The role of IT departments is beginning to change. Cloud computing, big data, widespread mobile device use, video and other emerging technologies are beginning to contribute to a major shift in how organizations get the job done. Many experts agree that this new operational climate is putting pressure on CIOs and other technology leaders to take a step back from focusing on managing the IT configuration and instead focus on strategy.
This new emphasis on strategic development is pushing CIOs to focus more on IT-business alignment and less on the nuts and bolts of running an IT department. Having a good IT service management program in place is integral to finding success in this area.
Three ways ITSM solutions enable CIOs to focus on strategy include:
1. Improving end-user support
If IT teams are going to do a better job aligning with business requirements, they need to be able to support end users with minimal trouble. Having a help desk that is not up to the task of providing rapid responses to user service requests can get in the way of supporting enterprise functionality. Business users may want IT to enable innovation and drive progress, but they need IT to deliver technology without letting those systems get in the way.
Incidents and problems can lead to major disruption for end users and prevent IT from adequately meeting operational requirements on an ongoing basis. A good ITSM setup enables IT teams to go beyond dealing with incidents and solving problems and build on those functions to develop more sophisticated, user-centric support models that drive innovation.
2. Developing an effective process framework
Organizations that do not operate at peak efficiency position themselves for waste and poor results. This is especially true in IT, where operations can quickly be stifled by inefficient and tedious manual tasks that get in the way of more important matters. The biggest problem with process inefficiency, however, comes in the matter of balancing urgency with importance. An inefficient process environment often forces IT and service desk workers to spend their time on the most urgent tasks, even if those operations are not the most important issues to deal with.
An ITSM strategy is built on principles like business process automation and uses technologies like CMDB systems to enable IT teams to operate as efficiently as possible. This, in turn, gives support personnel the ability to establish effective operational methodologies that free them to focus on the most important tasks facing them and not have their processes guided solely by urgency.
3. Integrating new applications and services with ease
Rapidly changing application and storage environments are increasingly common in contemporary IT departments. One of the reasons CIOs are being forced to take on a more strategic role is to avoid data center sprawl, a problem that is easily created when business users end up with too much control over the applications and services they use. Furthermore, IT teams are dealing with the rise of agile development, continuous integration and other emerging trends that contribute to major disruption in the IT environment.
Change and release management are particularly important in the current IT climate, and advanced service management tools give IT leaders the ability to support these operations as effectively as possible. As IT complexity rises and operational needs escalate, organizations need to become responsive and accelerate their processes. IT service management strategies play an integral role in helping technology teams keep up with these challenges.
CIOs increasingly depend on strategic development, not technical development, to give IT departments and businesses the tools they need to get the job done. Implementing IT service management solutions give CIOs the tools they need to keep pace with changing requirements.