The Consumerization of ITSM

IT service management has become a far more common aspect of corporate operations in the past few years, especially through the perspective of industries adopting new technologies and finding ways to get the most out of each investment. Whereas a business in a certain sector might have only had a few technology-related tools and assets in their workplace a few decades ago, virtually every organization has seen the number and diversity of IT investments soar more recently. 

One of the main trends that has been especially intense in the past five years is the consumerization of IT, in which technological devices and software are entering the office in the pockets and briefcases of employees, rather than being direct products of corporate provisioning strategies. The clearest example of this is the enterprise mobility explosion, notably bring your own device, which has further complicated IT service management and delivery for many companies given the more complex aspects of device and software ownership. 

Now, it is important to note that every organization has a responsibility to ensure all devices, infrastructure, systems, networks, storage environments and virtually any other technology asset are safe, secure and being used to generate the highest returns on investment possible. As such, despite the advantages that accompany consumerized IT, businesses must still find ways to maintain a firm handle on all of the data and technology that is in use among their employees. 

In some ways, IT service management itself is beginning to be consumerized, thanks to the efforts of some of the more disruptive and advanced players in the cloud computing, software and other technology markets, namely ServiceNow. It is worth noting that ITSM consumerization is a bit different, as it still enters the workplace through corporate provisioning channels, but is meant to empower various departments that were once not in control of technology. 

ServiceNow's latest move
Diginomica recently cited several comments put forth by ServiceNow's Chief Executive Officer Frank Slootman, whose company has been noted for its innovative thinking and rapid transitions into next-generation technological offerings. For example, the firm released a new Platform-as-a-Service product called CreateNow, which enables companies with virtually no experience in coding or programming to develop, customize, manipulate and manage applications.

Now, within that same vein, the source pointed out that the company is working to develop tools that will empower human resources departments with all of the support and control they need to succeed. One might argue that this is yet another potential blow to the IT workforce, but that would not necessarily be accurate considering the continued need for technology professionals for myriad other matters. 

According to the news provider, Slootman affirmed that making tools more palatable and intuitive for other departments will likely streamline ITSM even further, especially when looking comprehensively and cross-departmentally at the average workplace. With respect to HR-specific service offerings, content management and accounting are among the first IT service delivery matters that come to mind. 

"In human resources, the workloads tend to be very information-centric," Slootman told Diginomica. "People are looking for answers to specific questions, what's the policy on this and so on. The faster that people can get to that information without actually invoking the time of people, the less resources are needed to deal with those workloads. When you put a service model in place, a number of things start to happen. You get immediate data on what it is that your organization is working on. You can break it down by geography and categories and also how well your organization is actually doing in terms of responding to the workload that is coming at the organization day in and day out and so on."

Takeaways and considerations
The most important aspect to remember here is that ITSM can never be entirely replaced by software or technology, as a wealth of decisions need to be made by experienced and – of course – human individuals, especially in the provisioning stages. Automation of certain processes can be highly helpful in driving employee engagement, productivity, accuracy and efficiency to new heights, as can new software that will make ITSM a bit more streamlined in various departments outside of IT. 

However, businesses must not underestimate the importance of oversight and general management for these tools, and understand how the technology is almost always going to be meant to support or strengthen the workforce rather than replacing the need for technology workers. 

Consumerization of IT is expected to continue expanding and diversifying in many ways, transforming into a trend that will make even the most advanced technologies intuitive for all types of employees, households and more. By leveraging the most advanced tools such as those offered by ServiceNow, as well as implementation and management support from a leading service provider such as Aptris, companies can begin to experience the vast benefits of modernized ITSM.