IT Services Management trainings for SMEs: results achieved and lessons learned

This fall, the Czech partner EPMA launches the final phase of the INNOTRAIN IT project, which aims at increasing the effectiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in terms of their IT usage.

IT Services Management (ITSM) at SMEs

The emphasis of the project lies in improving IT Service Management (ITSM) in these companies, which should lead to the strengthening of their innovation processes and products. In general, the project aims at improving knowledge about ITSM and at tackling barriers to innovation present in SMEs in Central Europe.

Surveys undertaken in six Central European countries during the initial stages of the project showed that the productivity of an IT department in an SME can be increased by 20-40%. The saved resources can then be invested back into development of new services and products.

However, the same surveys showed that although almost 40% of the 200+ surveyed companies have a general knowledge of ITSM, only 10% really apply these principles.

ITSM training

The Consortium of partners undertaking the INNOTRAIN IT project has decided to act upon above situation. They developed training in the area of ITSM taking into account the real needs and abilities of Central European SMEs.

In the Czech Republic, the trainings have been taking place since November 2011.

Results

What about the results? On the bright side, EPMA has organized 16 training modules, having trained 122 people. But unfortunately, the majority of contacted SMEs have not shown interest in participating in the trainings. There was low positive response rate to our offer despite the fact that progressive companies are willing to value training in this area rather highly.

IT professionals from IT solutions providers that are in contact with relevant SME representatives on a regular basis, point to the great need for training of SMEs in this area, and also highlight that such knowledge could save the enterprises precious resources. But the limited interest does not surprise them. They note that the management of many SMEs does not perceive IT as an integral part of their company.

Breaking the ice

Most of the participants who attend the training approach the topic with reserve; many have little idea what to expect from ITSM; and many are afraid to show this uncertainty; therefore, it tends to be difficult for the trainers to “break the ice” in the initial stages of the lessons.

The trainings are, however, prepared exactly for this kind of approach, and the trainers are always able to engage the participants enough to start asking questions and discuss their specific concerns and aspirations in terms of ITSM. Trainings then usually finish with discussions on how participants plan to utilize their newly gained knowledge in ITSM in their business.

» The free of charge trainings will be offered in the Czech Republic as a part of the INNOTRAIN IT project until the beginning of 2013.

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Comment by Juan Francisco Delgado on October 11, 2012 at 0:15

A great post. I loved the way you are able to convey the difficulties of the project in a transparent and honest. That is unusual. Always sing the goodness. But data from the surveys are exceptional!"The productivity of an IT department in an SME can be increased by 20-40%. The saved resources can then be invested back into development of new services and products". Congratulations Iva

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