Continuing the theme of upgrade headaches this week we look at the impact of vendor roadmaps and what drives them.
In an increasingly turbulent business environment, change is the only constant. Changes in market demands force organizations to launch new business services, communications channels (and supporting IT services) to compete and remain profitable. Requirements for IT service delivery and support tools are constantly changing and an agile organization needs an agile vendor that understands the importance of new functionality to continually drive IT innovation and improved efficiency.
Due to this rapid change, functional gaps quickly open up between what the organization needs and what their ITSM solution provides. Some of these gaps can be filled by the flexibility in the product, but for more unique requirements—usually stemming from organizations on the cutting edge of IT Service Management—an extension of the product is necessary.
Vendor roadmaps outline new features that will be added to the solution, and customers await eagerly. These extensions, however, rarely arrive on the scheduled date and when they do, the vendor has prioritized the ‘beauty parade’ features that help them attract new business and grab market share. Meanwhile, existing customers and left hanging. With the investment customers have already made in the vendors’ products, the framework vendors are confident that they have locked their customers into the product and can treat these customers as a second priority to new business.
As a result, new feature requests coming from the customer base often fail to make it into the released product. This leads to a frustrated IT organization and a frustrated business. The temptation is to build customizations to support their own unique requirements and, over time, the organization finds itself locked into its specific version and is unable to upgrade when the vendor finally releases the functionality they need.
So, when you’re considering a new ITSM solution, think about the vendor’s roadmap and what drives it. If it is driven by customer demand (rather than market demand) then you can be more confident that the vendor will respond to what you need. It’s always worth asking some existing customers to verify what you hear.
You can read more about the 5 upgrade headaches in this whitepaper: