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What’s the Future of Corporate IT and ITSM?

By | December 16, 2015 in Service Desk

While we were at FUSION, the joint itSMF USA and HDI IT service management (ITSM) conference, we asked a number of the IT and ITSM professionals in the Expo Hall three quick questions about the future of IT:

  1. Where do you see the corporate IT department in five years’ time?
  2. With the consumerization of IT continuing to drive employee expectations of corporate IT, how will this potentially disrupt the way companies deliver IT?
  3. What IT process or activity is the most important in creating superior user experiences to boost user/customer satisfaction?

We also tweeted the survey a few times post-FUSION, which helped to take the number of survey responses to a healthy 331.

I like to think of it as a quick pulse check for IT professionals and their IT organizations – we’d have liked to ask more questions, but have you seen how difficult it is to get people to engage with surveys these days? Nonetheless, the survey results, while limited in their scope for ease-of-completion purposes, show that corporate IT organizations need to change, and to change in a number of different ways.

The Corporate IT Department in 2020 – Smaller and with New Skills

Thankfully only 3.6% of respondents think that there will no longer be corporate IT departments – but given who answered the survey that would be like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) expect IT departments to contain fewer people in five years’ time versus the 28.4% that expect growth in corporate IT team sizes. This expected drop in IT department employees could relate to a number of expected changes in IT operations, including:

  • Greater business unit responsibility for IT whether formalized or a gradual erosion of IT department relevancy
  • Increased use of cloud and other third-party service providers
  • Increased use of automation in the management of IT and IT service delivery.

Finally, 83.7% of respondents see a need for IT professionals to learn new skills versus the 12.6% that feel IT professionals will only need their current skills. This could relate to new technical skills but also the skills required to manage third-party suppliers and to better engage with the customers and consumers of IT services.

The Consumerization of IT Will Disrupt the Way Companies Deliver IT

Only 5.4% of respondents don’t think that consumerization will affect how corporate IT organizations operate (and an additional 2.4% don’t know what the consumerization of IT is).

The future of ITSM

A skeptical 24.2% think that organizations will invest in consumer-like capabilities such as service catalogs/IT portals but will still be driven by the technology. So they will potentially be driven by the sexy technology related to consumerization but either ignore, or lack the ability to understand, the true impact of consumerization on corporate IT and service delivery.

The remaining 67.9% think that corporate IT organizations need to fundamentally change, with:

  • 35% thinking that IT departments and projects will be driven by user/customer needs and expectations rather than the technology.
  • 32.9% thinking that the corporate IT department will need to reinvent itself to match consumer services and service.

There is no doubt that, while the consumerization of IT has been putting pressure on corporate IT organizations for nearly a decade, consumerization is now about so much more than Shadow IT, BYOD, and personal cloud services. Consumerization is about the overall service experience, when consuming IT services, as well as the technology that employees and customers use.

IT Organizations Need New Ways in which to Deliver Superior User Experiences

Thankfully only one respondent doesn’t think that user experience is important. However, when it comes to the activities organizations will use to improve user/customer satisfaction, there is good news and bad news from the following results:

  • Change management – 10.0%
  • Service level management – 19.3%
  • Incident and problem management – 19.6%
  • Business relationship management – 42.9%
  • Other – 5.4%

SysAid Survey: IT organizations need new ways in which to deliver superior user experiences

The good news is that business relationship and service level management scored highly. But sadly these processes/activities aren’t as commonly adopted by organizations as they could be.

The choice of incident and problem management by 1 in 5 respondents, plus those that called out service desk as an “Other” choice, potentially shows the siloed thinking and operations within IT organizations – pointing to IT support activities as being key in creating superior user experiences.

However, while the support experience is important, user experience is about so much more than support – and corporate IT organizations need to understand this if they are to truly meet employees’ consumer-driven expectations around user and service experience. Whether it be through business relationship management or via another means, IT organizations need to invest in processes or activities that allow them to better understand, manage, and meet the expectations of their internal consumers/customers.

But even before this, they need to consider what they are delivering in terms of how employees and customers are consuming what they design and build/buy. In the same way that ITIL® (the ITSM best practice framework), encouraged the move from technology-centric to service-centric thinking (that’s IT delivered as services), we need to make the next evolution in corporate IT. And it needs to be an evolution where we consider more than the technology, and more than the delivered IT service in terms of devices, software/apps, and connectivity to the cloud. Instead corporate IT organizations need to be thinking about the overall service experience associated with their services, and not just in support.

So what do you think about our survey results? Did anything surprise you?

Like this article? You may also like: The Cloud Behind the Curtain - Why ITSM Matters.

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.

Dena Wieder-Freiden

About Dena Wieder-Freiden

As SysAid’s Content Marketing Manager, Dena values most her friendships and daily conversations with the awesome IT service management (ITSM) authorities from all over the world! As they share their knowledge with her, she enjoys paying it forward to the IT community at large. Outside of work, she’s most likely at the gym, the beach, or at home watching a movie and spending time with her family.

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