My POV: The current state of ITSM

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In my previous post, “What is the Future of IT Service Management?”, I discussed why ITSM is more important now than ever. I also talked about a few other transformations that will happen within ITSM.

It’s always a good thing to think about the future in terms of what might be possible. But do you know where your ITSM implementation is today? How can you know if you’re ready to participate in that future?

What is the current state of ITSM? Here’s some of my perspective based on my experience with ITSM within many organizations:

  • An operations-only focus: Many organizations have implemented ITSM processes aimed at managing day-to-day operations such as incident management, change management, request fulfillment and a service desk… and then stopped. ITSM is viewed as a necessary evil rather than as a value-added approach. I discussed this “bottom-up” approach in my earlier post, never quite making it to the top.
  • Too much emphasis on control, not enough on facilitate: This process for the sake of process approach results in needless bureaucracy and delay. For example, sending every request for change in front of a change advisory board, regardless of type, risk level or impact.
  • Technology-centric, not service-centric: For many IT shops, ITSM implementation has been about the implementation and configuration of a tool rather than defining services and processes. Service definitions are nothing more than a listing of applications, activities and tools supported by the IT organization.

It may be broken, but it can be fixed

If this sounds like the current state of your ITSM implementation, never fear. There are some things that can be done to prepare for the future.

  • Develop the business case: Formally justify why ITSM is necessary in business terms. Relate ITSM outcomes to business goals and objectives and articulate a clear route to a favorable return on the investment. The ITSM future must be driven from the top down. A well-formed business case helps win the hearts and minds of decision-makers and senior management–the people needed to drive ITSM from the top.
  • Define services – really: Think in terms of value chains–the combinations of people, processes, technologies and suppliers that interact to deliver outcomes required by the business. Services are not activities or things. Remember, your business can get laptops anywhere, software can be bought off the shelf, and anyone with admin rights can reset passwords. Defining services, not activities and tools, demonstrates why your business should get IT from you.
  • Start a formal approach to continual service improvement (CSI): The CSI Register is one of the most powerful tools in the ITSM toolkit. It is also one of the simplest tools to use. Identifying, documenting and formally reviewing improvement opportunities using a CSI Register encourages a mindset of continual improvement. CSI Registers help the organization to look at the current state of business and evaluate and align on potential improvements to drive them to future ITSM value.

Explore this ITSM smartpaper to discover if you’re prepared for the future.

And in this video, discover a day where “nothing happens” with cognitive service management.

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