When I hear about Shadow IT and comments that the IT department will soon be dead, here are a few ITSM panicking thoughts I've heard so far:
- Cloud computing is destroying the data center.
- IT as we know it is going away.
- Save yourself and change careers now! Perhaps an exciting job in exotic bird grooming?
Now that the panic is over, I want to reiterate what I’ve stated many times before – IT service management (ITSM) will never go away. After all, a service can have several means to deliver value. As long as expected outcomes are being produced with little to no risk, it doesn’t matter if the technology is in a private datacenter or being hosted by Amazon. With that in mind, here’s a survival guide on how not only to survive, but what to do to excel in the new way of IT.
- Think services: It's important for everyone in an IT group to understand that technology is nothing more than the tools used to deploy services in order to create value. Since the strategic value proposition will be the future role of IT, the next step is key to success.
- Map business outcomes to services: I once heard a brilliant idea from Mark Kawasaki, an ITSM practitioner at Emory University – “map business outcomes to the Configuration Management Database (CMDB)”. In other words, when you design a solution, understand how it will produce value for business processes.
- Build the service maps: Along with understanding expected business outcomes, service management focuses on the business getting value. The CMDB was a valiant attempt at managing technology, but its importance has been falling by the roadside as cloud computing has reduced the need to focus on technology. While a service map may include items that overlap with a CMDB, it should also expand beyond the scope of technology to include all elements, and their relationships, of a service.
- Stop Shadow IT: Shadow IT is similar to a warning light on a car’s dashboard - it indicates customers are finding technology solutions without the IT department. Several articles and blog posts have already been written on the topic, so to save time I’ll only state that it exists and is prevalent where customers aren’t being provided the solutions they want by IT. As a result, users are looking outside of the IT department to find their solutions.
- Take on Business Relationship Management (BRM): Everyone will agree it’s important for IT to understand the business, so it’s obvious why BRM made its way into ITIL 2011® as a formal process, but it may not be obvious why the understanding will be key in future IT operations. If IT is to move from being only a technology provider to being that of strategic partner, understanding market trends and business operations will help give insight as to how emerging technologies can give a business an advantage over competition.
If you noticed, I didn’t specifically list anything related to ITIL®, DevOps, or any other methods or frameworks for operations or development. The reason is that there’s no perfect way to run all IT departments. Depending on size, culture, industry, and several other factors that I may not even be aware of, each organization will have to evolve at its own pace and with the methods best fitting to maximize efficiency. The only guarantee is that technology is in a state of constant flux and IT will have to be the strategic advisor for how a business can take advantage of these changes and keep relevant in the market.
An Opportunity to Learn More
I'm not the only one that thinks ITSM is here to stay:
“Service management is not only relevant, it’s more relevant than it’s ever been” - Glenn O’Donnell, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research.
In our upcoming webinar we will be discussing with Glenn how the role of ITSM is changing. We’ll be talking about its strategic value proposition, as well as the role that cloud technology has to play in the future of ITSM. Discover what will likely become of ITIL, DevOps and Shadow IT, as the speed in which IT and business landscape further increases. Join Glenn and I on September 16th at 12pm EDT to learn how ITSM will evolve and how to keep your IT organization from becoming extinct. Register now.
After the webinar, all attendees will also receive a short report with the 20 Top Tips for Addressing the Future of ITSM.
Like this article? You may also like: The Cloud Behind the Curtain - Why ITSM Matters.
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