In my last blog I introduced the technology powered ‘digital wave’ that is driving IT to become the very fabric of organisations. The digital wave is placing huge stress on ITSM operating models and people. In this blog I want to examine how this stress is manifesting, and draw some conclusions about what this means for those leading and working in ITSM operations around the world.
The impact of the digital wave on IT features rapid acceleration in the pace of change, adoption of new technologies, proliferation of service providers in the supply chain, and shifting of spend from monolithic supplier contracts to ‘as a service’ models.
Below are two examples of ITSM services and the key effects of the digital wave on them:
- Incident Management: service desk and supporting teams face intense pressure to rapidly acquire diagnostic and resolution technical skills in new technologies and to quickly and effectively integrate significant new service providers into the resolution and crisis management processes. At the same time the business is ever more demanding of the availability of IT services and so tolerance of downtime is almost non-existent which creates a ‘squeeze’ on the ITSM operation and the people within it.
- Change Management : new technologies, new providers and new architectures can all be seen as a threat to the integrity of the IT environment by a risk-averse change policy and function. Coupled with the increase in the required pace of change this situation can create a fast growing change backlog which further intensifies the pressure on the change process and team. Reactions to this such as relaxations in policy, reduced testing coverage, and reduced scrutiny can then cause a vicious cycle where change failures lead to a tightening of policy which once again slow the pace of change and increase the size of the backlog.
Many enterprises are running ITSM operations designed for a pace of change that was an order of magnitude slower than is demanded by today’s hyper-connected world. ITSM operations need to:
- Efficiently and as business as usual deal with more and more partners, providers and customers.
- Provide end-to-end services and processes so that users and customers do not see the supply chain complexity but do benefit from its diversity.
- Become smarter and more driven by analytics to sort through complexity.
- Embrace the opportunities offered by AI and automation to reduce human intervention and focus that human intervention where it has the greatest impact.
This is not a minor incremental change; it is a transformational one. In my new book Agile ITSM Transformation I set out an approach to making this change rapidly and effectively so that your organisation can avoid being swamped and instead ride the crest of the digital wave.
Pre-order your copy of Agile ITSM Transformation today.
About the Author:
Graham Ramsden has worked for the last 20 years as an ITSM service architect and consultant in the telecoms industry, designing, building and improving ITSM capability for clients primarily in the retail banking, investment banking and insurance sectors. He won the UK Management Consultancies Association (MCA) award for Performance Improvement Consultant of the Year in 2009 for a continuous service improvement programme he led for a major UK bank.
He has been a leader on global deals and projects worth approximately $2bn and which have employed more than 3,000 people. As a result, he has seen an awful lot of situations, and witnessed and indeed made significant mistakes, most of which he hopes to have learned from along the way and have informed his writing!
Graham is from the fine English county of Yorkshire, enjoys cycling and wine, although usually not at the same time, and would like to take up golf if only his lawn and hedge would just stop growing for five minutes.
Graham can be reached through LinkedIn at