ITSM tool selection: why you are doing it wrong

by | Jul 2, 2020

So you are ready to select a (new) ITSM tool. Your first step is defining your requirements so you ask your colleagues to list all the functionalities they need. These gather all these requirements in a large Excel sheet or document and send this to several vendors. Vendor that you collected from looking at the Gartner Magic Quadrant. In a previous blog we explained why this is not neccessarily a good idea.

While you wait for the responses you design a scoring system. 2 points for every ‘Yes we can!’ answer and bonus points for ‘Yes we can, out of the box!’ When all replies are in you start scoring and select the top 3. You invite these vendors to demo a few (very specific) use cases and select the one with the best price that was also able to demo the use cases the way you expected. And you’re all set. Job done.

If this is really as easy as it sounds, how come that surveys always show that a majority of the IT organizations are not happy with their ITSM tools and vendors? And how come many organizations think no application or vendor really stands out?

The answer is strikingly simple. By listing your requirements and requesting all vendors to use the same format for their offerings you basically forced them all to be very similar. How could anyone stand out when uniformity is mandatory? Did you give the vendors the opportunity to discuss other and maybe better options? Did you let them use their knowledge and expertise to guide you through all possibilities and select the ones that would suit you best?

You don’t discover unique vendors by forcing them to all be the same

Why not just tell your vendors what you want to achieve and let them figure out what your requirements are? After all, requirements are merely a function of your goals. Describe the required end result of the project and your business case. Let all vendors describe in a 4 page document how they will help you achieving this. This forces them to focus on things that matter like solutions, project approach, additional opportunities and risk control and leave out the marketing fluff and irrelevant feature listing.

I guarantee you that a few will stand out. The ones that understand your challenges and can help you improve.

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