The Service Delivery Tool gap?
A recent article raises the interesting question of why there are far more Service Support tools than Service Delivery tools. The IT Skeptic knows why. The underlying assumption of the article that I would skeptically challenge is that there is a role for Service Delivery tools.
Here is an article that raises the interesting question why there are far more Service Support tools than Service Delivery tools.
The article concludes "the lack of powerful and highly touted tools for Service Delivery is a natural consequence of the process definitions and the current marketplace." I don't think so.
I believe the germ of the answer is in the article: "Service Support processes are more tactical in nature while Service Delivery processes are more strategic."
Service Delivery processes are strategic: they can be run on a Word document. As the article also says, there is a need for Knowledge Management to help with that. But not ITIL Knowledge Management: there is no specialist need beyond standard Knowledge Management tools, and everyone seesm to sell one of those these days.
There is a place for point solution tools within each of the Service Delivery processes: service level measurment and reporting, asset register, backup and recovery automation, network and systems performance database... These are well served already by available technology. The article says "few are directly tied to IT Service Catalogs and fewer still to a CMDB ... there are none that cross all the technology domains and also none that roll up their information to assist in developing the ITIL-required Availability Plan". Perhaps the authors are more demanding of software than the IT Skeptic, unlikely :-), or perhaps they haven't looked at the Big Four lately (BMC, CA, HP, IBM), but I would have said those guys covered most things pretty well and roll up to a service view pretty well (as much as can be done by a tool).
But the article looks for a tool for the whole process: "they do not cover any of the other many attributes and requirements of the overall ... process (communication, coordination, documentation, strategic planning, etc.)" The bits of any Service Delivery process that need automating have tools available already. The rest of it is process. It is not a technical problem so there is no need for a technical solution. Tools can't do strategic thinking (perhaps more modelling tools would be good to support that thinking process, but this is point solutions again).
As I have said before: People Process Things, in that order. Technology exists to make process better, where it can. If the process does not need technology, or if the process cannot be done by technology, then don't assume there is a one-to-one mapping from every process or function within a process to some piece of technology.
Vendors can't sell strategic process tools because strategic processes don't need technology solutions.