Digital transformation is the key priority for CIOs worldwide to ensure organizations stay competitive in today’s digital world. Amid accelerated digitization and increased complexity of the IT ecosystem, it is quintessential to have a more resilient and modernized IT service management (ITSM) strategy. With the advent of digital technologies, IT service management is rapidly evolving from being a mere support function to a driver of business innovation and change. Optimized ITSM strategy that supports business objectives, improves customer experience and increases employee productivity is a crucial building block of the overall digital transformation strategy for any business.
According to IDC’s ITSM Transformation Survey 2018, 35% of organizations view the gap between IT and business as a critical obstacle in implementing digital innovation project. Digitally integrated ITSM supports businesses in their digital transformation journey by aligning people, processes, and emerging technologies with the transforming business goals and objectives.
ITSM transformation aims to create business value from IT as an organizational function by leveraging technology to modernize and automate IT processes and platforms to improve service delivery. Organizations must adapt to this changing paradigm faster and redesign the IT service management strategy to address the evolving requirements of digital business.
ITSM Transformation: Prerequisites for Getting Started
Implementing change may cause disruption or resistance, and therefore, necessitate creating a comprehensive change management roadmap. To avoid failed transformation initiatives or counterproductive outcomes, businesses need to assess the current state of the organizational ITSM to baseline the ITSM maturity level and ascertain the organization’s readiness for embracing change. Thorough evaluation ensures better identification of gaps and estimation of transformation effort across the following aspects before initiating any changes:
- People: Employees implement the changes and are critical in driving changes. Ensure whether the right people with the required skill sets are available and willing to adapt to changes. Evaluate the need to redefine roles and responsibilities along with a plan for training and enablement.
- Processes: Identify whether existing processes are standardized, transparent, and cross-functionally integrated to support the new ITSM strategy.
- Costs and Risks: ITSM transformation requires investment in tools, competency development, and talent, which calls for budget planning and funds allocation. Only implementation does not guarantee transformation, failed or sub-standard implementation impedes data security, regulatory compliance, and service delivery efficiency.
Assessment of current service management scenario helps formulate realistic ITSM goals and a clear plan of action. Defining key objectives such as helpdesk automation, SLA optimization, or faster incident management with clear timelines gets early stakeholder buy-in and trust in the proposed ITSM strategy.
5 Ways to Transform ITSM Strategy
IT service management transformation makes IT services more agile and responsive to support digital business objectives. According to IDC's 2018 ITSM Research, for 83% of business organizations, modernizing existing ITSM with a more agile solution was a key priority. An ideal ITSM strategy facilitates faster problem resolution, cross-functional collaboration, fewer helpdesk operations, and innovation, among other benefits.
Let’s deep dive into five significant ways that a modern IT organization adopts to transform ITSM strategy:
- Infrastructure Modernization
Legacy IT infrastructure is complex, difficult to manage, and often looked upon as a digital disabler. Digital is the future of business, and organizations looking to simplify operations, enhance IT services efficiency, and fast-paced business digitization are shifting from legacy IT systems to digital service delivery ecosystem. According to IDC’s Global ITX Survey 2017, majority of organizations have already completed 50% of the effort in IT modernization. Infrastructure modernization ensures simplified infrastructure deployments, seamless IT operations management, and faster troubleshooting. Cloud plays a significant role in modernizing infrastructure and ITSM strategy. Cloud helps businesses rethink their ITSM strategy by enabling service scalability, centralized service management, swift change management, and higher value at a lower cost.
- Operations Automation
While infrastructure modernization remains a primary concern for enterprises, continuous automation of repeated tasks and operations bring substantial scalability for businesses of all sizes. Smart automation is essential to streamline day-to-day helpdesk requirements as well as support strategic IT service management initiatives. Automation helps businesses achieve higher agility, productivity, and cost efficiency by focusing on resource optimization. Emerging disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are revolutionizing ITSM to reduce response time to service requests, minimize manual repetitive tasks for service agents, and improve the service experience for end customers. According to IDC’s Worldwide CIO Agenda 2019 Predictions, 70% of CIOs will aggressively apply data and AI to IT operations, tools, and processes by 2021.
- Self-Service Desk Enablement
Customers are becoming tech-savvy and demand addressing issues themselves. Self-service portals enable customers to address the standard issues themselves instantly and efficiently. In addition to cost efficiency, smart self-service portals also help in relieving service desk personnel from carrying out monotonous and repeatable tasks such as password resets and software updates, to focus on high-value ITSM initiatives. ITSM transformation leverages modern technologies such as AI to provide intuitive self-service portals that offer easy access to FAQs and product knowledge base along with a user-friendly interface to help customers resolve their issues anytime from anywhere. Modern self-service desks strive to enhance customer experience and hence, deliver omnichannel support across different mediums including mobile, chat, and social media platforms.
- Analytics-led Performance Monitoring
According to IDC's 2018 ITSM Research, six out of ten organizations lack the granular data visibility to detect IT service issues and fix them immediately, thereby affecting the IT security and robustness. Traditional ITSM approach often overlooks reporting and it’s potential to help in identifying service improvement opportunities. Modern ITSM strategy deploys advanced analytics to provide data visibility and track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of tickets resolved, service request turnaround time among others in real-time to determine the adoption, usage, and effectiveness of the IT service desk. Intelligent ITSM tools provide unified dashboards with predictive and prescriptive analytics to identify possible bottlenecks impeding effective service delivery for continuous improvement.
- Continuous and Pervasive Governance
Growing digital transformation and expanding IT ecosystem focuses on the implementation of technology but misses out on the potential vulnerabilities and security risks. While implementing technology correctly is a mandate, it is equally inevitable to ensure powerful and continuous IT governance at different levels of the organization. According to IDC’s Worldwide CIO Agenda 2019 Predictions, by 2022, 65% of enterprises will task CIOs to transform and modernize governance policies to embrace the opportunities and curtail new risks posed by AI, ML, and data privacy and ethics. ITSM strategy transformation calls for transparent alignment between IT strategies and corporate governance procedures and regulations for effectively managing organizational changes. Modern ITSM strategy ensures continuous IT governance through responsible usage of IT resources and proactive identification and mitigation of IT risks.
In a digital enterprise, IT service management is no longer just a service desk - handling tactical tasks, it is transforming into a digital enabler that supports business transformation as well as enables continuous operations of digital business. It effectively integrates people, processes, and technology to drive change, efficiency, innovation, and revenue growth for the business. With business-driven IT services taking center-stage, ITSM is playing a pivotal role in driving and managing the digital transformation journey by facilitating process improvements, better collaboration, and greater transparency for organizations.
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