Since the first incarnation of ITIL, the relationship between those guidelines turned, for some – business process mantra -and ITSM has grown ever stronger and more committed from the latter side.
And talking of turning, ITSM turned ESM is a perfect example of this blossoming relationship in practice. As ITIL moved towards a “cradle to grave” handling of company assets within a service-oriented business model approach, so ITSM itself moved on to reflect this in practice. As has been well documented, in recent years IT has seen a significant increase in outsourced operations, culminating in the current cloud-based strategy and software delivered almost exclusively as a service (SaaS). Yes, there is still technology – of course – underpinning every element of IT, but it has taken very much a “behind the scenes” roles as business benefits have rightly become elevated. ITSM itself has undergone a similar transformation, from support toolkit to pro-active service delivery mechanism, adding dynamics into company processes, rather than merely supporting them.
Logically, therefore, service management has moved well beyond the “fixing laptop problems” role, into mainstream business operations. After all, it is not just IT-related activities that need a high level of support. As business processes have become aligned, departments such as HR, facilities and finance can all benefit from the same form and level of service management, thereby providing uniformity across all company support activities and, in the process, streamlining company operations. So, regardless of the requirement (or problem), from the moment a new member of staff walks through the door, those needs should be handled by a single service management platform. Therefore, ordering stationery, a company car, or – for example – raising a concern with HR, should be managed in the same way as being issued with a company laptop, phone and dealing with related support issues. This, in turn, creates a single business process flow model to manage all company activities and – in so doing – both optimises that model and provides the basis for maximising staff productivity, regardless of their role in the business, IT or otherwise.
Here is where the service desk really becomes pro-active. For example, it is now possible to monitor and analyse employee support across the company and establish how successful that support is, and where to improve it. The point is – analysing the performance of the ITSM system also provides significant clues as to how to tweak and improve the running of the business itself. So, a natural by-product of a contemporary ITSM solution – especially when focused upon the entire company, ESM-style – is the ability to adapt business processes to streamline those very processes and maximise employee productivity and the business bottom line.
In 2020 and beyond, IT is all bout adding value to the business; every penny allocated to an IT budget now has to be positively accounted for – and rightly so. The service desk is foremost in being a “sign of the times” – it is now a mainstay of running a company and helping it achieve profits.
Steve Broadhead is a technology journalist, technical researcher & author, guitarist and occasional comedy writer, who brings his unique perspective to the world of ITSM through 30+ years’ association with the IT industry.
Watch the webinar recording of The Integrated Service Desk – extending boundaries adds value