The IT Swami's Predictions for 2009 and ITSM in Recession

The IT SwamiThe IT SwamiLate last night as I worked at my computer, I looked up at a sound in the normally quiet cul de sac that houses Two Hills World Headquarters Tower. From the back door of a police car tumbled the IT Swami, closely followed by his swag, which appeared to have been hurled rather than just fell. The police car then drove off while he picked himself up and examined himself for broken bones, or perhaps it was just some exotic late-night yoga - he does subscribe to strange practices.

In a familiar routine, I raced downstairs to hide the good whisky and cognac before he got to the doorbell. I slipped the smaller ornaments into a cupboard and put the kettle on. I knew he would need a coffee to sober him up.

It has been some time since I saw the IT Swami. Last heard of, there was an incident involving a free-love commune in the north of Queensland. Something to do with a mayor's daughter. Before that he wrote to me to solicit funds for an organic textile-fibre-growing operation in Takaka. I got confused reports about the outcome of that one but I gather much of the stock was damaged by fire. Some angry emails I was copied on suggest he is or was the architect for a software product out of San Francisco that delivers service catalogues on Twitter. I believe he is also involved in an internet-based religion built on meditation using party pills. Long-term readers will recall the government-funded psychotropic tour of the Netherlands which resulted in the vision that "The three castors of the seat of IT’s future are Governance, Service and Assurance".

He was most distresssed to hear that the Labour government is out on its ear and the new one is highly unlikely to fund similar "cultural" activities. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I told him of recent developments in our country during an all-night conversation over large mugs of what my late father called the "cooking whisky" (Grants). That conversation followed only after I helped him up the steps and ordered him into the shower before the smell woke my wife. It was a relief not to have to search him for illegal contraband for once - I figured that was unnecessary so soon after his ejection from a New Zealand police car.

Aaaaanyways, somewhere around 3am, we got onto IT Service Management, once we had run out of other topics. (I would love to tell you about some of the other stuff we covered but I can't). I asked him if he had thought any more about ITSM since the three-castors thing. He looked surprised and said he hadn't other than to use the new OGC logo as part of tantric sex meditation.

I said he was long over-due for predicting ITSM's future, so we tumbled out the front door (I repaired it today) and wobbled off up the track in the dark to his favourite trance rock. After the rest of the Grants, and an Indonesian cloves cigarette (or so he told me) which he had left under the rock from last time, and some delicious cookies he found in his jacket, he squinted out over the ocean and began to speak. And this is what he told me. Actually it is merely the bit I recall with any clarity. There was much more but I seem to have forgotten most of it. I vaguely recall - I think - stuff about a COBIT-vs-ITIL price war, the itSMFUK chair, an ATO mutiny, an ITIL-based ISO9000 compliance certification, ITIL Live™ closing down, the runaway success of Novell's myCMDB, CA being acquired... many things which I can't be sure of.

Apparently, ITIL is now hurtling down the other side of the Gartner hype curve into the trough of disillusionment. Questions will be asked. Heretics will speak up. There will be sporadic lynching of vendors.

We will also see the start of a search for "better than ITIL" and "less than ITIL". The herd will fragment as some come to see ITIL as only for the great unwashed and others see it as high-fallutin' overkill for fancy folks.

As a result we will see more attention on alternatives: COBIT, ITSM Library, FITS, MOF...

ITIL projects will be cancelled all over the place as the recession bites, but just as many will be spawned as part of efficiency drives, as CIOs madly spend money to be seen to be doing something about cost cutting. [Maybe all the recently-unemployed Kiwi consultants can then bugger off back to London and Sydney and give me my consulting market back].

The ITSM philosophers, "the intellectual masturbators like the IT Skeptic" as he put it, will see ITSM as so Noughties and turn to other topics like Governance and Lean and Assurance and Professionalism for the coming decade.

Come the end of 2009, everyone will still be arguing about the ITIL V3 certification scheme, ITIL V2 will still be adopted as often as V3, and there still won't be any central register of itSMF membership or ITIL certification. Two new books will have rounded out COBIT as a complete BOK equivalent to ITIL, and a thousand people worldwide will know what DSDM Atern is. One vendor will have filed for bankruptcy, and the IT Skeptic will have actually published Owning ITIL.

This afternoon after we got up the IT Swami took three hundred bucks that I apparently owed him since 1997, and borrowed my new copy of The Guide to the Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge (an emerging BOK that I only recently managed to scam for free from the author, Ian Clayton). He was last seen slumped on his swag out on the highway hitching north. There is a New Age Crystals and CMDBs Festival he hopes to set up a stall for if he can find it in time.


what are YOUR itsm predictions for 2009?

c'mon people let's hear from you. You must be able to do better than the addled IT Swami

better than the IT Swami?

By "better" do you mean more accurate? more interesting? more thought-provoking?

Predicting is a fool's game. So let me predict a continuing trend of predictions that invoke the credit crunch and recession and say that as a result ITIL tools and consulting from vendors, and continual improvement projects within companies, will become even more in demand, to cut costs. I further predict that nothing of the sort will happen - companies will either bumble along as before (to their various levels of expertise) or will sit on their hands and do nothing at all because they're uncertain about the future of their budgets, their jobs, even their companies.



In my crystal ball I see a shrinking waterhole with the crocodile inhabitants getting very tetchy. Anyone sane trying to find water will be migrating to fresher open waterholes.

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