Saturday, April 13, 2024

Building a Team Through ITSM

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CHICAGO — Team work. That’s what IT Service Management comes down to,

according to John Heller, vice president and CIO of Caterpillar, Inc.

Heller gave the opening keynote at the fifth annual itSMF Conference and

Expo here Monday morning. He encouraged attendees to reach out to other

business units in the company, creating relationships and bridges that

will enable every worker to be part of the team that serves the customer.

”It’s all about team,” Heller emphasized. ”It’s all about the team

over the individual success. Individuals create dysfunctions in

processes. The team will create successful functioning. That’s what ITSM

is all about.”

At Caterpillar, the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and

mining equipment, which brought in $30.25 billion in revenue last year, it

is all about working as a team. The size of the company doesn’t affect

that, Heller says. ”If one process fails or if one person fails to

answer a question or doesn’t get the job done, in a matter of minutes the

phone rings because it’s all broken down,” he explains. ”IT Service

Management is something you have to and you have to do it well just to

stay in the game.”

Heller notes that Caterpillar employs 82,000 people so that means there

are 82,000 people who can ‘screw up’ the process.

”Any one of them can screw this up,” he says. ”What do you mean that

person disconnected the router? Who miscoded that one little line? Who

made the change without telling anybody?”

Engaging in ITSM will help IT administrators avoid these pitfalls, Heller

says. Start thinking about the market and the customer, instead of

focusing on the inner workings of IT. Make it all about the business and

the customer and the rest will start to fall into place.

”Once you start, don’t get soft,” Heller adds. ”It’s not easy. It

takes a lot of discipline and hard work. You will struggle and you will

fail. Don’t let it get you down. Make sure you’ve got people set up to be

successful… Be focused on the customer. An internal IT focus will not

get you where you need to be. Be focused on the marketplace.”


Heller also says every IT administrator or CIO needs to know what the

critical business processes are in his/her company. ”Do you know what

systems are key to keeping your business operational,” he asked the

audience. ”What’s key to your customers? You better know what they are,

and you better know how to keep them running.

”You’re not going to get ITSM by accident,” he adds. ”It’s a lot of

hard work.”

And Heller does put in that hard work, staying abreast of any IT problem

that pops up at any of the company’s facilities.

”I want to know what is going on,” he notes. ”If a system is down more

than two hours, I want to know about it anytime day or night. My

beautiful wife of 27 years said, ‘I didn’t think we were still doing

support?’ I told her, ‘Well, Honey, we are.’ ”

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