After several years of opinions, predictions, studies, surveys but also; hard work, a clear strategy of improvement, evolution, self-criticism and adaptation, we must recognize that the industry and ITSM solutions have managed to position and consolidate as an element of contribution of value and differentiation in organizations. If we pull only statistics which indicate that the sector will grow from a turnover of $4.4 billion to $8.78 billion in 2021, this is enough to prove the importance of these ITSM solutions.
As a starting point of this article we will go into detail in order to understand how the sector is perceived at this time and what the challenges/trends ITSM is facing.
In a recent survey of professional personnel in the ITSM field we see the following:
- Only 24% of ITSM professionals show confidence in the existing ITSM best practices (including ITIL) and consider an evolution and renewal necessary, ITIL must reinvent itself to keep pace with changing trends.
- Cloud technology is consolidated with a positive assessment of ITSM professionals, only 8% of respondents had a negative opinion about Cloud architectures.
- With an increasingly bulky "Millennial" workforce, 77% percent of ITSM professionals believe that IT teams will have to do more to handle the difference in expectation among younger and older employees, who will also survive together in organizations.
Now let's expand on these opinions and see how they evolve with what are the key trends in the ITSM industry; the redefinition of IT operation based on digital transformation (processes and technology) and user experience (people). First of all, what is it and what can we consider digital transformation? The basic concept of digital transformation is, ‘the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new opportunities for benefits and produce differential value in organizations (disruption)’.
We have spent many months, even years, talking about the transformation of organizations to become a ‘digital business’ and despite everything what is really important is to recognize that ITSM solutions are much bigger than the transformation of the IT area of the corporations. Digital transformation will probably differ according to different points of view and different organizational objectives.
- For some executives, it's about technology.
- For others, digital is a new way of engaging and interacting with customers.
- For others, it represents a totally new way of doing business.
None of these definitions is necessarily incorrect and the truth is that from my point of view digital transformation are all combined with each other and put in value to achieve the desired transformation.
The perception of ITSM professionals in this scenario is essential to know how the sector will evolve. 80.3% think that ITSM is important for digital transformation within their business, against the remaining 19.7% who think negative or they do not perceive it.
I do not think it is important what vision is taken, because without doubt the ability to design, acquire or build, deliver, manage and support the IT services of an organization is necessary in any scenario of digital transformation and that is what is really important for this article.
And now to conclude, opinions of IT professionals can be summarized in two key points:
- User experience. "Consumerization".
- Evolution (transformation?) Of ITSM to Enterprise Service Management (ESM).
THE CHALLENGE: The user / client experience. "Consumerization".
Many ITSM professionals may not recognize this as a key challenge or aspect, as they do not recognize end user as their clients or consumers of their services. They must understand since IT solutions have ceased to be something of only internal scope and actually covers the total ‘customer journey’, impacting this change of concept in the ITSM solutions and the IT department.
Curiously, the change of mentality makes us go from an obsolete strategy of simply ‘improving the service/operative to the client’ to a much broader concept of ‘improving the user experience’ this being the challenge that will need much more professional attention and ITSM solutions.
Pressure also happens to be felt by other corporate ‘service providers’ (the areas of human resources, legal, financial, general services, etc.). Since the concept of the ‘customer journey’ and therefore the ‘user experience’ and finally all together in the concept of ‘consumerization’, this is driving the need that the principles, practices and technology of ITSM are no longer only used for the IT services, but also to be adopted as a continuous and seamless solution by other lines of business to increase efficiency, improve service quality, reduce costs and offer a better end-to-end experience to our employees and customers.
THE TRANSFORMATION: from the ITSM to the ESM.
Through to this point of the article we know that the ITSM concept translated into ESM is not something new or at least not 100% new, since many of the ITSM platforms have been applied in recent years for example to departments of human and financial resources, etc. Even so, the current approach of the ITSM platforms has several factors different from the previous one that combine to accelerate the fit of the solution to this economic and social moment and with it its better adoption being less and less ITSM and more ESM.
And what are these new factors?
The aforementioned ‘Consumerization’.
Employees and customers want to use easy solutions with an improved user experience that is homogeneous between what they use in their professional life and what they use in their private lives.
ITSM strategies that transform the entire organization: ESM.
ESM as a way to increase operational efficiency and improve service, but also replicated to all areas of the organization thereby achieving ‘end-to-end’ services and the desired ‘consumerisation’.
ITSM is no longer just IT.
Complementing the above, why not use successful IT capabilities in other corporate areas? For example: service portals, catalogs of requests and subscriptions, knowledge databases, mobile applications, etc.
Improve the service and provide value to the client/user, these are the main objectives.
Do we still believe that our clients/users move only by tools and functionalities? Again, what really strikes in a user experience is that we bring them value and that their experience and relationship with us is completely transparent and ‘end-user’ to-end without service interruptions between IT and non-IT areas.
To conclude, we work in a very dynamic industry. What was considered acceptable a few years ago is already competitive today and who does not evolve, will simply disappear.