The Consumerisation of Corporate IT and the Role of Service Management

 In Blog, ITIL, ITSM, News








Patrick Malaperiman, Vice President – EMEA,  Cherwell Software

I’ve worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years, and in IT service management for 10, and I find it fascinating to see how much has changed and evolved. We all know very well that IT used to “sit” in the basement and was widely perceived to be a department that said “no”, while speaking a technical language few outside of IT understood.

But things have changed. IT now IS the business.

This change, this evolution, this revolution is partially due to us as consumers. Yes, we have become much more technically savvy, educated and demanding in regards to what we want from IT, how we want to interact with IT, and how we expect IT to act, deliver and respond. And, we can’t ignore the truly innovative companies that have significantly helped to drive this change by developing revolutionary consumer-focused technology products that have changed how we access, consume, interact and share information and media for work and personal purposes.

Digital disruption. Digital transformation. The role of service management.

Every day, we now hear about digital disruption and digital transformation. By the way, does your organisation have a Chief Digital Officer? Is this all just a fad, a sign of our times? Or are these buzz words that will soon become embedded into our vernacular?

If we take a moment to ponder this growing emphasis on digital, the purpose of it all is to establish more efficiencies and more effective ways to engage with consumers—consumers at work and consumers at play.

In fact, per the KPMG/Harvey Nash CIO Survey 2016, the priority identified in this survey that gained the biggest uplift from 2013 to 2016 is “Better engagement with customers/prospects.”1 Similarly, “Customers” came out as the top business priority in the Deloitte 2016-2017 global CIO survey.2

And in regards to “efficiencies,” we mean efficiencies that help consumers, customers, staff, and ultimately, the business. These efficiencies bring value, improve customer satisfaction, and increase the “happy” feeling. They also reduce time, resource, and cost. Everyone’s a winner.

So, how can we create a better customer experience? How can we meet our customers’ expectations? How can we help our customers to interact with us in the manner of their choice?

Now, if you’re wondering what role service management plays in all of this, bingo, here it is.  Your role is to help create a “better way.”

The organisation you work for has goals relating to how it wants to use technology to be smarter, faster, more consistent, and to provide a better customer experience. Most likely, IT wants the same thing. The question—or the challenge—is, how do you take people, things, and technology and blend them all together to achieve these goals?

As a service management professional, you’ll soon (if you’re not already) no longer be just supporting business applications. You’ll be supporting everything that’s technical and has an IP address that drives/supports/augments a service—especially those that drive the business and the brand or impact employees.

Your world is changing, and if you’re not using technology to delight customers (both internal and external), then what’s the point? We live in the age of digital business. The bar has been raised, and we must respond.

And, as a service management professional, you have the opportunity to take the lead. You are an expert in workflow and automation and creating efficient and effective processes, and in developing and managing effective self-service portals that enable your customers to interact whenever—and from wherever—they like. You’re also well versed with Knowledge Management, which involves gathering and sharing information to empower your customers (and your team), which increases efficiencies. Now, there’s a few things to add to your C.V.

Should a corporate intranet be like a smart phone? Yes! But, that may be futuristic.

For many people, a smart phone is a portal into their lives. They use it to stay connected, pay bills, purchase tickets, check traffic reports, play games, watch movies, listen to music, take and store photos. The list and uses are endless, and it grows every day. Smart phones have become a single place, a single portal, to do almost everything.

In the past, company departments used to have their own portals, unique and specific to them in all ways possible. These portals were disconnected from each other and from IT—they were not dynamic, they were not strategic, the content was outdated, and the end-user experience tended to be poor. That resulted in users defaulting to emails, spreadsheets and random home-grown tools to submit, track and fulfil request of all types. But, managing a business on a spreadsheet that’s passed around for multiple people to update makes zero sense in 2017. Your users want a one-stop shop where they can access information, resolve issues, and request services—whether they are IT related or not.

Your customers want a portal they can go to, click two buttons and gain a service or a product they didn’t have a few seconds’ prior. If you offer a list of requests, your customers can click on the one most relevant to them, opening a ticket for a technician to work on and complete. This may or may not be a zero touch (no human intervention) situation. We may not be 100 percent there yet. It all depends on the technology involved, the request itself, and the established workflow process (and rules) agreed within your organisation. But, in this scenario, you can apply the same principles of IT service management to deliver and support services across the enterprise to improve visibility, increase productivity, and boost user satisfaction.

I’m already starting to see some of this happen with our customers. Every day, I am amazed to see what our customers across Europe have built leveraging the Cherwell platform and the resulting business benefits gained.  Hundreds of Cherwell customers now use Cherwell® Service Management software outside of IT.  I’m so excited to see what they will build next, not just from an IT Service Management perspective, but beyond the traditional walls of IT.

Given the strategic nature of service management, I believe there will only be growth around this discipline as service management practitioners become business process engineers, creating efficiencies within and beyond IT. There’s no better time to be an IT service management practitioner. There’s an amazing opportunity to deliver on the extended vision of what service management should be.

1 The Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2016. The Creative CIO. Authors: Albert Ellis, Chief Executive, Harvey Nash Group; Lisa Heneghan, Global CIO Advisory Service Network Lead, KPMG International.

2 Navigating legacy: Charting the course to business value. 2016-2017 Global CIO survey. Authors: Kladid Kark, Mark White, Bill Briggs, Anjali Shaikh. 10 November 2016:




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