How to simplify the challenges of modern ITSM

In this series of blog entries, I’ll be looking at how ITSM has fallen behind the rapid pace of technological change and the heightened expectations of modern end-users and service desk agents. We’ll also discuss some limitations of the traditional service desk and offer some strategies for overcoming them.

The explanation for the gap between user expectations and the typical level of service provided by ITSM teams lies in the consumerization trend. “Consumerization” refers to the way consumer technologies affect businesses by changing the way people expect to use technology. In ITSM terms, end-users and service desk agents now expect to work with the same style of IT products and services that they enjoy in their personal lives. For example, service desk agents want an intuitive interface and ease of installation, together with the ability to collaborate and share information. Both end-users and agents now expect to be able to use functionality immediately without training, via their preferred device. End-users in particular, given the choice, will often self-serve before contacting the service desk.

At present, the ITSM reality falls short of these expectations. Many IT service desks are stuck in the 2000s or even the 1990s. The tools they are using often have a dated look and clunky user interface. In addition, these tools tend to be complex and process-driven, and force users to adapt their way of working to the limitations of the tool, rather than vice versa.

Many service desk managers recognize the value in meeting today’s user expectations. As well as giving agents and end-users the experience they want, it will make a service desk more productive and increase the value added to the business. However, it’s not always easy to do this in practice with the legacy ITSM tools at their disposal.

In my next post, I’ll look in more detail at a problem that sometimes prevents service desks from keeping pace with user expectations – the functionality gap caused by difficulty in upgrading – and at the consequences of falling into this trap.


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