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IT service managers see a role for ITIL in digital business transformation

ITIL is a best practices framework for running IT that can be applied to organisations of any size, but can sometimes feel top heavy for fast-paced IT-driven initiatives

The role of IT service management (ITSM) is set to become increasingly important as  CEOs look to digitise their businesses.

A survey of 330 IT service management professionals conducted in September and October 2016 found that ITSM is becoming more collaborative across the business.

The research from Axelos, the organisation that manages ITIL, looked ahead at 2030 to find out what practitioners thought the ITSM profession would look like.

According to the survey, future concerns among ITSM practitioners are primarily about keeping up with technology as it develops at an exponentially fast pace in all directions.

Some 90% agree that new technologies will generate risks that will need to managed carefully, while 92% agree that ITSM professionals will need a much stronger strategic vision, aligned with the wider business.

Peter Hepworth, CEO of Axelos, said: “The fundamental principles of ITIL is about adapting to your culture and your organisations. Change is the only constant.”

In Hepworth’s experience, leading organisations are adapting the way IT is managed to support digital initiatives. “Not everyone has adapted to the future, but we see numerous successes where service management is being adapted. There is a lot to learn.”

He said ITIL practitioners are drawing on methodologies such as lean, agile and DevOps to enable them to adapt and operate best practices for ITSM.

The survey reported that 77% of ITSM practitioners agreed that non-technical business units will be more involved in service governance, service strategy and service design.

Hepworth said ITIL will be a core requirement for organisations as they scale their internal IT capabilities to support digital initiatives beyond internal customers.

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“What if there is a new Airbnb in our industry? ITIL has scale. A good idea may work, but only the right level of processes can enable it to scale,” he said.

Bring your own device (BYOD) proved that the IT service management desk cannot remain static. As people working in companies become more technology savvy, the role of IT service management is set to change. 

According to the Axelos survey, 70% of ITSM practitioners believe user interactions with IT will become simpler, lighter-touch and less complex.

Self-service IT and artificial intelligence will have a role to play in reducing the first-line support workload, according to Hepworth.

In fact, 89% said they thought that an increase in automation would take over the repetitive tasks of IT, creating more time for service managers to focus on delivering more value to their organisations.

In the survey, 77% of respondents said they believed artificial intelligence and machine learning would have a profound impact on the IT workforce, liberating ITSM professionals from routine tasks and free up time for responding to demands for more creativity and “human” input.

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