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The Service Management Conversation is (Rapidly) Changing

By | March 20, 2018 in ITSM

Rapid change of service management
Is 2018 the year that service management emerges from the back room and is seen as a strategic business asset?

Traditionally, service management has been viewed as “something that IT does.” Or even worse, something that only the “help desk” does.

But over the past year, the service management conversation has been changing – rapidly.

What’s Changed?

Several recent events have driven the change in the service management conversation. Here’s just a few that come to mind:

  • First, other approaches such as Lean, DevOps, Kanban, Agile and others have seen more uptake as organizations realize the benefits from applying those methodologies.
  • Technical capabilities have caught up – or even driven – new capabilities for service management.
  • Artificial intelligence, chatbots, robotic process automation, and digital transformation have enabled or even propelled new efficiencies in service management.
  • Major announcements in service management, such as the publication of VeriSM™ followed by the AXELOS announcement of the first refresh of ITIL® since 2011, have re-energized thinking in the service management community.

Perhaps one of the most significant developments is that service management is moving beyond IT.

Service management is moving into the enterprise, as organizations realize how defined processes and services can improve productivity. Value stream mapping helps organizations understand how value flows through an organization, not just through IT. Mapping the true value stream highlights the collaboration that is required across an organization to produce value. No single part of the organization can produce and deliver value without the help of all other parts of an organization.

As a result, service management is moving beyond a single approach, to a more ‘mix-and-match’ approach, which leverages the strengths of multiple methodologies, producing even-better outcomes.  Progressive organizations are starting to embrace what service management can do for their businesses.

And, finally, the focus of service management is shifting to perhaps where it should have been all along – the customer experience. Good service management has always been about delivering reliability, continuity, availability, capacity, and security – but now, service management is moving from being inwardly-focused to a focus on the customer experience.

All good things!

The Fundamentals Are Still Required

But with the rapid change in the service management conversation, the fundamentals cannot be overlooked. Good service management is built upon well-thought business strategy, enabled by a comprehensive governance approach. Our old friend COBIT helps organizations look at governance from an organizational perspective, and not look at IT governance and enterprise governance as two separate entities. As automation and other technology advances begin to become mainstream, the need for smart, efficient process design becomes more critical than ever.

The Brave New World of IT(SM)

In my article “Why ITSM is More Important Now Than Ever Before,” I discussed the new reality of modern ITSM.  Modern ITSM is about:

  • Business and IT convergence
  • Ecosystems of components, partners, and suppliers found both internally and externally
  • Business value and outcome focused
  • Business initiatives enabled by IT
  • A robust set of capabilities and tools

Service management is the way that IT organizations can deliver value, become agile and responsive to ever-changing business needs, and lead organizations into digital transformation. But it’s more than that.

I think we’re on the cusp of a brave new world for IT and ITSM. Progressive IT organizations will move from being a commodity to being a value enabler. Why? Because businesses need good IT. Because good IT delivers the critical conduit between a business and its customers – cost-effective, reliable, and useful technology that connects customers to the valuable products and services delivered by a business. The effective use of IT, and ITSM, has a huge influence on how a customer perceives a business, which ultimately impacts the viability and profitability of that business.

Get Ready

With this expansion of influence comes responsibility for IT.  What does IT need to do to be successful?

  • Learn the business of the business. Delivering technical capability without understanding how it benefits the business is a waste of resources. Instead, IT must learn the business of the business, and understand how technology can lead to business success.
  • Get above the “bits and bytes.” IT organizations always have a lot of really smart people that understand the details of how technology works. But frankly, all that the business is concerned with is that it works – not with how it works. Talk in business terms. Develop an ability to translate technical terms to business language (and vice versa).
  • Lead and collaborate, not follow and react. Attend team meetings of colleagues working outside of IT. Review business project meeting minutes to learn what challenges and opportunities are facing the business. Do some homework and proactively propose how IT can help transform strategy to reality.
  • Add some tools to your ITSM ‘toolbox.’ It is clear from the rapidly changing service management conversation that having only one approach to service management is not enough. Invest in learning other service management methodologies and enhance your ability to use the right tool for the job.

These are exciting times for IT service management professionals, packed with unlimited opportunities and possibilities for business success.  Don’t be a bystander – become part of the conversation!

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Sarah Lahav

About Sarah Lahav

As the company’s 1st employee, Sarah has remained the vital link between SysAid Technologies and its customers since 2003. Current CEO, former VP Customer Relations. Always passionate about customer service! Mother of two adorable young boys and a baby girl...juggles work, family, and zumba classes with ease.

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