How Your Corporate ITSM Capabilities Need to Improve in 2023
There’s no doubt that IT service management (ITSM) and ITIL adoption can help an IT organisation’s IT service delivery and support capabilities – this has been the case for over three decades. But it’s also true that ITSM is all about improvement (or continual (service) improvement in ITIL language). There are multiple routes your organisation can take to improve, with these dependent on its focus. For example, it could choose to strengthen the ITIL capabilities it has already adopted. It could choose to adopt additional ITIL practices. It could invest in its IT service delivery and support people more through further ITIL certification or other ways. Or changes could be made in ITSM tooling – from getting more from the existing ITSM tool or investing in a new one.
However, while all of these improvement areas will be beneficial, they should be viewed as the responses to IT service delivery and support issues rather than the drivers of improvement themselves.
The drivers of ITSM improvement for 2023
So much has changed in businesses over the last few years, and your organisation’s ITSM capabilities need to evolve to reflect these changes. While the improvement opportunity areas mentioned above will help, they also potentially miss the key drivers for ITSM improvement in 2023. This issue is because there’s the danger that the improvements will be “made in a vacuum”, thus failing to meet the changing business needs and expectations.
So, before jumping into the possible methods for ITSM improvement, ensure that ITSM decision-makers appreciate what has already changed and will continue to change, i.e. the drivers for ITSM improvement. Some of this will be business-related, some technology-related, and some potentially caused by external factors such as regulatory or legislative change.
For example, your organisation is likely a different beast from what it was pre-pandemic. Not only does this mean there are different ways of working and potentially higher expectations of IT from hybrid-working employees, but there’s also a greater reliance on technology and new use cases for the technology. Ultimately, these days, it’s hard to separate business operations from the technology that enables them.
New technologies bring both ITSM challenges and improvement opportunities. There’s a need for new technical knowledge, skills, and tools (and potentially new people), and additional costs and risks. Plus, new ITSM practices and management technologies might also be required. However, the additional technology also brings opportunities for greater scalability, improved employee productivity, ITSM innovation, cost reductions, and better decision-making. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a great example – it’s a technology that needs to be correctly implemented and managed plus it offers improvements to the ITSM status quo.
But the need for ITSM improvement isn’t just about greater technology exploitation; in fact, using the available technology to drive improvement is likely to result in as many losses as it does wins. Instead, the driver for ITSM improvement in 2023 should be a focus on “what matters most”.
“What matters most” to the organisation
Your IT leadership has probably been discussing the need for IT-business alignment and business value demonstration for a long time. However, most IT organisations find it challenging to address this need.
However, no matter that it’s difficult, conversations with business stakeholders around “what matters most” are needed to ensure that your ITSM capabilities can evolve in line with business needs and expectations. In particular, IT personnel need to understand how their work – in IT service delivery and support terms – affects business operations and outcomes. It might not be quantifiable in financial terms, say. But mapping IT services to business operations and outcomes makes it possible to understand the importance of different services and the impact issues and improvements have in business terms.
“What matters most” to employees (end-users)
Employee experience management is undoubtedly one of the hottest trends in ITSM’s continued evolution. However, your organisation needs to understand what this entails. For example, introducing new ITSM technologies can improve employee experiences, but they might not. So, your IT organisation might add a chatbot because it’s sold as “improving the employee experience”, but if adopted incorrectly, it can worsen the experience. Nor does the addition of such experience-improving technologies necessarily address “what matters most” to employees.
Instead, your IT organisation needs to measure employee experiences. This capability allows it to understand what works and what doesn’t (in terms of employee perceptions). This activity identifies issues, potentially the root causes, what matters most, and where improvements are needed most. It moves the ITSM improvement “dial” from what IT thinks is important to the things that will make employees more productive (and happier in their work).
Focusing improvements on “what matters most”
Armed with the above business and employee perspectives, ITSM improvement investments can be made in the right places.
Your IT organisation likely has limited improvement resources, so ITSM decision-makers must prioritise opportunities based on “what matters most” rather than investing in what IT thinks is important. The improvements might involve:
But these changes are made based on driver-focused outcomes, not simply because opportunities to change are available.
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New technologies bring both ITSM challenges and improvement opportunities.
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