IT Service Management Isn't Happyland - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
11:58 AM
Connect Directly

IT Service Management Isn't Happyland

At the recent Fusion conference, plenty of folks were challenging the IT status quo, and that's a good thing.

Then the elephant in the room came up: How successful have IT service management implementations really been, and where might they fix future problems? At the conference's final session, a new group called the Service Management Inaugural Congress issued this statement. "We as individuals within the service management community do declare that our industry has become stagnated by a systemic and fundamentally broken set of attitudes and behaviors."

All righty then!

I dug into this discontent a little more with group member Roy Atkinson, a long-time member of the IT support management community and analyst for the trade group HDI. He, among others, thinks it's long past time for us to stop separating "IT" from "the business" and start being the business. "We're the only people who say 'the business.' Finance doesn't. HR doesn't. It's time for us to stop it," he said.

Atkinson went a step further. As IT organizations shrink because of BYOD, outsourcing, cloud computing and managed services, he said, the IT role will become more of a liaison between a company and its technology service providers.

I think IT will go even further, becoming a technology advocate. IT will go beyond service management to become a business partner.

But not if we keep approaching IT service management the way we have been.

Yes, we must continue to have a service-oriented mindset. Nobody wants a partner who doesn't add value. But we must recognize that other, probably better providers of commodity services are out there, and we must focus on the activities best performed by tech-savvy business partners. Atkinson envisions a "service network operations center" of the future, whereby IT keeps tabs on externally provided services.

The actual transformation into business partner will be difficult. The ITSM community brings tremendous value in a mature set of process mapping and management tools, but too much process is toxic.

Every organization's balance of process and outcomes will be different. My advice: Understand that process is a means to obtain outcomes. Value the outcome more than the process. Service management pros who understand that concept will be the CIO's new best friend.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2013 | 7:25:39 AM
re: IT Service Management Isn't Happyland
One of the best discussions in current situation of Industry. On one hand we see Service Management being heavily used by the ITSM Tools provided to come with new Tool design, offerings, better workflows..and on the other hand the actual consumers or users who are running Service Management really dont know what is to be done on the Ground.

When we talk about Outcome, people have not even thought about it. And that direction should flow from Top to Bottom.

I beleive in the SM industry the human factor, team building etc. are completely missed out. IT Governance is only limited to being compliance with Standards and not monitoring the process & outcomes.


User Rank: Strategist
11/4/2013 | 7:12:23 PM
re: IT Service Management Isn't Happyland
I have seen journalists declare ITIL an obstruction to getting to frictionless services in IT, a pronouncement that I think is both witless and foolish, if not stupid. This is the best discussion of the issue I've seen in a long time. Value the outcome. Keep an eye on the process that gets you to the correct outcome.
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Flash Poll