Part 1 of 2

Tackling the planet’s largest, most fearsome waves motivates surfing pros to take terrifying risks.   Take Carlos Burle, a Brazilian big wave surfer, who unofficially broke the word record for the biggest wave ever surfed by riding a 100-foot wave off the coast of Portugal.

However the excitement doesn’t stop there.  Surfers also account for more than half of shark attack victims in the world with many incidences taking place during championship events. If you recall last year, 3-time world champion Mick Fanning (AUS) came face to face with a great white, and miraculously, walked away unscathed from the attack.

Today, CIOs and IT leaders are experiencing a mix of the fear of sharks and the thrill of surfing big waves. As many businesses are trying to decide how to respond to threats and opportunities arising from digitization, organizations are demanding IT departments to quickly and flexibly offer the services that best equip a modern workforce. As a result, ITSM suites, service management apps and service catalog tools are rapidly evolving to enable business agility in today’s digital world.

With the continued expansion of consumerization, cloud, social and mobility, the demand for next generation ITSM to deliver increased IT infrastructure & operations (I&O) effectiveness is magnified. Furthermore, new requirements for hybrid cloud services, bi-modal apps, DevOps adoption and software-defined infrastructure drive the evaluation of transformational technologies to determine which provides an early advantage, and which represents excessive risk.

IT departments are taking on the challenge of ITSM evolution in the following three main segments with stakeholders across segments driving towards common end goal – to create competitive differentiation for the business through IT service operational agility.

1) Service Catalog Transformers:

IT departments with mature I&O teams and large inventory of IT services have been using mostly on-prem stand-alone service catalog tools for quite some time. As these tools lacked foundational features that typical ITSM suite solutions provide, IT departments have been forced to constantly add new software modules to address these gaps including capabilities such as configuration management,  asset discovery, service cost reporting and problem management to name a few.

Now with migration to cloud, increasingly mobile workforce, consumerization of IT and shift to SaaS models, these IT departments find themselves in a worse situation and are re-visiting their on-prem service catalog centric IT service management evolution strategy. As a result, they basically either keep integrating new software modules to their existing service catalog based solution to address new requirements – cloud store fronts, external market places, service orchestration, advanced reporting, asset discovery – or they gradually migrate to an end-to-end future-proof ITSM Suite platform.

2) Legacy ITSM Modernizers:

Majority of large enterprise IT environments today can be described as ‘brownfield’ IT that contain legacy IT service management platforms. These legacy systems are mostly installed on-prem, consist of cobbled set of different technologies and run on closed architectural frameworks. Here is the dilemma – retiring such legacy systems is often impractical and excessively costly, while simply keeping them around can serve as a boat anchor, slowing down the innovative, fast-paced parts of the business that drive competitive differentiation.

Success in a digital world, according to Gartner, requires “flipping from a ‘legacy-first’ to an outside-in, ‘digital-first’ leadership mindset.” IT departments with legacy ITSM platforms typically choose to act now and modernize their systems to alleviate associated risks and prefer to address the challenges described above head-on. To be successful in legacy ITSM modernization, IT infrastructure and operations teams bring critical enablers together including service aware agile IT infrastructure, multi-cloud service management, open programmable architecture and agile service development & provisioning tools.

3) ITSM 2.0 Fast Adopters:

As IT I&O teams and increasingly Line of Business (LOB) users face changing business needs and new potential opportunities, next generation of enterprise IT service management suites are emerging. Forward-leaning CIOs, IT Leaders in this rapidly growing segment are real mavericks who want to ride the big waves and refuse to get eaten by sharks. These leaders are seeking to harness new technologies, and rethinking their business models— to catch and ride a disruptive wave of their own. In order to increase I&O agility and effectiveness, IT leaders embrace emerging disruptive technologies including – DevOps based agile service creation tools, micro-services based architectures, hybrid cloud service orchestration, self-service tools, and SaaS based consumption model.


Change is inevitable, as forces outside the business demonstrate. It’s up to businesses to decide how they’re going to respond to change. IT departments that are “getting by” with their standalone service catalog tools and legacy ITSM systems will very soon hit a point when the challenges and risks become prohibitive. IT infrastructure and operations organizations need to quickly and flexibly deliver services that best equip a modern workforce. This is the only way that organizations can create operational differentiation and stay relevant in today’s digital world.

In my next blog, I will explain how Cisco ACI/CliQr and ServiceNow work together to create future-proof ITSM 2.0 solution so that you can ride 100-ft waves. Please stay tuned!


Adam Ozkan

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure