Organizations across the world are grappling with the challenges of a dynamic business environment. To keep up with the competition in this landscape, they require IT infrastructure that supports delivery of services with high flexibility and agility at scale. IT Service Management (ITSM) is a set of specialized capabilities for enabling value to organizations in the form of services.
ITSM will continue to remain at the forefront of transforming IT service delivery for organizations in the coming years. As organizational maturity increases and new technology services get implemented, ITSM will underpin digital business initiatives that deliver differentiated user experiences and enhance the value delivery process for their end-users . In the following sections we will look at some of the key focus areas that organizations need to focus on to take their ITSM capabilities to the next level.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) provides organizations the guidance to address new service management challenges and effectively utilize modern technologies. ITIL 4, the new version of ITIL, has been designed with influences from Lean, Agile, and Devops to help organizations embrace new technology trends that support the increasing demands of their business. The new framework will allow organizations to adapt their IT operating model to the requirements of digital age and continually improve their services.
ITIL 4 focuses on the service value system operating across four key areas – organization and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, and value stream and processes, which represent the way various components and service value chain activities work together to facilitate creation of value through IT enabled services.
Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations
Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps), a term defined by research firm Gartner, refers to the use of big data, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), and other technologies to support all primary IT operation functions with proactive, personal and dynamic insight. Increased adoption of cloud computing has made computing power, required to run AI/ML algorithms, readily available for organizations. AIOps allows organizations to automate an increasing number of IT operational tasks in areas such as monitoring, event correlation and diagnostics, log management, incident management, performance analytics and so on. The rising expectations of improved customer experience, quality of service, and delivery agility driven by digital technologies is fuelling the rise of AIOps. Organizations with a focused strategy for AIOps will improve their productivity, eliminate risks, and achieve competitive advantage driven by quicker time to market.
Change management aims to help in formulating strategies for implementation of change, controlling change, and helping people to adapt to change. Change management will continue to evolve with improved controlling and effective planning. One of the biggest drivers of successful changes in organizations will be process adherence among all parties including the vendors. Establishing a high level of collaboration with delivery teams will be of primary importance as change management becomes robust, successful, and streamlined. Organizations must also adopt a tools-based approach that can help in planning, assessment, risk mitigation, implementation, and monitoring of changes. Tools can also be used to run simulations that help organizations anticipate and avoid any unexpected outcome during the actual implementation. Creating awareness on the criticality of the change implementation activity and ensuring readiness are also important to improve the change success rate and avoid human errors/unauthorized changes. Therefore, organizations must ensure their leaders are fully committed and engaged in the change management practice to create the right alignment, drum up the required support, and lead from the front.
Incident and Problem Management
Standard incident management models can help organizations achieve service restoration, with adherence to service level agreements and streamline the resolution process for repeat incidents. A key trend in incident management is the increasing use of automation to proactively identify potential issues and prevent incidents from occurring with minimal human intervention i.e. ‘zero-touch’ incident management. This can help organizations implement automated fault detection, event correlation, ticket logging, fault remediation, solution validation, and incident clean up, and meet end user expectations such as low resolution time, improved service resiliency, and streamline costs. Automation can also help in problem management. For example, during root cause analysis, the data collected can be used to derive useful insights and identify relevant action plans to prevent incident recurrence.
IT Asset Management
Having a robust IT Asset Management (ITAM) strategy is more important than ever due to the digital disruption in the market. A robust ITAM strategy can help organizations maintain the churn of IT assets, maintain asset data, and adhere to contractual obligations for the entire lifecycle from procurement to retirement. An effective ITAM strategy consists of clear processes for task execution, continuous improvement activities, and tools to automate manual processes.
Service Integration and Management
Organizations today work with multiple service providers for their IT requirements. Coordinating and integrating service delivery among these providers is done through the Service Integration and Management (SIAM) process. The role of SIAM is now enhanced due to the proliferation of cloud computing and other digital technologies. The SIAM model used in organizations depends primarily on the scope and type of service being provided. There are broadly four models of SIAM, which are:
- Retained client as SIAM where the retained organization manages all the suppliers and coordinates the SIAM function by working with various vendors.
- Co-sourced SIAM- Service integration responsibilities are distributed across the client and one of their service providers.
- Lead Integrator as SIAM- Service integration responsibilities are with the lead supplier who manages the SIAM layer. The lead integrator apart from managing the services also has the responsibility of managing the SIAM layer with other service providers.
- 3rd party SIAM- The SIAM layer would be provided by a 3rd party while the actual delivery of IT services would be managed by the rest of the service providers. . Each of the models mentioned have their own advantages and disadvantages. Organizations need to evaluate the services to be managed and decide on what has to be retained and outsourced.
Each of the models mentioned have their own advantages and disadvantages. Organizations need to evaluate the services to be managed and decide on what has to be retained and outsourced.
Traditional models of IT service delivery alone will no longer be enough for the demands of the digital age. Organizations that embrace the new trends and best practices in ITSM will enable their IT to provide strategic support to their business, differentiate themselves from the competition, and achieve success at scale.