Do You Know the Main Reasons Organizations Change ITSM Tool?

ITSM Tool Churn Results
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Two years ago we published an article called “Survey Results: Why Companies Change ITSM Tool” which shared the results of our IT service management (ITSM) poll on ITSM tool churn. The results are below. We ran the poll again in June and July 2019 – to see if anything had changed in two years – and this article shares the results.

Why organizations change ITSM tool – the poll results

I nearly wrote the above title as “Why organizations change ITSM tool in 2019,” then I remembered that the 2019 poll specifically asked:

“If you’ve changed your ITSM tool in the last two years, or are planning to, please select one of the following ten options. If you can point to more than one reason, please select the primary or overriding one. Thank you.”

So, the ITSM tool change could actually be at any time between the last poll and 2020.

Anyway, this is what our poll found:

#The Primary Reason for ITSM Tool ChangeVotes%
1Tool was end-of-life or simply outdated or a homegrown ITSM tool was no longer workable2523%
2Tool dissatisfaction related to: ITIL-alignment, usability, manual activity, flexibility, or customization2019%
3Old tool failed to deliver the expected benefits1514%
4New ITSM process adoption required a new tool, including enterprise service management support1312%
5Other109%
6Excessive costs related to maintenance fees, admin effort, or upgrading the existing tool87%
7Corporate cloud strategy, a larger transformation project, a senior employee dictated it87%
8Dissatisfaction with vendor support and/or relationship55%
9Multiple service desk and tool rationalization project22%
10Liked the look of an alternative tool or convincing vendor marketing or industry hype11%
107100%

We would have liked a higher number of votes (our Future of ITSM Survey 2019 had 339 respondents) but it’s hard to independently run surveys these days.

Comparing the 2019 poll results to 2017’s

Interestingly, the top three choices are still the same:

  1. Tool was end-of-life or simply outdated
  2. Tool dissatisfaction
  3. Old tool failed to deliver

However, the new #1 reason has not only jumped from third to first, but it also received nearly twice the percentage of the vote as it did in 2017. It’s definitely the most significant change in volume change terms.

#The Primary Reason for ITSM Tool Change%2017
1Tool was end-of-life or simply outdated or a homegrown ITSM tool was no longer workable23%12%
(3rd)
2Tool dissatisfaction related to: ITIL-alignment, usability, manual activity, flexibility, or customization19%18%
(1st)
3Old tool failed to deliver the expected benefits14%17%
(2nd)
4New ITSM process adoption required a new tool, including enterprise service management support12%10%
(j/4th)
5Other9%9%
(7th)

It’s also worth looking at the bottom half of the table, with all these options losing votes in 2019 and with the bottom three keeping the same respective positions:

#The Primary Reason for ITSM Tool Change%2017
6Excessive costs related to maintenance fees, admin effort, or upgrading the existing tool7%10%
(j/4th)
7Corporate cloud strategy, a larger transformation project, a senior employee dictated it7%10%
(j/4th)
8Dissatisfaction with vendor support and/or relationship5%5%
(8th)
9Multiple service desk and tool rationalization project2%5%
(9th)
10Liked the look of an alternative tool or convincing vendor marketing or industry hype1%4%
(10th)

So, the rise of end-of-life/outdated ITSM tools is definitely the most significant change.

Why more end-of-life/outdated ITSM tools are being replaced

There are of course a multitude of possible reasons for this, and each might play a part in tool churn to a certain degree:

  1. Organizations are fed up of struggling with their current ITSM tool – but this should have elicited a vote for ITSM tool dissatisfaction in the poll.
  2. The existing ITSM tool lacks newer capabilities to support things like enterprise service management and service integration and management (SIAM), artificial intelligence (AI)-enablement, employee experience, and value delivery – but again this could have elicited a vote for new ITSM process adoption or perhaps ITSM tool dissatisfaction in the poll.
  3. Organizations are moving from homegrown ITSM tools to commercial offerings – this would make sense given 2018 HDI survey data that showed 84% of organizations have a commercial ITSM tool versus 68% in 2014. Plus, another 10% were looking to invest in one – leaving only 6% with no plans to.
  4. ITSM tools were end-of-life – although I’m struggling to think of any with a significant customer base right now. Of course, there’s always the perception of end-of-life to consider – where customers feel that their ITSM tool vendor isn’t investing enough in new capabilities and to them it’s effectively end-of-life.

I feel that the 2019 results are marginally more positive

I might be mistaken, but when I look at the churn reasons that have risen and those that have dropped, I feel as though ITSM tools, and their vendors, are doing a better job in meeting customer needs in 2019. There aren’t any significant new ITSM tools to consider and some newer tools have done better at gaining market share. But beyond this, I feel as though the ITSM tool marketplace is getting better at delivering against the non-functional needs of ITSM such as usability and flexibility.

What do you think of the results and my final point? Please let me know in the comments.

Marketing Manager at Socommunity

Sophie is a freelance ITSM marketing consultant, helping ITSM solution vendors to develop and implement effective marketing strategies.

She covers both traditional areas of marketing (such as advertising, trade shows, and events) and digital marketing (such as video, social media, and email marketing). She is also a trained editor.

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