Industry experts — from analysts and consultants to users and the top vendors — offer thoughtful, insightful, and often controversial predictions on how APM and related technologies will evolve and impact business in 2018. Part 2 covers ITIL, ITSM and more.
ITIL WILL BE CHALLENGED
ITIL's dominance within ITSM as the definitive best practice, will be challenged. Leaner, more lightweight and adaptable methodologies will offer alternatives that are more aligned with agile principles, and CI/CD patterns. In fact the definition of what constitutes ITSM itself may change, as DevOps engineers take their ethos of simplicity and efficiency into the ITSM space.
ITSM SHIFTS FOCUS AWAY FROM IT INFRASTRUCTURE
ITSM will continue its shift in focus away from IT infrastructure toward user-centered design. We expect a richer, more powerful user experience from ITSM-based applications — which will also mean breaking down the silos between ITSM and other functions to further deliver greater user centricity overall.
CHATBOTS AND VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS
In 2018, we will see an increased interest in chatbot technology, mostly from organizations that provide IT Service Management (ITSM). Chatbots powered with artificial intelligence will help ITSM organizations meet increasing demands fueled by the rapid adoption of IoT, and the growing interest by enterprise CIOs to implement more IoT applications over the next few years.
Engineer, Federal Markets, Ivanti
With more than half (52%) of CIOs saying they are using machine learning and 40% planning to adopt this technology as well as increasing focus on customer experiences, I expect chatbots and virtual assistants to play a key role in helping businesses expedite improved end-user experience and reduce manual processes in the IT service desk. As the data quality AI/ML pulls from improves and the experience becomes "more human," these new technologies are primed to be an ITSM staple. Current technologies are already improving the speed and quality of IT service desk processes by automatically categorizing and routing requests, and we will continue to see innovation in this area in 2018.
VP and GM, IT Service Management, ServiceNow
UNIFICATION OF TOOLS
2018 is the year that IT organizations will have to redefine how they align with the business, while simultaneously having to roll out Windows 10, and continue to improve security. To manage, and do more in security, yet assign a larger amount of their budget to innovation at the same time, is a challenge. The solution: unification and automation of IT. For some years we have observed how the number of devices per user has been growing. With an increase in applications, platforms and the sheer number of OS and application updates, managing varying platforms using various toolsets from multiple vendors is becoming a bottleneck and costly experience for IT. Unification simply has to occur. As one example we see enterprise mobility management (EMM) and client management tools coming together, and more organizations reducing the number of vendors and technologies they use to manage their user estate. The result will be unified endpoint management that is easier and more cost effective. We expect this unification to extend to asset management, networking and ITSM, as enterprises work to decrease the complexity of too many vendors, look beyond point solutions, and demand better integrated solutions from their vendors.
Chief Technologist, EMEA, Ivanti
TOOLS MUST DELIVER BUSINESS VALUE
I believe 2018 will be the year that technology prowess takes a back seat to value proposition. Leading vendors will simplify their marketing content and messaging to take the customer's perspective on value by answering only two questions for the customer: 1) "What's in it for me?"; and 2) "What makes you different?" This shifts the focus from horn-tooting to how the vendor's solution helps the customer achieve their business and risk management objectives most efficiently and cost effectively. The technology is already there.
Technology Analyst and Founder of TechTonics Advisors
For a number of years, APM vendors have strived to ensure that they can ingest lots of data. But in 2018, those vendors that will get the press will be those who provide the ability to easily correlate this data with business-centric KPIs. Applications are critical to business success but ensuring technical performance is only the first step, enterprise IT has to be able to prove that every application and every release is driving business value.
Director of Technology Strategy, AppDynamics
Democratization of APM
Microservices and containers are being used to speed deployment of new application functionality. In doing so, they are creating IT complexity that will force the democratization of application performance management to bridge the divide between Ops, Dev and SRE teams and improve communication for better quality of service. Modern, democratized APM will provide the deep knowledge and understanding into everything that makes up a dynamic application and ultimately helps the entire Ops team maintain service quality.
FOCUS ON IT OPS TEAM HEALTH
With increased pressure on ITOps to move quickly, and the growing tie between operations and the business bottom line, organizations should take a deeper look at the health of their team. By this I mean considering the human impact of ITOps demands and on-call life. Having ITOps teams paged 24/7 is not a sustainable practice, so it will be necessary for some organizations to reassess their triage and workflows to preserve infrastructure team health, ultimately helping with efficiency and retention.
Head of DevOps, PagerDuty
Read 2018 Application Performance Management Predictions - Part 3, covering APM and monitoring.
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