The needs of business today continue to evolve and market dynamics are moving faster and are more powerful than ever. However, virtually every business of any size continues to have strong business needs for IT Service Management (ITSM) today, and well into the future. 

It is certainly true that needs will continue to evolve, but many of the basic needs associated with ITSM remain as true today as they were twenty years ago, and many of these ‘wants’ from the company will remain in place another twenty years into the future. 

It is simply true that ITSM is a key business enabler, and the organizations that do ITSM well are likely to find business success, while those that struggle with ITSM will find it manifesting as fundamental challenges with the business.

Understanding what companies want from ITSM raises awareness around this important element of IT and the business. With awareness comes focus, and with focus, we are likely to experience improved performance and success.

A closer investigation of the four key needs of the business for ITSM will provide a better understanding of what is expected by the business and how IT can deliver on these requirements. 

1. Great Service Delivery

A key element of what any company needs from ITSM is great service delivery. This simple and powerful point has big implications for the company. When great service is delivered to any person across the company, that person is then able to perform at their very best and bring value to other employees and ultimately to customers. 

There is a chain of value here that exists in the company and then extends to partners and customers of that company in many ways that are both visible and ways that might not immediately be clear. 

Let’s take a very simple example. If an employee has a problem with their laptop, a machine used for common tasks including email and for running applications that are required to support customers every day, this can potentially be a big impact to productivity, including an impact to customer service. 

However, if this problem is resolved quickly, in a matter of minutes, we have protected the employee’s ability to perform their daily work and avoided any impact to customers. Contrast this with any delay in addressing the problem with the employee’s laptop, a delay that could stretch to hours or even days and this becomes a big risk for the business. Even this simplest of examples around Incident Management reminds us of this important link.

Fast service from ITSM is a great boost to IT and to the business.

2. Process Discipline

From the birth of ITSM in the IT organization over twenty years ago, an important contribution of ITSM to the company has been the necessary structure, flow, and discipline of key processes. These processes include the fundamentals of Incident Management and Problem Management, the new and more flexible service models of Service Catalog and Service Request, to the more strategic processes of Service Portfolios, Configuration Management and Change Management

Although these processes are most often associated with the IT organization, the impact of strong ITSM strategy and execution to the full company should not be underestimated. For example, the demands of audit and compliance on the business are very dependent on sound processes as designed and implemented by the ITSM leaders of IT. This is very much a company issue and what we often see is that healthy strategic processes including Change Management supported by an equally accurate and healthy CMDB, directly impacts the ability of a company in industries including Banking, Financial Services or Healthcare to be successful with Audits, Governance and Compliance initiatives.

Strong ITSM processes and business rules will normally result in stronger business performance.

3. A Platform for Automation

The rapid rise of Automation and AI in the IT organization hold the potential to change how we work every day in the years ahead like few other things can. And, as powerful and valuable as automation can be for IT, we quickly note a natural fit for these new technologies in the practices of ITSM. 

There are strong synergies emerging as ITSM is a natural catalyst for the design and execution of business processes across IT and throughout the business. The growing automation of ITSM business processes including the ubiquitous Service Requests will complement the other areas we have highlighted here by delivering services more quickly, more consistently and around the clock in a manner that is more personal and more targeted. 

This is the power of automation, and this strategy changes the perception of IT and energizes the business. The influences of automation and AI go even further, including the ability to transform ITSM and IT into more proactive and strategic organizations—something ITSM teams have aspired to for decades and is now within our reach like never before.

Think of ITSM as a platform for automating IT and the business from the inside-out.

4. Connecting the Business

The ITSM organization creates connections across IT and with the business. As the breadth of business processes grows, we can fairly describe the ITSM organization as the ‘hub of the wheel’ for IT and for the business. Many connections come to life through communications, business processes and the daily flow of information and services that operate virtually every element of the business. 

For example, the vital relationships between the assets of the business, the services delivered every day, and the people that consume these services live within the increasingly dynamic models of ITSM. We understand that it’s not possible to operate IT as a disconnected collection of teams, each focused on localized priorities and deliverables. The new model of IT is one that creates a new sense of purpose across every element of ITSM and ultimately IT. It builds a new level of awareness around strategic objectives including innovation, the user experience, customer engagement, and increasing the velocity of performance for all IT systems that touch virtually every part of the business. 

What we will find is that ITSM, due to its cross-functional nature and the ownership of key business processes, is a likely place for this change to start and for the ITSM organization to be a recognized leader in the transformation of IT.

The engine of every company is increasingly driven by technology and by increasingly what is ‘intelligent’ technology and the stewards of this technology are our talented people in the teams of ITSM and the IT organization.  The company needs technology leadership more than ever from ITSM and these teams are ready to deliver.

Keep the faith my friends.