Top IT Service Management challenges…

  1. IT cost transparency. Something has still got to give in terms of what IT costs — IT is and will continue to be a sizable expense to the business. The IT organization is spending the business’ money, and so the business wants to know whether it is being spent wisely (and who can blame them). How many IT shops know if they are investing the business’ money wisely outside of projects?
  2. Value demonstration. Is IT still just a cost center or has your IT organization been able to translate IT investment into demonstrable business success? I still rather somewhat cheekily say that “if we could demonstrate the business value derived from IT, surely we would be being asked to spend more rather than having to respond to corporately mandated, quick fix, end-of-year budget cuts.”
  3. Agility. The speed of business change continues to dictate a rapid response from IT that many struggle with — as a simple example, yesterday my nephew told me of his five-week wait for a laptop at the bank he recently joined. Not only is it speed and flexibility, it is also “agility of mind.” A change in I&O mindset that asks “why not?” rather than “why?”
  4. Availability. Nothing new here (again). The business needs high quality, highly available IT (or business) services. The difference is in business expectations and available alternatives. For a number of reasons, the business continues to be less forgiving of IT failure and, again, who can blame them.
  5. “Personal hardware.”  End user devices will continue to be a big challenge for IT in 2013. Whether it is the fact that our “internal customers” are unhappy with their “outdated” corporate laptops or the fact that they can’t have corporate iPads or the whole “can of worms” that is BYOD (bring your own device), personal productivity hardware will again be a battleground of business discontent in 2013.
  6. Support and customer service. For me, support is one thing and customer service is another; ideally IT delivers both. That it is ultimately about supporting the consumption of IT services by people rather than just supporting the technology that delivers the IT services. And that service-centricity by frontline IT staff is not enough; it needs to be all IT staff. The same is true for customer-centricity.
  7. Cloud. As cloud adoption continues, are we looking at cloud as a technical or business solution, or both? Do we know enough about the status quo to make informed decisions about moving IT services to the cloud? Probably not; yet for many, cloud is the answer. But I still can’t help think that we haven’t really taken the time to fully understand the question.
  8. Mobility. BYOD comes into play here again, but I think that a bigger issue is at hand — that we are still technology-centric. We all hear talk about MDM (mobile device management) as “THE big issue.” IMO, however, this is old-skool-IT with the device a red herring and of little interest to the customer (unless IT is providing outdated devices). Your customers want (or at least we hope that they continue to want) to access your services any which way they can and need to. Mobility is about people.
  9. Compliance. Whether it’s internal or external regulatory compliance (or governance), most of the above will potentially have a negative knock on to compliance whether it be SOX, software compliance, or meeting internal requirements for “transparency and robustness.” With everything going on elsewhere, it is easy for me to imagine degradation in internal control, not reacting to new risks as a minimum.