"How do I hold on to my current ITSM budget or even grow it? I know I need to show value to the business, but my concern is that the 'powers that be' see only cost. What's my best approach to this?"
As technology continues to advance and develop, IT is becoming even more important to organizations - but that’s not to say ITSM professionals can relax in the knowledge their budget will remain untouched. You still need to prove value to your organization and there are two areas where you can do this: actual value and perceived value.
Perceived value is based on the customer perception, what they feel ITSM has contributed to the organization; it can be difficult to show the value service desks provide in pounds and pence but through customer feedback you can show how you are enabling others to create value in the organization.
If, for example, a service desk is judged purely on cost it is very easy for an organization to reduce that cost or outsource it altogether. But if you can show local knowledge, an understanding of the organization and empathy with it you are adding value and you’ll be seen as more beneficial, reducing your risk of budget cuts.
It’s important to use your soft skills to build extra value: when customers ring the service desk they want to speak to someone who understands the organization and their problem and not just someone who can deliver quick resolution times. A recent Dilbert cartoon summed this up nicely, with the service desk celebrating rapid resolution times as another caller was cut short! The personal interaction with the customer is vital and this is a value an organization would have difficulty outsourcing.
The second area is actual value: look at your service catalogue, see what your services do and what value they provide. For example, if one of your services is an online booking system, how much revenue does this bring to the organization? If you find that some of the services do not provide any value then it is possible they shouldn’t be there.
If you have an understanding of what your services do and the revenue they bring then it’ll be easier to demonstrate that to the organization. Then, ITSM is no longer seen as a cost that can be reduced so easily. It’s all about shifting the emphasis from what you are costing to the benefits you are bringing and communicating that. This requires sound business relationship management.
Results from recent research commissioned by AXELOS shows there is a correlation between ITIL and IT service management being seen as beneficial to an organization and receiving an increase in available budget. Prove that you are tied in with business requirements and the way business works there’s more chance they will invest in you as a service provider. As ITIL and ITSM is so focused on the value chain and providing outcomes it should, inherently, be aligned to the value achieved.
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