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IT service management effectiveness hampered by lack of metrics

A disconnect between IT service managers and the rest of the business is having a negative impact on IT’s reputation

An IT service management (ITSM) benchmarking study from Axelos has warned that the biggest challenge facing the profession is a lack of visibility and inefficient processes.

The research, based on a survey of 667 Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) professionals, reported that 60% of those asked said they did not use effective measurements and metrics.

The survey found that 68% of managers believe they have a good understanding of their organisation’s overall objective, but fewer than half (41%) see a clear alignment between their current goals and the overall direction of the business.

According to the study, the increasing demand placed on IT operations is resulting in teams taking on more work than they can handle.

Axelos found that this could be having a negative effect on their reputation. “Despite struggling to keep up with demand and working beyond realistic expectations, they are still perceived as delivering poor performance,” the report stated.

IT operations and development teams said they wanted to eliminate inefficient practices. The study found that 55% of ITSM professionals who took part in the survey showed an interest in identifying and eliminating wasteful work through the use of continuous service improvement, DevOps and agile practices.

Read more about ITSM

  • When ITIL last updated, DevOps was in its infancy. In the face of rapidly evolving IT practices and technologies, ITIL 2018 must be powerful and usable for diverse IT organisations.
  • 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.

Axelos found that larger organisations tend to recognise lack of visibility as a problem, while smaller organisations struggle more with inefficient processes and understanding customer needs.

Digital transformation introduces new types and levels of risk into organisations, and ITSM is essential to managing that risk,” said Margo Leach, chief product officer of Axelos.

“Using evidence to support improvement and innovation will help ITSM teams demonstrate their understanding of an organisation’s goals as it undergoes digital change to deliver value for end customers.

“This requires more than reporting just process-based statistics, such as service desk traffic, without providing any business insight into the significance of the data. Our benchmarking study suggests that, currently, ITSM teams are too focused on operational processes and are not doing enough to use evaluation tools, metrics and measurement as part of their working practices in delivering value to the wider business.”

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