Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

Have you met my friend “IT”?

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blog-share-itThe IT department is often seen as a foreign land by people working out in the business. When you travel and reach a foreign land where you don’t speak the language and where the customs are different to your own, you feel a bit lost and afraid. It takes time to develop a level of comfort, to understand the language and to make yourself understood. For many people, this is what happens when they step inside an IT department. They experience feelings of isolation, inferiority and even stupidity.

The reason people experience these feelings is because people within IT have unknowingly made it that way. But, this has to stop.

One way to open the border gates between IT and the business is to start sharing – share the tools and share the processes. Over the years, IT has built up a vast arsenal of best practice and superior tools. The business is ready to benefit from the wisdom that has built up around IT service management (ITSM), and IT needs to let them in.

IT can lead the change

IT must no longer hold the monopoly on technology. The ITSM tools that power the IT service machine are increasingly being recognized as having a huge value to the business at large.

If your ITSM tools are not yet being shared outside the walls of your IT department, it is time for you to change that. Every service your organization uses involves IT capability along with business expertise. If you put the right tools and the best knowledge out into the business by sharing these tools, you will enable the business to perform better, resolve issues quickly and improve their own processes.

Giving the business the tools they need to support and improve their own services and processes improves outcomes for the entire organization.

Much more than just technical support

Every part of the business will benefit from adopting and adapting the use of ITSM processes and tools. Anywhere there is a repeatable process, a question to be answered or a customer contact to be made, it will benefit from leveraging the capabilities developed by IT.

HR, security, facilities management, customer contact, virtually any part of the business can leverage the power of ITSM tools to improve their capabilities and provide better service to their internal and external customers.

In the past, the business may have come to IT and asked it to manage processes that had some tenuous link to IT. Now, they are more likely to knock on the IT department door and ask for access to the tools that will allow them to manage these services themselves. IT has an increasing role in educating the business and helping it to develop the processes and technical capabilities it needs.

A game of give and take

Establishing IT as a true business enabler is going to involve a lot of give and take and a concerted effort to get out into the business. Consider stationing some of your team out in the business and invite others from the business to come and spend some time on the service desk. When each partner understands the day-to-day stresses that face the other, a new sense of cooperation is certain to develop.

IT specialists need to stop believing that they work in IT – they work in banking, health, government. When they start thinking that way, they really start supporting the business at large rather than just the business of IT.

It is critical for the ongoing survival of the ITSM professional to step out of the IT realm and into the business. IT as we know it is disappearing. Today’s IT department is a very different creature to those of 20 or even 10 years ago. It is a case of adapt or perish.

We are living in interesting times, particularly in IT. Whether that is a blessing or a curse, very much depends on how you are prepared to adapt, share and ultimately merge with the business. We will know that day has come when IT is dropped from ITSM.

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