Marrying IoT and IT Service Management

"We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them."

-- Albert Einstein

Let's face it: If something can go wrong, there is a good chance that something will go wrong. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but no matter how many precautions that might be put into place, Murphy has history of showing up when you least expect him.

IT managers are clearly aware of this and have invested a great deal of time and money into systems for problem reporting, assignment, tracking, and ultimately, resolution. In the past, these systems were typically homegrown and completely proprietary. They also required a great deal of effort to maintain, support, and enhance.

Of course, with the advent of the cloud, a number of SaaS solutions have emerged that allow enterprises of all sizes to jettison their on-premises systems. A quick look at Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management shows no fewer than nine players in this space. Of these nine, ServiceNow has been rated as a leader in terms of vision and ability to execute.

All of this brings me to today's topic. I have been immersed in putting IoT into communications workflows for quite some time now, as I've written about previously on No Jitter. The marriage of these two technologies allows IoT devices and sensors to not only communicate real time and historical data, but to turn that data into actionable events. As crazy as it might sound, when you IoT-enable communications workflows, you are essentially embedding virtual telephone handsets inside devices potentially as small as a grain of sand.

As cool as sensors making telephone calls or sending emails is, it's the "actionable event" aspect of those workflows that really excites me. This is where adding ITSM into the IoT/communications partnership comes in. Not only can you take the immediate action of making a telephone call, but you can put that event into a service workflow that manages the event from cradle to grave. This allows an enterprise to assign ownership as well as track the action as it moves toward resolution.

To demonstrate these relationships, I created a short video that shows the path from a sensor to an ITSM cloud solution. I use a Silicon Labs Sensor Puck for my IoT device, Arrow Connect for my IoT cloud, Avaya Breeze for my communications workflow engine, and ServiceNow for my ITSM application. Arrow Connect Web services APIs are used to glue all these disparate systems together -- but don't worry, you won't see a line of my Java code in this video.

While I show a particular use case in the video, the sky is the limit on what can be done with this technology. Arrow Connect, Avaya Breeze, and ServiceNow are all open platforms that allow the creation of an infinite number of workflows. So, while my video uses light as the actionable event, I could have done the same with heartrate, GPS coordinates, temperature, orientation, altitude, pressure, humidity, etc. The application of these technologies is only limited by your imagination.

Get another tutorial from Andrew Prokop at Enterprise Connect 2018, coming to Orlando March 12-15. He'll be diving into the world of SIP/SIP Trunking in his session, "SIP: Behind the Curtain," on Monday, March 12 at 2:15 p.m. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Advance Rate or get a free Expo Plus pass.

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