The IT Chat: Ryan Ogilvie, Inter Pipeline

Ryan Ogilvie is an ITSM Coordinator for Inter Pipeline. He graduated with a Civil Engineering degree at a time when the economy didn’t require any more engineers. Having tried his hand at a few things before finding the right fit in IT, Ryan knows his way around tools. He currently works with multiple enterprise-wide stakeholders and the IT support team to implement an ITSM platform. He currently leads the service desk team for a reputed firm and is driving an initiative to improve IT best practices for his organization.

Freshservice caught up with Ryan about his long stint in the service management space.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you began your career in IT?

The value of networking. It is very important (in IT). There are so many resources out there that you can connect with for the latest updates, tips and tricks.

Ryan believes that the relationship between the business units and the IT team of an organization is important. Working closely with other teams in the organization will deliver a better employee experience.

Secret sauce to a great IT ecosystem

Work with your customers and business units. Take the time to understand them and listen to the challenges they face.

Ryan admits that organizations look for an IT support team which engages in working WITH business units rather than working FOR them. This foundation for the relationship will enable a better working relationship down the road.

Success of an IT team is all about the metrics. Everyone has high expectations from the IT team and the organization heads are keen on getting the most out of their IT team in the shortest possible time.

What’s the most important metric a successful IT support team should aim for?

There are many (metrics) that apply if we were to answer in a generic way, however I find that every organization needs to look at the metrics that they extract and leverage as it applies to them. What are they looking to improve? In some cases just starting with reporting is its own best metric as it allows them to see where they are making progress or where they may need to make improvements.

What’s your advice for someone building a new IT support structure or team?

Start simple and outline goals that align to the business.

Making small moves will allow you to complete small goals and build off these successes. Don’t forget to communicate all the small wins as they are crucial to making this continual service improvement. Building an IT team from scratch involves starting slow and then closing gaps; scaling is a different challenge.

We asked Ryan for a few pointers on how he helped scale the IT support team for other organizations. The need for training IT staff is as important as soliciting additional people for fulfilling future needs.

The one piece of advice from Ryan is about evolution:

IT is ever-changing and there is the need to evolve in order to stay relevant.

What do you think is the next big thing in IT/ITSM?

I think that understanding that the ‘IT’ component will eventually drop-off as businesses evolve. The need for IT as a department will fade away as all business functionality will only really exist with a technology capability. This is where focus on service delivery and business relationship management will be important to facilitate an evolution.

What’s the biggest ITSM or IT related myth you have come across, and how does it compare to reality?

People put a lot of focus on incident management, in many ways they value it the most of all support practices.

In reality, incident management generates the least value as it is something we do in a reactive way to manage shortcomings on the way to deliver services to our business.

How do you deal with unreasonable users?

The key here is to understand that people become frustrated as a result of the experiences that they have. While it can be challenging, we need to take a breath and look at things from the perspective of the user.

The secret to dealing with such incidents is to look at it as an opportunity to change things around and make some level of improvement.

“It is better to have a frustrated person who complains than someone who no longer cares about the system in place.”

Our brief chat with Ryan about IT threw a lot of light on how seasoned people approach this job. The underlying principle is to keep it (IT) simple and get things done.