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Author's profile photo Akash Winny

Trends and Future of ITSM

IT Service Management has undergone a major change in the last decade or so. These days its just not enough to resolve an issue but also provide a brilliant customer experience during the process. Tools and technologies have become more sophisticated while the business processes are more streamlined. Pressure has been mounting on IT departments to align IT with businesses and do more with less. Unfortunately, the global trend pattern indicates that while the infrastructure capital costs are going down the Infrastructure management costs are increasing. Infact in many organizations the management costs account for more than 60% of their IT budget. Given this trend there are several options for the IT departments to provide greater benefit with fewer resources. Some of them being:

  1. Automation: Recent years have witnessed the rise of ITIL as a widely accepted framework for improved service delivery. With the prevalence of ITIL, another focus has gained momentum and that being the degree to which it is possible to automate ITIL processes. It is an accepted fact that people tend to adapt to manual processes over time to suit their needs. Automation allows the establishment and execution of consistent and repeatable rules for key processes such as Incident Management, Problem Management and Release Management. This reduces inconsistencies, downtime and errors. Automation is an easy way to drive service desk efficiency and reduce costs. For many organizations, automation of processes is very important as it allows them to implement cost-effective regulatory compliance by enforcing best practices and generating an audit trail that proves compliance.
  2. Smarter CMDB: ITSM requires the management of components of IT Infrastructure and all the related business services. A configuration database management provides visibility of this infrastructure offering detailed information on all the configuration items such as location, configuration and relationships with other items. In order to be effective CMDB must ensure that all the processes are working on consistent and accurate information. The primary issue here is that because of the complexity and diversity of the IT infrastructure, developing an efficient CMDB within a reasonable budget is difficult. In order to address this challenge a new model of CMDB called federated CMDB has been gaining popularity. It is based on the concept of federating the data sources rather than establishing a centralized repository. This will allow IT organizations to create and configure a CMDB from data sources with various scopes and arranged in various topologies. Using an infra-enterprise Federated CMDB that would plug into multiple management data repositories (MDRs), the IT department would be able to get an overview of the IT infrastructure with all the details. This would reduce the costs of process management, improved IT Services and customer satisfaction.
  3. Self Service: The benefits of self-service are well known. A good system can have a significant impact on cost and an initial 10-20 per cent reduction in calls to the Service Desk is not unusual. Some customers have managed self-service so effectively that majority of calls to their service desk are now logged via a customer portal with many of the calls resolved using self-service options. The potential for self-service to improve service delivery is becoming quite popular. Quite often there are groups of customers who prefer not to call a service desk either because they will be placed in a queue or they prefer to troubleshoot problems on their own. These groups represent a pool to which self-service caters to. Implementing self-service allows requests to be created by the customer; once logged. Applying online workflows also enables specific workflow tasks to be automatically completed, speeding up the end-to-end process and meeting customer expectations for more mature service and delivery models.
  4.  Knowledge Management: Customer self-service also depends to a large extent on the quality of information available to them. Integrating Knowledge Base content into a customer self-service solution is an effective way of ensuring that customers have access to the information they require to resolves their issues. Plus, Knowledge Base directly integrated with the service desk makes life a lot easier and minimizes time spent on routine requests. As a result the promotion of knowledge management is becoming a critical factor in Service Management.
  5.  Autonomic Computing: Many organizations have complex distributed computing systems. These systems are diverse and deal with many different tasks. As a result maintaining them becomes a huge challenge. An initiative known as Autonomic Computing started in 2001, addresses this issue. The ultimate aim of autonomic computing is to develop computer systems capable of self management. This means that the computing systems adapts to unpredictable changes whilst hiding intrinsic complexity to operators and users. An autonomic system will make decisions on its own. Using high-level policies, it will constantly check and optimize its status and automatically adapt itself to changing conditions. In this kind of a scenario the human operator takes on a new role of defining general policies and rules that serves as an input for the self-management process. The operator doesn’t control the system directly. As a result, some of the operations that the system can do are:

                    a) Automatic configuration of components
                    b) Automatic discovery and correction of faults
                    c) Automatic monitoring and control of resources

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