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Author  Adam McCullough – Principal ITSM Architect

June 15, 2022 |

 8 min read

  • Blog
  • ITIL Practices
  • ITIL

The demand for IT service management (ITSM) talent is higher than ever before.

One of the things driving this is the world having become a lot more complicated very quickly through hybrid and remote working. That includes having the ability to set up an infrastructure to support it with the right processes and governance for IT support.

As the “new normal” evolves, how do companies find and keep the right people to deal with these challenges alongside advances in technology – not solving just the present problem but being prepared for the future too?

This needs process and governance talent to make things happen that didn’t happen before.

Company-wide understanding of service management

Today, more senior leaders need to understand service management. This means having a greater appreciation of what ITIL is and also how to adopt it.

While service management was previously something that happened in a back office somewhere, leaders now need to get their hands dirty with it too. By putting their arms around all the things that have to happen now, companies that currently don’t yet have hybrid work policies or standard operating procedures will get the chance to put processes and practices in place.

It’s a big, cultural paradigm shift and is a necessity when facing enterprise-wide problems that are difficult to solve. It’s no longer possible for leadership to say “this isn’t relevant to me”, as service management spans the range of different departments in organizations.

People and the “great resignation”

I’ve seen an ebb and flow from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic among companies wanting to upskill their existing employees in service management while bringing in new talent.

But organizations’ investment in training and people can’t ignore the so-called “great resignation” such as in the USA and, equally, the “great reshuffle” where people are re-examining the type of work they do.

This has meant employers taking more care with elements of employee satisfaction that didn’t exist 10 years ago: empathy, mental health days and setting aside time for people to do training away from the day job.

The right skills and qualities in ITSM talent

When developing existing employees or hiring new ones in service management, you need people who have an understanding of IT but can also work cross-business unit and cross-solution.

That involves having both breadth and depth of knowledge and experience. For example, being able to talk to colleagues in different business functions in their own language without being an expert. This is about communicating and understanding what challenges they have, what needs to change and why things need to improve.

Therefore, gaining different types of experience across a variety of roles will be essential and highly valued by organizations.

Training = time well spent

What can companies get out of investing money in training and development?

In my view, the return on investment is tangible: whether it’s through individuals saving costs, developing business opportunities or the way their thinking changes, accomplishing tasks much faster, for example.

Blocking off time for staff to train and learn is like “routine maintenance” on machinery: if you don’t do it the problems you will face will be even tougher.

However, I think there is now a shift in companies encouraging and enabling their staff to get certified. When people in leadership roles are obtaining certifications such as ITIL, they start to advocate training for their staff also.

And, with ITIL, I don’t know of another certification that paints a larger picture of bringing IT and the business together. Equally, you can use it with complementary disciplines such as project management and Scrum. ITIL is a gateway for people to understand a range of business topics – and especially those who don’t come from an IT background.

Adopting this knowledge and guidance is about not only fixing current problems but forecasting what’s coming next, i.e. the metaverse-type work environment – a combination of virtual and augmented reality in which people can interact.

What this will bring is unimaginable and organizations will need people with the right skills to respond to these seismic changes.