Three More Key Findings About the Future of IT Service Management from EMA Research

The consumerization of IT, digital business model disruption, and the need for greater speed in technology development are combining to dramatically change the role of IT service management. According to Dennis Drogseth of Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), “Both the ‘rules’ and the ‘roles’ governing IT Service Management (ITSM) are evolving” as the relationship changes “between IT and its service consumers.”

Cloud computing, mobile, and the future of ITSMIn The Future of ITSM: How Are Roles (and Rules) Changing? Part 2, Drogseth details several conclusions from the organization’s research, expanding on previously reported findings. Here are three observations that stand out, with additional commentary.

Service management isn’t just for IT anymore.

Among EMA’s findings, “89% of respondents had plans to consolidate IT and non-IT customer service.”

An increasing number of organizations are expanding IT service catalogs across the organization, evolving them into true enterprise service catalogs, by embracing an enterprise request management (ERM) approach. Self-service capabilities can be provided to both internal and external service “customers” through an enterprise service catalog.

An ERM strategy combines a single intuitive front-end portal with back-end process automation to simplify and accelerate service request approval, scheduling and fulfillment.

The portal presents employee “service consumers” with services from across functions: IT, HR, finance, facilities, training, etc.. Graphical workflow management tools empower business process owners to design, test, optimize and deploy their own “service items,” with minimal assistance from IT.

ITSM goes mobile.

Per Drogseth, “Mobility is seriously changing the ITSM game…50% (of enterprises allow) end users to make ITSM-related service requests via (mobile) devices, making ITSM teams, and IT as a whole, considerably more consumer-friendly.”

It’s a bit surprising the figure is only 50%—being that anytime / any device portal access to both submit requests and check on the status of pending requests is a key attribute of ERM implementations.

Schneider Electric immediately saw an additional 2% of support calls deflected to web self-service after releasing the mobile version of its request portal, as users were now able to report issues with malfunctioning laptop computers using their smartphones.

Advanced Technology Services (ATS), as described here previously, took ERM mobility a step further by creating “formless” mobile incident reports using QR codes. Employees can simply scan codes on hardware items then confirm they’d like to submit an incident report for the scanned item.

“Cloud computing continues to be a game-changer.”

According to EMA, “ITSM teams are playing a more dynamic and service-aware role in managing cloud investments through a growing focus on such things as higher levels of automation and more attention to DevOps. ITSM teams are also integrating cloud services into their service catalogs” including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings.

The ERM approach provides an excellent framework for presenting cloud service offerings and options, enabling project managers and developers to select from approved, secure offerings based on needs they can specify in the portal.

The back-end workflow orchestration software can also be configured to provision internal or cloud services, depending on the specific organizational business rules, very quickly.

“Extremely successful” ITSM teams lead in these areas.

The importance of the three themes above is illuminated by the differences in maturity in these areas between EMA research respondents who viewed their ITSM teams as “extremely successful” versus those who felt they were only “somewhat successful” or “largely unsuccessful.”

The “extremely successful” organizations were:

  • Four times more likely to have integrated their IT and non-IT service desks;
  • Nearly four times more likely to offer service consumers mobile support for ITSM-related actions; and
  • Dramatically more likely to support cloud provisioning in service catalogs.

Drogseth concludes his assessment of the research on an upbeat note, writing “Overall, the news seems encouraging for ITSM teams willing to reach out and embrace a growing set of technologies and responsibilities. This means being ready to support new roles and expertise, while promoting more informed dialog, both between enterprise end-users and the service desk.”

Expanding service management beyond IT, enabling employees to submit and monitor requests from their mobile devices, and presenting and provisioning cloud computing infrastructure through an intuitive self-service portal are all key components of ITSM success as those teams adjust to their new roles and rules. And the ERM approach is ideal for building those capabilities.

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