests made via the service catalog on the self-service portal, and management approval notwithstanding, software requests can be deployed to PCs in minutes. The product integrates well with a wide selection of third-party products. Business users can log in an incident by taking a picture of an error message using a smartphone, which is then processed using optical character recognition (OCR) to offer related knowledge base articles on their devices.
Landesk has introduced a new UI to partially replace the dated interfaces on older versions, but it is not yet well-tuned for productive use. Although the features of Xtraction are now available (following Landesk's acquisition of it last year), standard reporting is still carried out using Crystal Reports, which is not particularly easy to use. CMDB collision detection and escalation for change management is weak, as is its ability to discover, inventory, normalize and reconcile service assets with short life cycles.
Landesk Service Desk is an intermediate to advanced ITSSM tool suited to IT organizations that have defined their processes and want an integrated solution with their endpoint device management.

ServiceNow Service Management Suite, Geneva Release

The ServiceNow Service Management Suite, Geneva Release, is available as SaaS, via named licensing, but it can be installed on-premises in exceptional circumstances.
An integrated web chat feature for IT users to contact IT enables good collaboration on incidents and problems, and the results of the conversation are appended to the related incident or problem for reference and ongoing analysis. A well-integrated IT asset repository-based CMDB takes full advantage of automation technology to create and maintain graphical service maps that accelerate incident resolution. ServiceNow has added more native ITOM capabilities and integrates with a large number of third-party solutions and service providers to extend the product.
However, customers report that configuration and integration can require extensive effort and resources. Some predictive analytics and business value reporting capabilities require significant additional licensing costs for the performance analytics add-on. ServiceNow offers named-user subscriptions, but does not offer concurrent licensing. This increases costs for I&O organizations with many infrequent users.
ServiceNow Service Management Suite is an advanced ITSSM tool suited to large IT organizations that are looking for a cloud-based platform to meet their mature ITSSM requirements via a subscription.

Context

The ITSSM tools market comprises more than 450 products that claim to provide IT organizations with the ability to track and resolve issues affecting the IT production environment. Although all ITSSM tools provide these core ticketing functions, the true value that IT organizations can gain from ITSSM tools is their ability to deliver tightly integrated processes and functions that correlate with the activities of the broader IT organization. I&O organizations looking to increase IT process maturity have looked to ITSSM tools aligned and preconfigured to industry best-practice frameworks to integrate responsibilities across technology silos with common processes, collaboration and the reinforcement of an organizational commitment to shared objectives.
Integrated incident and problem management, along with request fulfillment, reporting and dashboard capabilities, makes up the core functionality of ITSSM tools. Differentiation in this space comes from integrated change, configuration and release capabilities, as well as service request management, KM, and the ability to integrate with broader ITOM functionalities and third-party data sources. Integration with broader ITOM tools is key, because midmarket IT organizations often buy cost-effective tools that struggle to demonstrate cross-domain ITOM tool interoperability. Regardless of their size, organizations should select ITSSM tools that blend the right mix of ITSSM requirements, ease of use and ease of integration with broader ITOM functionalities (see "ITSSM Tool Selections Require an ITSM and ITOM Tooling Strategy" ).
Understanding the needs of the business user is an important component of tool selection, because a large part of the business perception of the IT organization stems from interactions with the IT service desk. ITSSM products are being enhanced and developed with context-aware capabilities, as well as better front-end UIs for business users (via IT self-service for request management and KM and other channels, such as IT support live chat and walk-up support) by vendors looking to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. New emphasis on the digital workplace (see"Create a Business Manifesto for Digital Workplace Success" ) requires product selections to strongly prioritize the user experience for the business consumer, which may previously have been an afterthought. Reducing any friction in the support process gives back time better spent on productive outcomes, which is better for the business and employee satisfaction (see "Design IT Self-Service for the Business Consumer" ).
I&O organizations can foster higher levels of business user engagement via the IT service desk by leveraging contextual information gathered on end-user interactions. This information can be used to improve business user experiences with the IT services that the I&O organization supports and delivers (see "How IT Service Desks Should Support the Digital Workplace" ).
IT organizations generally start with incident management and initially intend to use the complete set of capabilities that ITSSM tools offer. The level of I&O maturity often dictates the use of broader capabilities, because strong process management is required to fully ascertain value. As IT organizations mature, the desire to integrate broader ITOM tools becomes a requirement. Historically, ITSSM tools were purchased based on cost, leading to situations in which IT organizations purchased tools that met the requirements of the IT service desk, but not the needs of the broader I&O organization. As IT organizations look to purchase new tools, they must review their ITOM tool portfolios and determine which tools must integrate with their ITSSM tools. They must also recognize that the varying maturity levels across I&O processes and tool leverage will affect potential linkages.
I&O organizations that plan on achieving or retaining Level 1 or Level 2 I&O maturity should consider basic and intermediate tools to avoid overspending on tools that provide value by integrating with broader ITOM functionalities. I&O organizations intent on achieving maturity Level 3 or higher within 18 months should consider advanced ITSSM tools to gain value from solutions focused on a broader, end-to-end context of IT service support and delivery. Predictably, an advanced ITSSM tool will present higher total cost of ownership (TCO) than an intermediate or a basic tool.
The ITSSM market is maturing quickly, with low barriers to entry. Buyers often struggle to identify which tools are best aligned with their I&O goals and objectives. In a saturated market, the products featured in this research are top of mind among Gartner clients, and frequently appear on I&O organization selection shortlists. Gartner also includes at least one large-enterprise-targeted ITSSM tool from each vendor featured in the related Magic Quadrant for ITSSM tools (see "Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools" ), if the product did not already meet the inclusion criteria specific to this Critical Capabilities research. The products included here are not the only choices for I&O leaders to consider. If you require information about other products that appear less often, then schedule an inquiry with a Gartner analyst.

