AXELOS 2019 ITSM Benchmarking Report – the industry’s view

Two ITSM practitioners wearing VR headsets stand in group of others with laptop, and other business equipment

We recently published our 2019 ITSM Benchmarking report where 1,600 respondents worldwide had their say on the state of the ITSM industry and the challenges ITSM is facing. The key findings from our report include:

Digital transformation

Digital transformation has become an essential focus for most organizations and ITSM will play a big role in helping organizations digitally transform over the coming years. However, digital transformation is not merely an evolution in IT but a holistic business change affecting the entire organization. IT departments will therefore need to ensure that they engage and interact with the rest of the business in order to co-create value.

ITSM professionals believe the ITIL® framework can improve their organization’s chances of successful digital transformation. Indeed, ITIL 4 promotes increased speed, agility and flexibility via the service value system and the guiding principles. ITIL 4 meets the needs of modern organizations by integrating ITIL practices with delivery methods such as Lean, Agile and DevOps. The ITIL 4 guidance is also more accessible to people beyond the IT department.

The state of ITSM and organizational strategy

To support business success, it is important for ITSM to be more aligned with business strategy. According to our benchmarking study, there is a knowledge gap between the C-suite and the role ITSM plays within the organization. This challenge needs to be addressed in order to help organizational change. Over half of respondents think that C-suite executives and senior management should know more about ITIL and ITIL principles. This will improve alignment throughout the organization.

Technology and business impact

The impact of emerging technologies on the organization such as cloud and automation is unavoidable and respondents suggest that cloud and automation could have the biggest impact. There is a growing skills shortage and a lack of understanding of the benefits of these emerging technologies. Organizations will need to be careful that they do not fall behind competitors and invest in the wrong technologies.
ITSM professionals view working with emerging technologies as an exciting prospect but recognize that new technologies mean they will have to retrain.

The training and skills landscape

Updating professional knowledge and skills is essential for meeting the demands of organizational change. This should be a continuous process backed by employers. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) ensures practitioners are keeping up to date with industry knowledge, satisfying their appetite for learning and being exposed to ideas outside the scope of their day job.

Based on our research, it appears that the main obstacle to CPD is employers’ reluctance to allow staff time away from work for career development. It is important that the C-suite recognizes that this could be an organizational risk as employees not being up-to-date could lead to falling behind the competition. Therefore, in our ever-changing world staff should be encouraged to undergo continual learning and improvement.

These are just some of the key highlights from our 2019 ITSM benchmarking survey. The full report contains more detailed insights into our findings, and you can download your copy from

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