The Digital Transformation of IT Service Management

960 320 Troy McSimov

While the focus of most digital transformation initiatives centers around the customer experience –enabled through new products, services, processes and business models – to be successful, these initiatives require a simultaneous transformation of internal organizational functions such as finance, HR, marketing, procurement, sales and of course, IT.

What’s more, as every business becomes a software business and as the digital strategy becomes one and the same with the business strategy, IT must often first transform itself before being ready to take new products and services to the customer. The customer, in this case, includes internal employees and well as external customers and partners.

So where should this IT transformation begin? Is it via new or existing technologies such as advanced analytics, AI, blockchain, cloud computing, IoT, mobility and others? Via new development and deployment capabilities such as agile, DevOps and shifting mindsets from “projects to products”? Or are there other vital areas that need to be considered as well?

The answer lies in IT Service Management (ITSM). The capabilities and methodologies of ITSM are one of the primary ways that an IT organization plans, builds, delivers and ensures the quality of services it provides to both internal and external customers. While the projects to products movement encourages organizations to think of their offerings as products, the fact is that all digital products are underpinned by services. To achieve an outstanding user experience around the digital product, these services need to provide all the usual attributes of availability, quality of service, reliability, scalability and security. This is true whether the service is supporting an end user application, platform or web site, or a supporting function such as change, asset, incident or problem management.

In addition to the IT transformation mandate, other drivers for change for ITSM relate to:

  • Companies adopting agile and DevOps practices leading to greater automation and orchestration
  • Increased adoption of cloud computing and IoT
  • Shift to shared responsibility and multi-service integration model (see “3 recommendations for your multi-vendor cloud strategy”)
  • Need for IT operations to be more responsive and agile without increasing risk
  • Emphasis on value and new frameworks such as IT4IT

From ITIL v3 to ITIL 4

All this brings us to a discussion of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library or ITIL. The recent ITIL 4, launched in February 2019, is not version 4, but instead it is ITIL for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The next industrial revolution is upon us and is changing the way we live, interact, and innovate on many levels. It will challenge how we think of humanity as we continue to merge cyber and physical realms. Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, says

“The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril. My concern, however, is that decision-makers are too often caught in traditional, linear (and non-disruptive) thinking or too absorbed by immediate concerns to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping our future.”

As part of this shift into the new industrial revolution, ITIL has recognized the need for a transformation of IT Service Management, thus ITIL 4.

ITIL, a brand

ITIL, once the acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is now simply a brand. Why?  Just look at the list of management practices included in ITIL 4 and you can see that it is so much more than just Infrastructure.

General management practices

Service management practices

Technical management practices

  • Strategy management
  • Portfolio management
  • Architecture management
  • Service financial management
  • Workforce and talent management
  • Continual improvement
  • Measurement and reporting
  • Risk management
  • Information security management
  • Knowledge management
  • Organizational change management
  • Project management
  • Relationship management
  • Supplier management
  • Business analysis
  • Service catalogue management
  • Service design
  • Service level management
  • Availability management
  • Capacity and performance management
  • Service continuity management
  • Monitoring and event management
  • Service desk
  • Incident management
  • Service request management
  • Problem management
  • Release management
  • Change control
  • Service validation and testing
  • Service configuration management
  • IT asset management
  • Deployment management
  • Infrastructure and platform management
  • Software development and management


Importance of Value

The best part of ITIL 4 is the emphasis on value. At Technology Spa, we have seen too many service organizations adopt masses of tools and processes only to check a box and unable to show evidence of the value these tools and processes have brought the business. IT Service Management is now based on a set of principles with a focus on value and continuous improvement, and not just processes, as it should have been all along.

Why Technology Spa

Technology Spa partners with its enterprise customers on their Cloud journey – across all stages of that journey – from strategy and governance through operations management. Security and compliance are inter-woven across all four primary capability areas.

From an ITSM perspective, we understand that technology is not one-size-fits-all. Through our Cloud Strategy and Governance services and our Operations Management services, we deliver operational transformation of ITSM processes through automation, integration, and orchestration.

Technology Spa has the knowledge and experience to accelerate the continuous improvement and transformation of ITSM services to provide you with true peace of mind.