Product/Service Class Definition

ITSSM tools enable IT operations organizations, specifically I&O managers, to better support the production environment. ITSSM tools facilitate the tasks and workflows associated with the management and delivery of quality IT services to the business. These are most often used by IT service desks and IT service delivery functions. Some non-I&O departments (such as HR or facilities) also use ticket-handling and workflow capabilities.
ITSSM tools are classified based on ITSM capabilities and integration with ITOM solutions (see "ITSSM Tool Selections Require an ITSM and ITOM Tooling Strategy" ) as follows:
  • Basic ITSSM tools have some ITSM capabilities and limited integration with ITOM solutions.
  • Intermediate ITSSM tools have good ITSM capabilities, and provide some basic ITOM functions or integrate with intermediate third-party ITOM solutions.
  • Advanced ITSSM tools have a full range of ITSM capabilities, and provide broad ITOM functionality natively or integrate with advanced third-party ITOM solutions.
More than 450 vendors offer ITSSM products, but most are basic or intermediate tools that focus on IT service desk and ticketing functions targeted at lower-maturity I&O organizations. Some innovation occurs in advanced ITSSM tools; however, these tools are aimed at only a few organizations and have not been priced to suit a large number of organizations. As the market saturation of basic and intermediate ITSSM tools continues, vendors are increasingly concentrating product development on non-I&O use cases. If this trend continues, the market will stagnate.
ITSSM tools are components of the ITSM 2.0 ITOM tools minisuite, which focuses on improving the overall level of quality and efficiency with which the I&O organization supports end users. ITSSM tools may optionally integrate with other tools from the automation minisuite or the availability and performance minisuite for deeper overall ITOM capability (see "Choose IT Operations Management Tools Based on Your Requirements" ).

Critical Capabilities Definition

Incident and Problem Management

Incident ticketing and problem management is required by all IT organizations that use ITSSM tools. This enables them to manage the life cycles of IT incidents and problem records from recording to closing. These are core capabilities in which all ITSSM tools must be competent.
The success of IT service support depends on effective communications, which is supported by the ITSSM tool's ability to integrate with communications platforms, such as telephony systems and chat. These capabilities are evaluated on the support of the collection, analysis, and communication of incident and problem management data and information. Features that support integration with telephony and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) systems to support core ticketing and incident management functions are also evaluated.

Change and Release Management

Integrated change and release management are important for organizations focused on intermediate and advanced IT service support capabilities to control the governance and risk of changes to I&O.
Higher maturity uses cases benefit from the use of automation for standard change models and the oversight of release and deployment for I&O changes. Integrated change and release management capabilities are evaluated on their ability to govern the IT change management process, and to enable release governance to ensure that approved changes are executed in the environment in accordance with the IT organization's defined and documented procedures.

Configuration Management

Configuration management is important for organizations focused on intermediate and advanced IT service support capabilities to maintain an overview of service assets to aid other processes, such as change and incident management.
Lower-maturity I&O organizations may use an ITSSM tools' discovery features to compile a list of assets; however, a key feature for advanced use cases is a graphical service dependency mapping interface that incorporates the discovery, inventory, normalization and reconciliation of service assets. Integrated service asset and configuration management capabilities are evaluated on the ability to create and maintain a complete and accurate picture of configuration across various infrastructure elements.

