Spent some time today writing up Serena’s new Demand Management offering; look for an Impact Brief shortly. Along these lines, I’m tracking a number of what I call next generation IT management vendors, which by my definition must incorporate both project and service management capabilities on a common platform with integrated resource management. It’s still a pretty short list of vendors reaching that bar; currently I have:

This is still a list in progress, so feel free to drop me a line if there is anyone notably missing. I am NOT including vendors who have integrated previously distinct project and service solutions; I view such architectures as headed for obsolescence. Both the project and service modules need to be organically grown on the same set of platform services. However, I wouldn’t fault any vendor who avoids the term “project,” as I am starting to think that very concept may be in trouble in IT management. As long as the solution shows credible support for a development pipeline (call it Kanban, agile stories, or whatever) it can qualify.

So, what constitutes a next generation IT management platform? At least necessary (if not sufficient) would be:

  • Support for new/changed service demand, through a DevOps pipeline
  • Support for traditional ITSM type demand (service requests, changes, releases, incidents)
  • Common time tracking and resource management across those demand queues
  • Integrated calendaring (combined project + release + change views)
  • Seamlessly integrated incident/issue/defect management (feedback from Ops to Dev)
  • Kanban views and work in process control available across all queues

Functionality that is nice, but not required (because I don’t think the industry is ready yet):

  • Support for broader “improvement” efforts “too big for a ticket and too small for a project” (audits, risk mitigation, problems, root cause analysis/mitigation, etc) – the ITIL “CSI Register” in other words
  • Unified prioritization/execution management
  • Probabilistic forecasting
  • Finite capacity scheduling capable of dynamically adapting to variable resource availability (e.g. what are the consequences of the project resource pulled into incident response)

As always, comments appreciated.

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