What’s more important in IT Service Management, the management or the service?
In the past, the management element tended to get more attention, and the services were simply the IT systems, networks, and applications, with availability, integrity, reliability, and security added in.
Now, there is a trend towards a greater customer orientation, listening to business requirements, stakeholder expectations, and understanding that simply meeting an SLA may no longer be enough.
If this trend continues, could the IT department shift entirely from technical expertise to marketing and customer service knowhow?
For IT geeks tucked away in cubicles and glued to their screens, contact with other human beings is sometimes a stretch.
However, with CIOs increasingly involved in business management discussions, the “how can I be of service” mantra is set to permeate all levels of the IT department, starting from the top (which is a good place to start).
IT Service Management (ITSM) models like ITIL are shifting their emphasis towards the customer, internal or external, side of operations. ITIL practitioners are converging more on continual service improvement, including happier customers, rather than the dry incident, problem, change, and configuration management axes that were the focal points of before.
Digital transformation of organisations is heightening and broadening internal customer expectations too.
IT departments are being pressured to adapt and change, becoming internal consultants to help other departments choose the right cloud services for example, rather than trying to build and provide every IT solution by themselves.
Companies are now approaching a fork in the IT roadmap, with one branch continuing with “operations as usual” in-house, and the other branch leading to a much more outsourced model, in which third parties look after technical aspects and the IT department gets much more involved in the business.
Of course, not every IT geek will or will have to make the transition to master of marketing (other departments still have their geeks, like accounting, for example), but look out for a significant shift to customer-centric activities in the IT department in the future.