Self-Service/Request Fulfillment

Service request fulfillment is important for IT organizations focused on providing business users with a convenient way to interact with the IT organization by presenting incident and request tracking services, technical IT components and IT services in the form of an orderable service catalog.
Higher-maturity use cases rely on the automation of basic fulfillment activities for large and fast-moving environments. Service request fulfillment is evaluated on a product's ability to present an online portal to business end users who are requesting help from the IT service support organization in the form of incident reports, change requests, IT component ordering or administration. Capabilities that enable IT organizations to automate these processes to expedite common requests are also considered.

IT Knowledge Management

KM is a key area of differentiation for all use cases. The knowledge portal should enable end users to resolve simple incidents themselves. The tools should create knowledge bases for relevant, updatable content that is useful for IT and business users.
The tools should support the ability to create knowledge, from scratch or from an incident record, and store it in a database for relevant, searchable and updatable content. Content should be searchable from many different access points across the system for both IT and business users, and can be rated to show how valuable the knowledge is. Knowledge will also be evaluated on how the knowledge articles can be managed over time, and pass through approvals as needed.

Collaboration

Collaboration features are key for digital workplace use cases to help IT staff work together to solve IT incidents and problems, enable business users to solve their own IT issues, and support business users in helping their colleagues.
Higher-maturity uses cases for I&O and the digital workplace will rely on portals and features that support collaboration beyond departmental silos, as well as features that identify knowledge matter experts. Employees have a great deal of digital dexterity in their personal lives outside their jobs, and are able to solve many of their own technology problems. ITSSM can enhance business user autonomy by providing rich knowledge and resources that enable individuals to perform self-service, as well as assist their colleagues. This capability is evaluated on the product's ability to support collaboration and communication for internal IT staff and business users and between both constituencies, using chat, social streams and portals.

Reporting and SLA Management

Reporting and dashboards are key for all use cases, because they support, enhance, and extend collaborative decision support (strategic and tactical) and communication with IT and business leaders.
Reports, dashboards and other visualization capabilities must incorporate common critical success factors, key performance indicators (KPIs) and the ability to visualize multidimensional causal relationships among metrics. High-maturity use cases benefit from support for business value metrics and end-to-end, service-level management across a line of service involving internal and external service providers. Reporting is also evaluated on the product's ability to provide it out of the box or to build trend reports that measure and predict operational performance using a variety of graphical models.

Process and Workflow Design

IT organizations in all use cases need out-of-the-box, preconfigured forms, fields, workflows and reports that are compatible with industry best practices and standards for IT service support.
IT organizations increasingly require the ability to configure these processes, create new workflows and link to other ITOM activities as I&O maturity improves. Complex environments need intuitive, graphical and interactive workflow design tools. Products are evaluated on the presence of out-of-the-box best practices, as well as the quality of preconfigured workflows, in accordance with industry best practices and ease of use with respect to modifying and supplementing those workflows as needed.

Data Source/ITOM Tool Integration

The ability to integrate with other tools and the ability of those tools to integrate with ITSSM software is increasingly important, particularly for organizations that use software from other ITOM minisuites.
Higher I&O maturity organizations require integration beyond the ITSM 2.0 minisuite, although interfaces with tools for software asset management, service catalog and IT financial management are desirable for intermediate I&O maturity. Products are evaluated on the presence of out-of-the box integration capabilities (via APIs or connectors) that link to tools from the three ITOM minisuites (ITSM 2.0, Availability & Performance and Automation).

Total Cost of Ownership

License and subscription costs for ITSSM tools vary considerably, as do ongoing costs for support and administration. Many organizations overbuy when selecting an ITSSM tool.
Low I&O maturity requires lighter solutions that do not rely on significant time and effort to administer the application. Higher TCO is less of an issue for IT organizations with high I&O maturity, because they are able to benefit from the extended capabilities typically offered with more-complex tools. Products are evaluated on their value for money at purchase (including any additional components required to meet the critical capabilities for ITSSM tools) and the ongoing TCO, plus the range of licensing and delivery models being offered.

