When you hear the word agility, you think of track and field sprinters, or a running back darting through the defense at breakneck speed. Or what happens when you put jet fuel in your minivan. Well, maybe not that last one.

IT teams are learning the power of agility within their own environments and how that translates to better performance across the board.

Traditional IT service management (ITSM) is driven by stability and cost control. Detailed enterprise strategy and planning initiate requests for technical capabilities to support those plans in a waterfall style that is often slow-moving.

Although cost control remains important, the goal is now innovation and relationships with business users.

Enterprises today turn to IT as the primary means of help, and they expect IT to be at the forefront of strategy. From IT’s perspective, everything it does must be about creating business value and enabling greater enterprise agility.

What is enterprise agility?

Enterprise agility concerns the ability to react and adapt to expected and unexpected business changes and opportunities as they arise to gain leadership, market share, enter new markets, and operate in a competitive environment.

While agility encompasses numerous aspects, the constant is time. It’s the ability to identify new risks and opportunities and develop a strategic response quickly, with the flexibility to execute on the response.

The market leaders in today’s digital world are those who identify changes and respond to them with speed and agility. It’s an operational and competitive requirement for every successful enterprise. It should be no surprise that linking together IT execution and enterprise strategy within a flexible environment is the foundation of enterprise agility.

To accommodate this new operating environment, service management teams must be more responsive and adaptive to organizational changes.

IT teams must step outside the mind-set of merely supporting and maintaining email systems and such to become innovators who enable and shape business strategy. This requires changes in systems, processes, and the roles that people perform.

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