Deliver real transformation by moving beyond IT-only service management
The provision of tech service and support to internal or external customers, be they staff or users of a company’s product or service, has traditionally been the responsibility of an organisation’s IT department. Over time, as the consumption of services has expanded and changed, these services have been rolled out across the business and beyond. Other departments, such as HR or Facilities, soon recognised that ITSM tools could deliver aspects of their own business function. As IT had such tools in place, and as it was able to maintain and roll out instances across the business, it was logical that control stayed with IT. In many cases, however, this was often not a joined-up experience, with different instances being required to deliver the requirements of service delivery for each department wishing to use them.
In IT terms, this may still seem like a good way to proliferate ITSM thinking across an organisation. In reality, it can mean using what is available rather than the best solution.
Barriers to transformation
Digital transformation is widely touted as essential to a modern business looking to thrive in the technology-based economy. In many instances, companies would consider the expansion of the use of ITSM to other business functions as digital transformation, which it is not. True transformation of the business can only be achieved when the process is joined up and the services that are provided to the users are interconnected and non-centralised. Older ITSM tools were not built for such flexible and interconnected deployments. Rigidity, order, and process control are the foundation of their toolsets, meaning that the rapid expansion of service delivery across the business is often either beyond their capabilities or expensive to deploy. This is usually due to the consultancy hours needed to make it work or the licensing costs for inter-department deployments.
The rapid expansion of more agile, cloud-based tools has, however, changed things for the better. Modern ITSM and ESM tools are now much quicker to deploy and offer a greater range of services that are designed to cater for wider organisational needs.
Web-based customer support and flexible service portals that cater for the depth and breadth of business department and customer service needs are a must. Organisations can now opt for consolidated or dedicated division portals, dependent on the complexity of the services being offered to those who need it. The consumer of these services just sees a range of options that they can relate to and a sense of being ‘in the right place’ to get the help that they need. Gone are the days of logging a ticket with IT to get anything done. Of course, in reality this often still goes on in the background, but the user experience has totally changed.
Harnessing service tools for organisational change
As we have established, modern toolsets are easier to deploy, manage and maintain, meaning that it is now realistic for non-IT based functions to administer and manage their own services. And this is the true nature of a transformed and service-centric organisation – one that empowers all departments to deliver service in the way that makes most sense to them and their service consumers. The same applies to teams that deliver service beyond the organisation – to customers, partners and beyond.
The key to initiating such organisational change is to involve the key stakeholders within the business, assess what it is that they do in service terms and to stop thinking of ITSM as a technology and support-only function. Of course, this means that the business needs to pause and to, in many cases, shake up its organisational thinking, but the results will be well worth the effort.
You may find that the toolset you have in place cannot deliver what your stakeholders are asking for, but this should not be a barrier to change, as outlined here. Indeed, when you look to the right supplier, you may not only discover that you can deliver the change you are looking for, but that you also save money in the process.