ITSM Advancing to New Era of Business-IT Alignment

If you were to receive a sales cold call with a person on the other line encouraging you to get excited about the possibility of investing in an ITIL-based IT service management solution, there is every chance that you would simply hang up the phone. In some circles, IT leaders are starting to think of the IT Infrastructure Library as a dinosaur on the brink of extinction, but this perception misses the evolution that is happening across these best practices. A recent study from research firm Enterprise Management Associations found that the ITSM industry is advancing to a stage where solutions are built with ITIL as a launching point, and with value creation as the end result.

Research indicated that while there is still a degree of perception out there that ITSM suites are built rigidly to follow ITIL and hence leave businesses with strict, rigid and siloed IT operations, more businesses are recognizing that using ITIL as a framework to create a flexible, fast-moving and reliable IT department can help organizations modernize their operations and align IT functionality with corporate requirements. Many companies are recognizing this potential and the organizations that are embracing modern ITSM solutions are finding success.

ITSM Investments Help Companies Respond to Emerging Tech Trends
The study found that businesses investing in ITSM solutions are positioning themselves well to improve the customer experience and create meaningful business value. For example, approximately 50 percent of respondents to the survey said they had integrated mobile functionality to their ITSM suite to let support teams and customers interact in more flexible streamlined ways. Of that group, approximately 78 percent described the results of enabling mobile functionality as either meaningful or dramatic.

Mobile device use isn't the only trend leading organizations to establish sophisticated ITSM strategies. Approximately 80 percent of those polled said they are working to integrate ITSM and DevOps functionality, with half of that group working to use those capabilities to smooth their pathway toward agile development processes.

Looking at the Big Picture
Dealing with isolated tech trends is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating value from ITSM investments. Businesses that invest in ITSM solutions are also finding that the technology management functionality helps them create a more consistent revenue climate. Almost 50 percent of respondents that were using ITSM software said that they are experiencing revenue growth as a company. Another 35 percent said their fiscal situation has remained stable since deploying ITSM tools.

The clear business value being created by ITSM solutions has left many organizations wanting to dig deeper into the functionality. Just 11 percent of those polled said they are not planning to integrate IT and non-IT customer service systems under the ITSM platform.

This point emphasizes the increasing need to integrate IT and business functionality within an organization. With more enterprise users not only getting comfortable with technology, but becoming more dependent on it, they need to have tools that let them collaborate with support teams and help their internal and external customers solve basic technology issue. For example, HR employees shouldn't need to fill out a support ticket to initiate new employee kick-off processes - they should be able to complete many of the tasks themselves and schedule times to work with IT as necessary.

The idea of business-IT alignment is not new, but the possibility of actually breaking down operational silos is only beginning to become a reality. With advanced ITSM solutions in place, you don't need to be an agile startup to get all of your business and tech processes tightly integrated. Virtually any organization can use the best practices established in ITIL to then build up to an agile, responsive and resilient ITSM suite.

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