User Experience and Flexibility

Product configuration flexibility is an important factor that distinguishes different ITSSM tools for different maturity levels. IT service desk users, in particular, benefit from a streamlined and intuitive UI.
Lower-maturity use cases require ITSSM tools that are quick and simple to configure without coding. Higher-maturity IT organizations benefit from extended options for building on the ITSSM platform to support a wider range of applications of the tool within an ITSSM scenario. Products are evaluated on complexity and flexibility of configuration. The suitability and intuitiveness of the UI for IT and business users are also evaluated here.

Use Cases

Basic-Maturity I&O

This use case focuses on core IT service desk features, ease of use and affordability for IT organizations at Maturity Level 1 in Gartner's ITScore for I&O (ITSIO).
This use case often involves SMBs that lack strong ITSSM maturity, expertise and resources with awareness levels of I&O maturity. Organizations are typically looking to establish and formalize the IT service support function and basic incident management processes with these tools, and are working to ensure consistent experiences for business users contacting the IT service desk. Organizations typically have limited resources dedicated to the administration of the ITSSM tool. Therefore, they place a higher value on the initial setup of the product, as well as the resources required for ongoing support. Professional services are rarely required to implement and integrate products with email and directory services.

Intermediate-Maturity I&O

This use case features a balanced weighting for core ITSM capabilities for IT organizations at ITSIO Maturity Level 2.
This use case often involves midsize to enterprise-size organizations with a committed and emerging proactive level of I&O maturity. Organizations are typically looking to establish IT change, configuration and release management processes with these tools, and are working to stabilize the production environment by managing and reducing the number of uncertainties and unpredictable responses from the broader I&O team. This can improve the management of operational risks. In standardized processes, these organizations can now measure improvements in productivity and efficiency — hence, the higher weight on reporting and dashboard capabilities. Incident response is proficient, with a focus on open communications, transparency and tested responses in the KM repository.

High-Maturity I&O

This use case focuses on mature ITSM capabilities, as well as integration with broader ITOM data sources for IT organizations with ITSIO Maturity Level 3 or higher.
High-maturity I&O typically involves large, global enterprise organizations with hundreds to thousands of changes to the production environment per month and proactive to service-aligned levels of I&O maturity. Organizations are generally looking to improve their IT change, configuration and release management processes with these tools, often working with a service view CMDB to conduct impact analyses and risk assessments of change.
Release management activities with respect to change groupings, change scheduling and integration testing are key to these organizations, which must deliver high levels of service availability and response to rapid IT and business change. The ease of integration of third-party data sources and ITOM tools is also important, because these organizations often need tools that provide better visibility of the I&O organization, using as few vendor tools as possible to reduce ITOM debt and complexity.

Basic Digital Workplace ITSSM

This focuses on IT self-service and KM for basic and intermediate I&O maturity organizations, and the ability of the products to appeal to business users.
The digital workplace is an ongoing, deliberate approach to delivering a more consumerlike computing environment to business users. Because the IT service support organization is largely responsible for the business user's perception of the overarching IT department, organizations can affect perceptions and demonstrate value to business by driving higher levels of business-IT engagement, with ITSSM tools as a catalyst.
Organizations in this use case are working to make the enterprise computing environment more like the consumer computing environment in simple, yet effective ways. Consideration is also being given to features that enable organizations to provide support across multiple channels and to improve the means with which they can interact and engage with the business.

Advanced Digital Workplace ITSSM

This focuses on IT self-service and KM for high I&O maturity organizations, as well as the quality of the products' collaboration features for business users.
In addition, advanced digital workplace ITSSM rates the ability to integrate with broader ITOM functions for service fulfillment. The digital workplace is an ongoing, deliberate approach to delivering a more consumerlike computing environment to business users. Because the IT service support organization is largely responsible for the business user's perception of the overarching IT department, organizations can affect perceptions and demonstrate value to business by driving higher levels of business-IT engagement, with ITSSM tools as a catalyst.
Organizations in this use case are working to make the enterprise computing environment more like the consumer computing environment through the use of collaboration features, such as social media techniques and crowdsourcing. Consideration is also being given to features that enable organizations to provide support across multiple channels and to improve the means with which they can interact and engage with the business, including via mobile and social media platforms.

Vendors Added and Dropped

Added

  • HPE Service Anywhere
  • IBM Control Desk

Dropped

  • CA Technologies has stopped selling CA Cloud Service Management directly to new customers.
  • Hornbill Supportworks did not appear on a sufficient number of ITSSM tool shortlists during 2015.

