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Trends in IT service management: making technology work for the business

Making technology work for the business – and not the other way around

The emergence of DevOps, self-service and digital: these are the three major developments that drive the IT Service Management (ITSM) market in 2018, according to Forrester. ITSM aims at integrating processes, people and technology, in order to support the business objectives of the organization.

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IT Service Management aims at providing IT services in a more cost-effective and result-oriented way, while responding more quickly to changing needs and offering major benefits in terms of efficiency, agility, availability, security, and compliance.

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DevOps

“DevOps leads to innovation in several key areas of IT Service Management, including change management and release management”, says Doug Tedder, senior consultant at Tedder Consulting. Charles Betz of Forrester Research shares this view. He adds that business adoption of DevOps clears the road for more automation in change management, while development teams broaden their roles and share risks with the whole development chain, and even with operations. In addition, DevOps helps reduce the red tape linked to the deployment of changes, especially since these changes are more limited and more in line with the reality of the project.

“Because teams know that changes will be minimal and a correction can be implemented quickly, they are more willing to take risks, while the infrastructure becomes more resilient”, Betz added. Beyond DevOps, a robust and efficient infrastructure, as well as experienced teams in both development and management are essential for the implementation of an effective IT Service Management strategy. “In recent years, DevOps projects have mostly focused on development teams”, says Stephen Elliot, VP at IDC. “But in the coming years, infrastructure teams will have to be more involved, because DevOps allows improvements in terms of speed and quality. Benefits include rapid deployment of projects at business level and higher quality in terms of user experience, satisfaction, and renewal rate.”

Self-service
For Forrester, self-service is the other major trend in the IT Service Management market. The evolution is confirmed by ITSM solution vendor BMC Software, which estimates that 83% of IT organizations have deployed or support self-service tools for IT users. It’s an approach that not only allows users to better control their own ‘experience’, but also to share their feedback and find solutions to their problems.
“Every ITSM vendor aims for an early warning system, allowing customers to be aware of issues before they impact the user experience”, Elliot added. “To do this, suppliers develop analytical and automation tools as well as intelligent warning systems to achieve the highest level of self-service possible.” But even then, self-service should not be regarded as a technology, but as a tool, the success of which depends largely, if not totally, on its acceptance by the end-user.

Digital transformation
Digital transformation is the third major driver in the ITSM market. Digital transformation embodies a transformation that, at IT level, is not limited to the objective of aligning technology with the business. Digital transformation aims at integrating technology into the business, allowing IT to become an integral part of the operations, as opposed to being nothing more than a service provider.
“Digital transformation is not about technology”, says Stephen Mann, principal analyst and content director at ITSM.tools. “It’s a matter of business improvement. It is also as much a transformation of people as it is of technology. And we should not only look at new products, services or a more direct engagement with customers, but also at more efficient back-office operations.”

From IT Service Management to ESM
To make the whole organization digital, the trend is now to roll out service management in other entities of the company – hence the term ESM or Enterprise Service Management. ESM includes support services such as human resources, quality, and facilities. In doing so, each employee can use (digital) technology to access different services in self-service mode. In fact, many ITSM tools are evolving into ESM platforms. Overall, the benefits of ESM include better service delivery for employees, more efficient internal processes, and tighter integration and management of different services.

Since access to ITSM and ESM tools is becoming more and more mobile, a company could consider using the tools as a service in SaaS mode (Software as a Service), or even outsource the entire activity to a third party.

At Aprico Consultants, we combine cutting-edge expertise and the perfect mastery of both the technological and business aspects of our clients, regardless of their sector of activity, to develop and implement innovative ICT offers which improve our customers’ productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability. This way, we enable them to face the current technological challenges.