Service management now and in 2022: making digital transformation work
Blog posted by: Sophie Hussey, Head of Service Management, Lowell, November 30, 2021.
Remote working over the past 12-18 months has demanded more regular and better communication within businesses.
Building and solidifying relationships between IT service management (ITSM) and the wider business has been about creating a better partnership – and this has been helped by adopting internal communications tools such as Yammer for real-time interaction.
But communications channels have been more about people really listening to each other and understanding what the business needs ITSM to facilitate.
Collaboration and the customer
One mantra from ITIL has been vital in the past year: delivery of outcomes to support the customer without risk/cost.
In our organization, that has translated to the service portfolio and greater collaborative working.
For example: if any service changes are mooted, service owners need to be involved in the process; going beyond the technical changes being made and ensuring that anything new has a positive impact on the customer journey (be they internal or external customers). And promoting transparency through communicating to customers.
This is a cultural change: recognizing that while IT “owns the tin”, a service owner from the business is an advocate for the customer, whether internal or external.
Agility and adaptability
So, what has business learned in the past year or more about being adaptable and resilient?
I think organizations have shocked themselves by what they’re capable of.
For example, having an entire contact centre working from home has become achievable when required to meet customer needs. It has meant redefining work practices, identifying new processes alongside a radical cultural and mindset shift.
Being able to deliver convenience and flexibility for both employees and customers has meant relinquishing a degree of centralized control. But this has revitalized the way many businesses work.
I speak to people in other organizations both in the UK and abroad and this shift has happened across the board, including a more flexible workplace response when Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
This has led to even more creative and innovative ways to facilitate the remote workforce and start the process of digital transformation in earnest.
ITIL 4’s guiding principles – always on hand
Since certifying in ITIL 4 in June 2020, I’ve had the seven guiding principles in front of me and share them at every opportunity.
One of them that stands out to me from the period we’ve gone through is progress iteratively with feedback – this has been so important to know where you are and how you progress by taking on input from customers and other stakeholders.
Looking back at the past year, I can see people using ITIL 4 principles without realizing it: removing the gap between business and IT, keeping it simple to cause the least disruption and thinking about how to automate and make everyone’s lives easier.
ITIL 4 into 2022
My current study of ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy has made me think again about its relevance to digital transformation in organizations in 2022.
First, a business needs to understand what it wants to achieve through digital transformation: is the end goal about automation, optimization, keeping up with competitors or something else?
Anyone in a management position responsible for digital transformation strategy needs to take a step back and think about their objectives.
For me, the next 12 to 18 months will be about focusing on strategy and how IT service management can add value to the company.
This will involve thinking “bigger picture” – how IT service management will fit into that picture and how we will maintain competitive advantage and operational excellence at the same time.
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