A New Report Confirms It: The Role of ITSM Is Expanding

The newly released research report from Enterprise Management Associates®, authored by Dennis Nils Drogseth, focuses on IT service management (ITSM) with particular interest in its future prospects and the challenges it faces if it is to propel forward.

For the survey leading to the report, EMA gleaned responses from 250 organizations across North America and Europe and sought out individuals who could best provide a legitimate but broad view of where ITSM fits in today’s businesses.

“While we required that all respondents be active in ITSM-related initiatives (either working hands-on or involved by way of management or executive oversight), we did not restrict the research to ITSM professionals. In this way, EMA sought to better understand ITSM from multiple lenses in terms of its broader role across all of IT and to examine how ITSM can serve as a conduit between IT and business stakeholders.”

The good news from the report is ITSM continues to evolve in a positive way, and its contribution has become more essential to overall business success. Many of the organizations that participated in the survey see ITSM as a contributor to innovation, IT unification, operational efficiency, and IT-to-business planning. The respondents themselves are a testament to the spread of ITSM’s outreach. The average number of areas each respondent is involved in is four, reflecting the multifaceted focus developing in many current ITSM teams.

To capture a true picture of “next-generation ITSM,” the report looks at ITSM in a detailed fashion and concludes that its role has become increasingly important. Four areas of focus in the report supporting this view are:

  • Organization, governance, and best practices
  • Strategic priorities
  • Endpoint and mobile management
  • Enterprise process workflows

Organization, governance, and best practices

When asked “In your company, are the IT help/service desk environments and non-IT customer service or customer relationship management being managed as a single group?” 50% of responders said yes and that had been the case for more than three years. An additional 33% have moved to that model in the past 1–3 years, and another 12% are currently planning to make the move. Only 4% said they had no plans to put such a model in place. Responses like this support the premise that organizations are “extending ITSM team functions into business roles,” especially when compared to a 2015 survey in which 11% of responders had no plans to put such a model in place.

Strategic priorities

When asked “Is your ITSM team with its affiliated stakeholders slated for growth, will it stay the same, or will it be downsized?” 56% of responders said they are planning to grow the team, 36% said it will remain as is, and 2% said the headcount will be reduced, but the investment in ITSM technology will increase. Reasons for increasing the size of the team include:

  • Recognizing the need to grow the team along with a growing company, rather than expecting the existing team to take on more work
  • Seeing the team more and more as a center of governance
  • Giving the team more responsibility across the lines of business

In 2015, 15% of responders had plans to downsize their ITSM team. This dropped in 2017 to only 5%, a significant reduction in plans to scale back.

Endpoint and mobile management

When asked “Which types of endpoints/devices is your organization currently managing?” it comes as no surprise that 71% now support mobile phones. Tablets are supported by 59%, and 16% support VDI. Related to this, an additional result showed “86% of organizations offer mobile support to ITSM professionals, which was closely correlated with overall ITSM success.” Providing mobile support to ITSM teams sees improvements in:

  • Interactions between ITSM and development
  • Responsiveness to IT service consumers
  • Collaboration between ITSM and operations

The need and ability to incorporate and support an increasing variety of devices brings with it an increase in ITSM’s role and importance in an organization.

Enterprise process workflows

When asked “Which . . . areas does your company’s ITSM team or ITSM integrations currently support or have committed plans to support in terms of workflow and/or process automation?” responses include:

  • Data center utilities and power 47%
  • Human resources 45%
  • Building and facilities 36%
  • Transportation/fleet management 31%
  • Manufacturing 31%

The significance here is the rate at which ITSM is being integrated into business workflows bodes well for the future. Integration makes ITSM a partner with non-IT business team experts in defining processes, workflows, and governance.

The EMA report “Next-Generation IT Service Management: Changing the Future of IT” is loaded with more supporting statistics and provides a blueprint for how ITSM teams can expand their role within their organization and prepare to become a “next-generation” success. Download your copy of the report here.