Great Expectations? ITSM and Innovation


One of the challenges with IT in the enterprise is making IT both self-service and self-serving, leading to questions such as:

– What are the benefits that most IT organizations can hope to achieve from their self-service initiatives? Will those benefits match/exceed expectations?

– How can they simplify IT as a Service (ITaaS) and focus on predictability and consistent delivery?

The landscape we have known in the past as IT service management (ITSM) has morphed into next generation service platforms, with a focus on social, analytics, mobile, and cloud (SMAC). For example, the ability to handle requests with your mobile and other peripherals can result in a faster response time and an increase in client satisfaction.

Historically, many IT departments did not embrace the “know-your-customer” (KYC) approach to provide market-competitive services and to show that they understood customer needs and requirements, and could deliver a compelling value proposition. Constant innovation in provisioning IT services is the only way to meet user expectations while supporting (within budgetary constraints) an ever-increasing business demand for connectivity.

Blue Hill is examining where the service desk plays a role in infrastructural innovation. The innovation occurs in streamlining IT operations, getting day-to-day demand under control, and transforming IT into a mature business innovator, rather than “break-fix” mode operator. Cutting-edge organizations realize that a next-gen service desk does not just operate within IT, but also manages requests and incidents from HR, finance, and so on. Focusing on the user experience means that the service desk should make life simple for your users by using a single point of digital interaction, with one tool and a single service description. Yet many organizations still have multiple points of contact on their intranet, and one of those is a separate IT service desk. How do we change this?

Let’s start by revisiting what was ITSM and how it has gone into self-service mode. It’s been over 20 years since the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was introduced, launching the ITSM market. Now what once were ITSM discussions are morphing into discussions on lean and agile processes, including topics like DevOps, agile development, micro services, lean IT, business relationship management, cyber-resilience, and service integration and management (SIAM).

What is IT self-service?  ITSM going into self-service mode empowers employees by letting users log and resolve their own issues, request and track services, share knowledge, and solve problems through collaboration which does not have to actively involve the IT department. Part of the lean discussion is finding and leveraging knowledge champions within the enterprise, not just within the IT department.

One trend: Knowledge and automation

A key service-desk implementation trend is promoting the sharing of skills and experience amongst IT staff (and others) through a knowledge management strategy. This is fast becoming a critical factor in service management outcomes. One effective option is knowledge-centered support (KCS), where knowledge creation is closely bound to the support resolution process.

KCS as a process has been formalized by the Consortium for Service Innovation, which manages KCS practices and techniques based on the collective experience of the Consortium members, who include PTC, Oracle, Salesforce, Qlik, SAP, and others. Knowledge articles are created directly from logged calls, and the original problem description is preserved as part of the knowledge article. Gathering knowledge and best practice for resolution creates momentum to encourage knowledge-sharing. The immediate nature of knowledge creation and the automatic way in which the authors of knowledge are recognized encourage the creation of material and the refined knowledge article is still bound to the raw problem description. If you want to learn more about best practices in KCS, this upcoming webinar with case studies with Lowe’s and Spectrum Health might be of interest for you.

Trends in Orchestration: See IT, solve IT

Another trend is orchestration of the service management environment. What kind of tools and solutions have we seen that have created either orchestration or integration into processes in ITSM?

Atlassian provides tools to automate scrum boards, kanban boards and agile development management tools that integrate into ITSM workflows.

AUTOMIC orchestrates self-service automation with leading helpdesks (BMC, Remedy, ServiceNow)

Ivanti enables endpoint security to take remediation actions through the integration of service management, security management and asset management approaches.

ServiceNow has created a business command center for CIOs, focused on helping IT run projects and portfolios from a financial perspective through the new ServiceNow IT Business Management Suite.

Self-service: No longer optional

With more and more automated devices entering the workforce, providing self-serving IT service and support becomes more mission critical for the digital-enabled enterprise. A positive user service experience and increased customer satisfaction fosters a culture of innovation and enhanced processes for today’s enterprise to be more competitive and agile.

About Dr. Alea Fairchild

Dr. Alea Fairchild is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Blue Hill Research. As a technology commentator, she has a broad presence both in the traditional media and online. Alea covers the convergence of technology in the cloud, mobile, and social spaces, and helps global enterprises understand the competitive marketplace and to profit from digital process redesign. She has expertise in the following industries: industrial automation, computer/networking, telecom, financial services, media, transport logistics, and manufacturing. Her clients are both commercial, government / public sector, NGO and trade associations. Dr. Fairchild received her Ph.D in Applied Economics from Limburgs Universitair Centrum (now Univ. Hasselt) in Belgium, in the area of banking and technology. She has a Masters degree in International Management from Boston University/Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium, and a Bachelors degree in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. She is a masters Olympic weightlifter for Belgium, having won many international medals.
Posted on February 15, 2017 by Dr. Alea Fairchild

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