Inclusion Criteria

For inclusion in the 2016 Critical Capabilities for ITSSM tools, Gartner focuses on products that offer not only IT service support functions that focus on product usability and the ease of use of out-of-the box best practices, but also next-generation support capabilities specific to mobility and the use of social collaboration capabilities to increase effectiveness and efficiency levels.
To be included in the 2016 Critical Capabilities, products must:
  • Be available to buy separately and be actively marketed by its vendor.
  • Include functionality for IT incident management, problem management, change management, configuration management, release governance, IT user self-service (for knowledge and request management), IT KM, IT service support analytics and reporting, and SLA management with regard to incident and service requests.
  • All products evaluated must have been generally available and have been deployed in customer environments as of 1 March 2016.
  • Have appeared on at least 3% of Gartner client ITSSM tool shortlists during 2015, or have provided a personalized demo and pricing for at least 120 prospects with an annual subscription contract value for ITSSM software of at least $150,000 or a perpetual license contract value for ITSSM software of at least $315,000 during 2015.
Otherwise, products must:
  • Be the primary large-enterprise-focused ITSSM product offered by a vendor appearing on the 2016 ITSSM Magic Quadrant
Table 1.   Weighting for Critical Capabilities in Use Cases
Critical Capabilities
Basic-Maturity I&O
Intermediate-Maturity I&O
High-Maturity I&O
Basic Digital Workplace ITSSM
Advanced Digital Workplace ITSSM
Incident and Problem Management
32%
20%
8%
18%
8%
Change and Release Management
3%
5%
11%
0%
2%
Configuration Management
0%
3%
15%
0%
1%
Self-Service/Request Fulfillment
5%
8%
7%
20%
17%
IT Knowledge Management
3%
6%
8%
20%
20%
Collaboration
0%
4%
4%
10%
25%
Reporting and SLA Management
2%
6%
15%
2%
2%
Process and Workflow Design
2%
5%
6%
0%
3%
Data Source/ITOM Tool Integration
1%
5%
22%
0%
2%
Total Cost of Ownership
40%
23%
0%
10%
0%
User Experience and Flexibility
12%
15%
4%
20%
20%
Total
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
As of August 2016
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
This methodology requires analysts to identify the critical capabilities for a class of products/services. Each capability is then weighed in terms of its relative importance for specific product/service use cases.

