Chris Kingsbury

Chris Kingsbury

Service Advisory Consultant

Making the most of your existing tooling and capabilities

Having worked within Service Management for nearly 20 years and seen the rise and fall of various discovery, management, technical support, and automation tools, the one trend I think we will always see is the “flavour of the month”.

Across the many organisations I have worked with, often the answer to improving service, mitigating a risk or issue or focussing on Continual Service Improvement is the investment in new tooling. However, organisations do not always look inside their own portfolio first to see if they already have a more cost effective and productive solution available.

There are three things you could think about before going out to the market to find the solution to any business challenge:

Looking at your existing tools capability

Have you ever heard that phrase that humans only use 10 percent of their brain? It is not true and a widely perpetuated myth, however the same cannot be said for the technology we buy and use every single day. I personally spend most of my life on my phone or laptop and still discover new functions or features they have very frequently.

So before we commit to procuring a new tool, or even spend time identifying products in the marketplace, ask the question internally. What is it we really need? What problem are we trying to fix? Do we already have something close in functionality that might be worth investigating further before we spend time, resources and money on looking at something new?

Working with your partners for recommendations/solutions

If you do not know whether a tool in your portfolio is appropriate, you can always reach out to the solution provider. Speaking to the suppliers of toolsets can help you understand functions and benefits you never knew existed, these providers want you to get the maximum from your tooling. Many of them offer free consultancy, or support days, make sure you take advantage of them, whilst balancing the suppliers desire to provide you with new solutions.

Client engagement helps them understand your business direction and feeds into their development roadmap. The feature or function you are looking for might not be available today, but might be something that the developers are working on, or would want to integrate into existing tooling in the future.

Focus on existing capability to satisfy new requirements

Finally, make sure you are engaging with key stakeholders within your own resources. This is a particular challenge in large organisations, but also where it is most important. You may have staff in your organisation who already have their own workarounds, may have built their own solution or importantly, may be able to benefit from whatever outcome is agreed.

Buying a tool can be very useful, however using existing investments, configured to meet specific business needs seems to be completely ignored these days and whilst I can understand the reasons why; it can be very costly and may carry risk in terms of ongoing support, it’s possible that you may just stumble across the next big solution yourself.

Even if you don’t feel internal development is right for you, consulting early helps identify common goals, which prevents the organisation breaking up in to disparate parts as it looks for quick or short-term solutions to business wide challenges. Talking to your colleagues can ensure your organisation sets a common strategic direction.

CGI’s Advisory Service

Ensuring you are gaining the maximum from your tooling should be part of standard business practice. Understanding what may be best for your business is something that should be done in conjunction with your organisation and potentially using industry experts and consultants who have significant experience and understand best practice.

CGI’s advisory service can help you consider any options you may have, carry out maturity assessments or facilitate sessions within your organisation to ensure you have the appropriate controls in place to make sure you are making the most from your tooling. Being vendor agnostic we can provide an independent but highly experienced view of how to maximise your investment in tooling through our knowledge of the marketplace and the merits of products.

If you would like to know more, please get in touch or visit our Advisory Services section

About this author

Chris Kingsbury

Chris Kingsbury

Service Advisory Consultant

With more than 14 years in the information technology industry, Chris has run CGI’s GTO Shared Service Configuration Management team for the UK for the past 7 years.