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3 Things That Change When Service Management Becomes a Culture

08/07/2014 by: The SunView Team

Upgrading IT service management plans is just as much about changing a business' culture as it is about making technology improvements. Sure, getting a better service desk platform and adding modules like a change management represent important technology investments, but these upgrades come out of a cultural change that can permeate every aspect of how an IT department operates. Central to this shift is the idea that IT no longer exists to support the business, it functions to enable the business to get the job done more effectively.

Delivering services and dealing with incidents isn't just a matter of keeping everything running smoothly, it is a matter of delivering meaningful value. With that in mind, there are three key aspects of operations that are directly impacted by a cultural revolution surrounding service management.

1. The Service Desk Isn't Just About IT
Advanced ticketing, collaboration and coordination tools that exist in the service desk don't just work to support IT operations. Instead, business departments ranging from facilities to human resources and accounting can leverage the technology to manage their day-to-day operations and interact with technology more effectively. Advanced service management tools are all about improving processes to deliver value, so there is no reason why they shouldn't be applied within the line-of-business, not just in the back office.

On top of all this, the move to ITSM principles bellies a recognition that technology is playing a more important role in every phase of business operations. This is evident in how different operational silos must be broken down as business units share common technological platforms. Service management tools play a key role in situations when this business collaboration happens while using advanced IT services.

2. IT is Tasked with Delivering Consumer-Like Functionality
Consumerization is a major trend impacting IT departments and the need to adapt based on user requirements is a key cultural change happening in the enterprise today. This is especially evident in the way that IT controls what technologies and services users can leverage. The days of functioning as the sole provider of technology are gone, but IT can still serve as a gatekeeper, and sophisticated service management tools are emerging to facilitate this change. In particular, solutions like service catalogs and self-service portals are helping IT deal with the cultural changes that come with consumerization without taking on too much risk.

This cultural change can lead to new workflows for support teams and different technology acquisition models for non-technical employees, but it also leads to considerable value creation as users are left with a greater feeling of having a stake in how their work day pans out.

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3. Efficiency Becomes the Priority

Stability has long been the focal point in IT operations, and it remains important even after a transition to service management. The distinction, however, comes in the extent to which stability is at the center of operations. In the past, many organizations would fail to innovate because they were so focused on stability that they were too afraid to move forward. Service management methodologies are aimed at helping companies maintain stability while driving efficiency.

This shift in areas of emphasis leads to a new focus on efficiency.

Instead of asking, "how do we deal with this situation while ensuring maximum stability?" support teams are more likely to pose questions like, "This technology can deliver significant value, how can we deliver it efficiently while minimizing risk?"

The difference between these two responses is one of the underlying motivation behind IT operations. The first assumes that IT dictates how things work and responds to business change, while the second positions IT as a strategic enabler, a key cultural shift.

IT service management strategies are changing how business and IT units interact, a cultural shift that could lead to a considerable return on investment.