Critical Capabilities Rating

Each of the products/services has been evaluated on the critical capabilities on a scale of 1 to 5; a score of 1 = Poor (most or all defined requirements are not achieved), while 5 = Outstanding (significantly exceeds requirements). Generally, a score of 3 means that the product meets the essential requirements of the capability. To score higher than 3 the product will provide extended functionality that differentiates the tool from the rest of the market. The scoring methodology changes year over year to reflect the current needs of I&O organizations, so direct comparisons of these ratings with previous editions of this Critical Capabilities research reflect neither improvement nor degradation of any particular product/service.
Table 2.   Product/Service Rating on Critical Capabilities
Critical Capabilities
Axios Systems assyst v.10.7
BMC Remedy Service Management Suite v.9.1.00
BMC Remedyforce Summer 15
CA Service Management v.14.1.02
Cherwell Service Management v.8.02
EasyVista IT Service Manager 2015
Heat Service Management v.2015.2
HPE Service Manager v.9.41
HPE Service Anywhere March 2016
IBM Control Desk v.7.6
Landesk Service Desk v.2016
ServiceNow Service Management Suite, Geneva Release
Incident and Problem Management
3.1
4.2
2.4
2.9
3.1
3.2
3.5
3.4
3.7
2.0
3.2
3.4
Change and Release Management
2.7
3.6
2.4
2.5
3.3
2.6
3.4
3.8
3.5
3.5
3.0
3.3
Configuration Management
3.2
3.6
2.9
2.5
3.0
2.8
3.5
3.4
2.4
3.3
2.9
3.5
Self-Service/Request Fulfillment
2.8
3.7
1.9
2.5
3.4
2.5
2.9
3.0
3.3
1.8
3.5
3.3
IT Knowledge Management
3.0
4.2
2.7
3.2
3.5
2.8
3.1
3.9
2.9
2.8
2.9
3.2
Collaboration
3.0
3.7
2.0
3.2
2.9
2.2
2.4
2.1
3.0
2.0
2.2
3.6
Reporting and SLA Management
3.0
3.3
1.8
3.2
3.0
2.2
3.0
3.1
2.9
1.8
3.0
3.3
Process and Workflow Design
2.5
3.0
2.5
2.8
3.3
2.8
3.0
3.2
1.7
1.7
3.3
3.3
Data Source/ITOM Tool Integration
3.2
4.2
2.4
3.7
3.2
1.7
2.4
2.7
2.3
2.2
3.1
4.1
Total Cost of Ownership
3.3
1.9
3.1
2.5
3.6
3.4
3.7
1.5
3.3
1.2
3.0
1.5
User Experience and Flexibility
2.3
4.0
2.1
1.4
3.1
3.2
3.0
3.0
3.2
1.0
2.0
3.7
As of August 2016
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
Table 3 shows the product/service scores for each use case. The scores, which are generated by multiplying the use-case weightings by the product/service ratings, summarize how well the critical capabilities are met for each use case.
Table 3.   Product Score in Use Cases
Use Cases
Axios Systems assyst v.10.7
BMC Remedy Service Management Suite v.9.1.00
BMC Remedyforce Summer 15
CA Service Management v.14.1.02
Cherwell Service Management v.8.02
EasyVista IT Service Manager 2015
Heat Service Management v.2015.2
HPE Service Manager v.9.41
HPE Service Anywhere March 2016
IBM Control Desk v.7.6
Landesk Service Desk v.2016
ServiceNow Service Management Suite, Geneva Release
Basic-Maturity I&O
3.04
3.17
2.62
2.55
3.34
3.17
3.44
2.58
3.36
1.61
2.97
2.67
Intermediate-Maturity I&O
2.94
3.42
2.46
2.60
3.27
2.93
3.24
2.81
3.16
1.80
2.91
3.02
High-Maturity I&O
2.98
3.77
2.35
2.96
3.17
2.45
3.00
3.18
2.80
2.37
3.00
3.53
Basic Digital Workplace ITSSM
2.87
3.76
2.32
2.58
3.27
2.88
3.10
3.01
3.23
1.84
2.84
3.23
Advanced Digital Workplace ITSSM
2.82
3.88
2.21
2.67
3.19
2.67
2.89
3.01
3.08
1.96
2.69
3.46
As of August 2016
Source: Gartner (August 2016)
To determine an overall score for each product/service in the use cases, multiply the ratings in Table 2 by the weightings shown in Table 1.

Evidence

As of 17 June 2016, ITSM Portal shows 415 products. Although some are duplicates, Gartner has encountered products that are missing from that list.
Based on 515 inquiries with Gartner clients purchasing ITSSM tools during the past 18 months.
Gartner collects ITSSM tool statistics from anonymized client inquiries detailing ITSSM tools in use, scheduled for replacement and on shortlists for selection. Gartner saw 332 client shortlists during 2015.

Critical Capabilities Methodology

This methodology requires analysts to identify the critical capabilities for a class of products or services. Each capability is then weighted in terms of its relative importance for specific product or service use cases. Next, products/services are rated in terms of how well they achieve each of the critical capabilities. A score that summarizes how well they meet the critical capabilities for each use case is then calculated for each product/service.
"Critical capabilities" are attributes that differentiate products/services in a class in terms of their quality and performance. Gartner recommends that users consider the set of critical capabilities as some of the most important criteria for acquisition decisions.
In defining the product/service category for evaluation, the analyst first identifies the leading uses for the products/services in this market. What needs are end-users looking to fulfill, when considering products/services in this market? Use cases should match common client deployment scenarios. These distinct client scenarios define the Use Cases.
The analyst then identifies the critical capabilities. These capabilities are generalized groups of features commonly required by this class of products/services. Each capability is assigned a level of importance in fulfilling that particular need; some sets of features are more important than others, depending on the use case being evaluated.
Each vendor’s product or service is evaluated in terms of how well it delivers each capability, on a five-point scale. These ratings are displayed side-by-side for all vendors, allowing easy comparisons between the different sets of features.
Ratings and summary scores range from 1.0 to 5.0:
1 = Poor or Absent: most or all defined requirements for a capability are not achieved
2 = Fair: some requirements are not achieved
3 = Good: meets requirements
4 = Excellent: meets or exceeds some requirements
5 = Outstanding: significantly exceeds requirements
To determine an overall score for each product in the use cases, the product ratings are multiplied by the weightings to come up with the product score in use cases.
The critical capabilities Gartner has selected do not represent all capabilities for any product; therefore, may not represent those most important for a specific use situation or business objective. Clients should use a critical capabilities analysis as one of several sources of input about a product before making a product/service decision.

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