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Author  Sophie Hussey – Director, Lapis Consulting Services

May 30, 2023 |

 8 min read

  • Blog
  • Planning
  • Plans Theme

The biggest, ongoing issue service management has faced this year is business and IT working together collaboratively.

As well as the need for companies to see beyond ITSM as just a support ticket, they need to focus on the purpose of service management and ensure its work feeds into the overall business strategy; understanding what the business wants and needs and putting a framework in place to achieve it.

So, in the spirit of continual improvement, what should service management professionals concentrate on for 2023?

1. Collaboration and holistic thinking

While organizations want to work cohesively, siloed working persists, with each playing differing roles to deliver a central strategy and objectives.

Service management professionals are perfectly placed to have a holistic view of activities happening throughout the service pipeline. They can foster open, transparent behaviors and increase visibility and engagement across different business functions.

Collaboration must extend to the customer, whether external or internal; working to achieve a level of strategic cohesion and successful co-creation of value, where both service provider and customer realize the benefit.

At the higher levels of ITIL 4 certification, ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve helps the practitioner to ask what the business is trying to do and how to do it in a collaborative way. Meanwhile, ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support supports “big picture” thinking – building effective teams that ensure business and IT operate as one; ensuring effective and accessible communication to help people understand what you’re doing and why.

2. Delivering value with a customer and service-driven focus

This is about delivering quality services that provide value to the customer and which are more than maintaining service availability.

Beyond the financials, value is contained in good experience, satisfaction, and quality. For example, the “new normal” post-pandemic has seen a rapid increase in hybrid working and it’s vital to continue enhancing the user experience.

ITSM professionals must foster and sustain a partnership with their customers by:

• Understanding the customer’s perspective, needs, and objectives

• Understanding where the above aligns with the ITSM organization’s strategy and objectives

• Building a roadmap to identify and implement improvement opportunities

These actions are vital to ensure that services are effective and efficient; identifying areas where you can eliminate waste, such as duplication of effort, to increase value.

In ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value, mapping the customer journey puts the user at the centre of the design process, fuelled by service empathy and understanding the motives of customers to help drive service delivery.

3. Thinking digitally first and recognizing diverse methods

The digital marketplace is full of tools for businesses to achieve automation, cyber security, etc, and there is an equal abundance of methods and frameworks such as ITIL, Agile, DevOps, COBIT and Lean to deliver services.

By recognizing the variety of methods and frameworks – and cherry picking the best for the job – service managers can think and work differently. If you’re working in a team with someone from a DevOps or Agile environment, you need to find commonality to make it successful. As a reference point for ITIL practitioners, ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT reflects modern, Agile ways of working.

These solution capabilities and methodology frameworks are now very mature and can be harnessed to ensure a pragmatic, realistic approach is taken to a “digital first” strategy. For example: The evolution from ITILv3 to ITIL 4 has addressed a change in thinking and approach to service, value and collaboration between IT and business functions.

ITSM professionals work across the organization’s functions to understand the foundations of value. This will help the adoption of solutions and frameworks to meet new demand and take the leap into new markets, innovative technologies, delivering new services, strategies and objectives.

Building the credibility to work cross-functionally involves managing stakeholders by explaining benefits and where value can be realized in their functions based on ITSM principles. This is done by

translating the technical to something more relatable, showing them where the value is and how collaboration can make things better.