Your ITSM Solution Will No Longer Pass Muster in 2020—Here’s Why

Posted by on March 01, 2019


It is amazing to consider the changes across IT Service Management (ITSM) over the past few years. The rise of the DevOps movement—along with the need to go faster plus be both more responsive and automated—has eclipsed a culture of robust process controls. Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds the promise of dramatically changing how service is provided and who provides it. But, it will be hard to realize the benefits of AI if your current service management tool doesn’t provide the basics such as being easy to deploy, integrate with, and maintain.

To thrive in the future, there must be a blend of the best of today and the best of what yet to come. With this in mind, here are the five most significant warning signs that your ITSM tool won’t support your future initiatives, especially with respect to AI and next-generation approaches to automation

1. It doesn’t support agile/lean approaches

For years, ITSM has been guided by rigid process frameworks in many, if not most, organizations. The need to be flexible and to handle requests and changes faster has now surpassed the need to follow industry standard best practices. Like any market adoption, there is a continuum of where people are at in this shift, and good processes are still important. If your service management platform isn’t easy to deploy, configure, administer, and maintain, you’ll find it very challenging to support organizational agility and industry shifts such as those brought about by DevOps—let alone AI and companion technologies.

2. It can’t be easily extended to non-IT business functions

Like the need to be agile, providing employee support across IT and non-IT services on a common platform isn’t new, yet it isn’t common in many organizations either. The workforce of the future will increasingly expect a single system of engagement across all lines of business. This means a service desk solution must be easily customizable, have robust integration points, supply non-IT solution content, and offer an application exchange.

3. Nobody is using the self-service portal

Despite the prevalence of service portals for years, phone and email continue to be the most common ways tickets are submitted today. With the growing availability of bots, improvements in speech recognition, and the rise of voice-initiated interactions, self-service will be more capable and accessible via multiple channels. If your business end-user portal is underused today—for whatever reason—it won’t be a viable delivery mechanism for intelligent self-service tomorrow.

4. It can’t identify patterns to improve ticket handling

Service management systems have a rich set of records to mine for patterns that improve employee experience and IT staff efficiency. In addition to ticketing data, searches and survey results can provide insights into trends and sentiments. Machine learning will help classify, assign, and route tickets. Machine learning, complemented by automation and knowledge, will also provide more complete request handling for both end-users and service desk technicians. If your existing ITSM tool doesn’t provide easy access to related records, offer advanced knowledge management, or integrate with complementary systems, you won’t be able to mine the kind of data needed implement intelligent automation methods.

5. Analytics don’t enable proactive management and process improvement

Like machine learning pattern matching, big data analytics can identify patterns in incident, change, and other records. Dashboards and reporting today provide insight into past performance, current status, and trends with the goal of demonstrating and improving service levels. While this is vital today, predictive and even prescriptive analytics in the future will be essential to become proactive in improving processes raising end-user employee satisfaction and service quality. ITSM tools that don’t have flexible and extensible dashboards and record searching capabilities won’t be able to support a future that offers predictive or prescriptive analytics.

Intelligent self-service, machine learning, and advanced analytics are all parts of AI, which is making its way into IT (broadly) and service management (specifically). Without embracing the best of today and building a foundation to support what is coming, an ITSM tool simply won’t pass muster in 2020.

And, you don’t have to wait. Service management leaders today proactively plan for the future by ensuring that they have a robust and extensible—yet easily customizable—platform spanning their self-service portal, automations, knowledge management, dashboards, reporting, integrations, and out-of-the-box and custom processes—for IT and beyond.