The Future Of ITSM Drops The “IT” And Replaces It With Automation
Here’s the hard truth:IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams are becoming less relevant. This will only accelerate now that we are in what Forrester calls “the age of the customer” where bring-your-own-technology policies and “as-a-service” software and infrastructure proliferate.
In this new world, developers still need compute and storage to keep up with growth. And workers need some sort of PC or mobile device to get their jobs done. But they don’t necessarily need you in corporate IT to give it to them. Case and point: employees pay for 70% of the tablets used for work.
At the end of the day, if you can’t deliver on what your workforce and developers care about, they will use whatever and whoever to get their jobs done better, faster and cheaper.
Much of this comes down to customer experience, or how your customers perceive their every interaction with the IT organization, from your staff in the helpdesk to corporate applications they access every day. Here’s a proof point on how much customer experience matters from Forrester’s soon to be published book, Outside In: over a recent five-year period during which the S&P 500 was flat, a stock portfolio of customer experience leaders grew 22% percent.
ITSM has the potential to deliver the experiences and outcomes our developers and workforce need and want. But today’s ITSM falls short because it is more inside-out than outside-in. A few examples. We still measure success based on internal IT efficiencies, not customer value, financial value or satisfaction. We still associate ITSM exclusively with ITIL best practices. And we continue to perpetuate ourselves as just providers of technology components, not brokers of end-to-end technology services.
To evolve, we need a new approach. For starters, forget ITSM and focus on its evolution – that Forrester calls, “Service Management and Automation” – that is more customer-centric, service-focused, and automated operations. Dropping the “IT” from ITSM reinforces that the customers and services comes first. Adding automation allows you to be faster, cheaper, and at a higher quality.
But this is much more than a rebranding exercise. You need to understand and internalize the trends, develop the business case, and assess how prepared you actually are. Based on this insight, you then need to carefully plan your people, process and technology. From there you have implement, from hiring new skills to selecting the right vendor, and developing a governance model to enforce the right behaviors. And to continually improve, you need to focus on metrics, peer comparison, and change management.
Forrester’s new “Playbook” approach is designed to do exactly this: A consistent and comprehensive approach to help you succeed at your most important initiatives. Like all of our other Playbooks, the Forrester’s Service Management and Automation Playbook is a practical guide that focuses our research and recommendations to help you discover, plan, act and optimize:
- Discover: This is where you’ll identify the trends, justify the business case, and assess your service management and automation maturity. To set the vision for service management and automation, “Become Customer-Centric, Service-Focused, And Automated” identifies the trends, their impact and what you should start planning for today. The business benefits are outlined in “Sustain Service Management And Automation Funding” to help you justify new investments. And “Forrester's Service Management And Automation Assessment Framework” is a comprehensive tool to help you assess how your current state compares to your desired state across 26 domains of oversight, people, process and technology.
- Plan: To build on your learnings, develop your strategic plan, staffing plan, and technology road maps. Sets the right long-term strategic vision with “Avoid Tactical, Narrow Service Management And Automation Strategies” that accounts for broader enterprise and IT goals. Take a strategic approach to staffing with “Develop Your Service Management And Automation Staffing Strategy.” And “Develop Your Road Map For Service Management And Automation Processes” analyses 18 processes for you to plan for, from incident and problem management to financial, configuration and release management.
- Act: With your planning in place, it’s now time to implement the right skills and staff, policies and procedures, and technologies and services. Put your strategic staffing plan into actions with “Evolve Your Service Management And Automation Skills And Staffing” that identifies key job categories, roles, responsibilities, and skills. To govern effectively, “Balance Disciplined Service Management And Automation With Flexibility” outlines the policies and procedures you need to develop and enforce. And “Source Effective Service Management And Automation Capabilities” offers an approach to understand requirements and evaluate vendors based on the Forrester Wave™ and Market Overview methodologies.
- Optimize: To continually improve, the optimize phase will help you manage your performance, develop meaningful metrics, and communicate and train stakeholders. Benchmark yourself to peers using our “Drive Service Management Adjustments With Peer Comparisons” research. “Develop Your Service Management And Automation Balanced Scorecard” to focus on the metrics that matter most to your business.And “Communicate And Train Sustainable Service Management Changes” applies best practices on change management to identify stakeholder, key messages to communicate and how to communicate them effectively.
The Service Management and Automation Playbook is living, so be sure to check in regularly as we will update these core reports with new data and examples. Beneath these core reports, expect a wealth of “toolkit” research, such as Forrester Waves, TechRadars and Total Economic Impact reports, as well as Excel based models, PowerPoint templates and checklists.
To get started, I suggest reading the executive overview that sets the stage for and the entire Playbook. It introduces the shortcomings of today’s ITSM and why it’s evolution, service management and automation, is a better approach. From there, read “Become Customer-Centric, Service-Focused, And Automated” that identifies key trends across your people, process and technology you need to plan for.
For a more hands-on approach, Forrester Consulting offers full-day workshops and consulting projects aligned to each phase of your service management and automation strategy.
So what do you think? How does Forrester’s vision of ITSM compare to yours? And will our Playbook be useful? This is only the beginning. Me and the rest of the Service Management and Automation team here at Forrester –@GlennODonnell, Jean-Pierre Garbani, @StephenMann, John Rakowski and @DougWashburn – want to know if this resonates with you.