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Taking the 'IT' out of ITSM

Taking the ‘IT’ out of ITSM

In today’s digital era, the importance of IT Service Management (ITSM) extends far beyond the confines of traditional IT tasks. Service Management is pivotal in designing and delivering the digital experiences that customers expect and ensuring the seamless operation of the digital services that support every facet of a modern business.

  • Management professional and frequent speaker, the idea of removing “IT” from ITSM intrigues me. Could removing “IT” from ITSM make our role more appreciated?
  • Would doing so add value to organisations? Would it make service management careers more appealing for younger generations and add diversity to our industry?

By shedding the “IT” from ITSM and embracing a broader Service Management approach, organisations can unlock the potential to enhance digital experiences and make service management an appealing career path on par with sought-after fields like marketing or sales.

Why Service Management is Crucial for Organisations

Enabling Enhanced Digital Experiences

Service Management is at the heart of digital transformation. It ensures that digital services are agile, reliable, and continuously improving, enhancing customer experiences and engagement. Effective service management strategies deployed via the co-creation of value are essential for delivering intuitive and seamless experiences, which are critical for customer retention and brand loyalty in a digital world.

Operational Excellence and Efficiency

Structured practices within Service Management, such as those outlined in frameworks like ITIL®, help manage digital services efficiently. These practices are crucial for minimising downtime, enhancing service delivery, and optimising resource allocation—all of which contribute significantly to an organisation’s operational efficiency. But surely, we can go further. I did this in the 90s. I may not look at it, BUT I am that old. We are so much more than ‘just IT’.

Don’t settle for second best:

Service Management sets the benchmarks for service quality, ensuring that digital interactions meet customer expectations. Adopting best practices in service management leads to higher service quality, which drives customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.

Let’s set higher goals; we can design and deliver the highest benchmarks for digital experiences. Work with your colleagues, map your services from the outside, and consider your customer experiences. Cultivate these and use communities to improve existing services and delight customers with new services. Do these things through the humanisation of your digital products.

Risk Management and Compliance

In the digital age, organizations are increasingly emphasizing data protection and cybersecurity across their entire operations. Service management provides the guardrails needed to comply with regulations and manage risks effectively – note management. Deploying a proactive approach to risk management is essential for maintaining trust and ensuring the security of customer data. But let’s not use this as an excuse not to do something innovative–we must weigh the risk of NOT doing something that pleases our customers and balance that with the risk OF doing something!

Making Service Management Appealing and ‘Sexy’

To transform Service Management into a career as attractive as those in marketing or sales, we need to focus on its role in driving business success and innovation. Let’s measure and communicate our positive impact on customer experience.

Just as marketing professionals take pride in understanding and enhancing the customer journey, service management professionals shape the customer’s digital touchpoints, which define modern customer interactions. Highlighting this impact can elevate the perceived value and excitement around Service Management roles.

Emphasise Strategic Influence

Service Management professionals are not just technical experts but strategic partners who ensure digital services align with broader business goals. By emphasising the strategic aspect of the role, organisations can attract individuals eager to influence company direction and outcomes. We can attract and cultivate future leaders and digital-first people who want to make a positive difference.

Showcase Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Service management is about innovation as much as maintenance. Professionals in this field constantly explore new ways to deliver services more efficiently and effectively, using the latest technologies and methodologies. This aspect of continuous improvement and innovation can make Service Management roles particularly dynamic and appealing. Market this, shout about this from the rooftops (or on your Teams calls!), work with your People and Culture teams.  Use your voice to let others hear how cool Service Management jobs can be.

Promote Interdisciplinary Skills and Growth

Service Management offers a unique blend of technical, business, and interpersonal skills, providing a holistic view of business operations. Professionals in this field can develop a diverse skill set that is highly transferable and valuable across various roles, enhancing career flexibility and growth potential. I have worked in many industries, and we can do this job anywhere and at any time (good or bad).

Improve Visibility and Recognition

This one is for all the leaders out there.  Organisations can elevate the profile of Service Management by celebrating successes and innovations in this field through internal and external communications. Recognising the achievements of service management teams can help shift perceptions and highlight their critical role in organisational success. Allow communities focused on value to thrive, don’t bog them down in the pure process, lift them out of the fire and give them recognition when it’s deserved.

Let’s Celebrate

Listen and be inclusive.

I’m still looking at you, leaders. Don’t talk over your teams; allow them to thrive. Promote and employ those who deserve it. Read your job descriptions and ask yourself if you encourage people of all backgrounds to apply for your roles. Look into your teams and see how they interact. Do you have proportional representation? Are you enabling your workforce to act as #allies to one another, or are you simply paying lip service? If you only promote and employ people from the same backgrounds, they will likely leave diverse ideas and perspectives behind.

Let's Celebrate

Is This the Conclusion?

Of course not. My writing an article and your sharing it won’t change anything, but we can like, comment, share, debate), and join communities such as the Open Service Community, the Women of ITSM, the ISO/IEC 20000-1 Standards Community and the Scopism #SIAM Community plus others to promote all that is good about our industry.

By rebranding ITSM as Service Management and emphasising its critical role in shaping digital experiences, organisations can enhance their operational and customer-facing capabilities and make Service Management a coveted career choice.

These approaches can still easily meet strategic business goals and help attract a new generation of talented, diverse professionals looking for dynamic and impactful careers. Service Management is not just about maintaining services; it’s about driving the digital innovation that powers modern businesses, making it a career that is as ‘sexy’ and appealing as any in the marketplace today.

What do you think?

Sol Seven Studio

David Barrow has recently celebrated 30 years working in the IT ‘service’ industry, a career that began building personal computers has led to his working with high-performing global teams across multiple industries in complex environments to deliver value to their colleagues, customers, and partners.

David is an ITIL 4 Strategic Leader, recognised by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, as a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow.  David has presented to global C-Level audiences on the ‘10 Steps to Digital Transformation’ with EXIN and the IFDC.

He is also a committee member of the British Standards Institute (BSI), British Computer Society (BCS) & International Organization for Standardization (ISO), discussing all things service management.

In 2022 David published ‘Co-creating value in organisations with ITIL 4’, released via The Stationery Office (TSO) under license by AXELOS and PeopleCert.

These words are summarised and extracted from my recently released book titled ‘An Education in Service Management’ You can learn more and buy your copy here: https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/shop/product/an-education-in-service-management-a-guide-to-building-a-successful-service-management-career-and-delivering-organisational-success

Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent

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