Looking Ahead: IT’s Evolving Role in the Face of Digital Transformation

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Lately, it seems like the hot button issue among those in the IT service management space is where they see IT going and its role in the new digital enterprise. The latter of this debate is the key, as we know that “IT” is less about the technology and processes implemented in the organization, and more about its real-world use cases and how it improves the business overall.

Recently, Stephen Mann wrote about the state of IT in 2017, and laid out some of the CIO’s dilemmas that he or she must consider as they relate to the enterprise. With challenges such as keeping the business running (i.e. digital business services), pressure to deliver new products and/or services, reducing tech and operational costs and holding a competitive edge technology wise, these dilemmas speak true-to-life about exactly how IT has evolved and where it’s going in the next 3-5 years.

A Need for Traditional ITSM

While digital transformation has and continues to impact the enterprise, at its core, the IT organization still has an obligation to deliver rock-solid IT Service Management, usually based on time-tested ITIL recommended best practices.

These tentpoles of the service desk include:

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Request Management
  • IT Asset Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Etc.

While there’s been major disruption surrounding the technology and processes that support these processes, the fundamental principles remain intact. Gartner refers to this balance between the traditional “old style” approach to ITSM with the ever-changing landscape of the digital business as Bimodal IT, with Mode 1 ITSM processes as still being an important factor for most IT organizations that must continue to run and scale operations.

Excels in Customer Experience

In the past, the user experience as it related to IT, was more or less relegated to UI, connectivity and a barebones self-service portal. However, in the new era of digital transformation, user experience has evolved into a full-fledged customer experience approach. Businesses that deliver SaaS models as main revenue drivers must have IT and support mechanisms in place that work proactively to solve customer needs, win over end users, and create loyalty in their process. This focus on improving overall customer experience will help to keep end users happy, reduce ticket volumes, and improve adoption of self-service and knowledge management strategies.

What we’ve learned from the consumerization of IT, is that end users have high expectations from the services they use and interact with every day, and if IT fails to deliver on those expectations, they will not buy-in, thus creating friction in the service desk’s tightly integrated self-service model. Despite this need for better self-service, many organizations are having trouble getting the adoption rates they want from their service initiatives, as research from SDI suggests that many ITSM solutions on the market today still struggle in this area.

7 Reasons Why AI Will Change Everything on the Service Desk - offer

Leverages Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI), in its classic definition, refers to the strategies and technologies used by the enterprise for analysis of key data and information that pertains to the business. And as modern computing shifts towards artificial intelligence, BI has transformed to include breakthrough technologies like machine learning, NLP, predictive analytics, chatbots, intelligent automation, and more.

These new “smart” technologies have emerged to help IT shift from a traditional reactive way of processing and handling requests, to a more proactive style, where issues are identified and resolved before ever getting to the help desk. The future for the IT service desk is leaner, faster, and much more efficient than anything we could have envisioned even just a few short years ago, when these technologies were still just in their infancy - and we’re only just scratching the surface.

A Wider Ecosystem

During Gartner’s annual ITxpo Symposium last year in 2016, Senior VP of Gartner Research Peter Sondergaard went on stage and laid out his team's vision for the infrastructure of the new digital enterprise. One of the core domains that supported this vision was what he referred to as the “ecosystem foundation”, or a network of interactions between disparate organizations that build the framework for how the business operates. With more robust capabilities and connectivity between services and applications via APIs and open developer communities, IT organizations will be more extensible and flexible than ever before. This means that digital services are no longer relegated to just IT. Instead, all parts of the enterprise will become hooked into the greater digital ecosystem; including departments like HR, Facilities, Sales, etc.

These are just a few of the ways the role of IT will change and expand in 2017 and beyond. Have anything to add? Leave us a comment in the section below!

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