The Tenets of Optimal IT Service Management – Part 1

This is the first part of an ongoing series in which we discuss the fundamental aspects of IT service management and delivery in the modern organization, as well as the common investments made by decision-makers to reach optimal working environments. 

IT service management and delivery have become more common mission-critical aspects of operations for the average business in the past few years, driven by the increased ubiquity of novel technologies and the push toward entirely digital commercial environments. In many ways, this evolution has helped to drive businesses in the right direction in terms of efficiency, productivity, brand stature and power, but reaching the optimal working environments that so many desire is no easy task. 

Rather, the diversity and volume of new services and technologies, along with the need for accelerated time-to-market speed, has made life increasingly complex and difficult for the average IT department. From big data and cloud computing to enterprise mobility and beyond, the average plate of a technology professional is either full or overloaded, especially when companies do not leverage the right types of services in the correct fashions.

It is important to note here that there are plenty of ways in which organizations can streamline the IT service management and delivery processes in their working environments, it just takes the right level of due diligence, research and guidance to get there. There is no turning back from the modern, digital era, and companies that either drag their feet or try to completely avoid deploying new technologies will likely find themselves firmly in disadvantageous position in their respective markets. 

Although technology-dependence has been spreading across industries and intensifying for decades, the close proximity of the Great Recession to some of the most dramatic advances in digital solutions ushered in a new age of digital centricity, regardless of which industry the discussion pertains to. In this first part of the series, we will discuss some of the challenges faced by the average company by way of IT service management. 

Today's common, complex obstacles
First and foremost, cloud computing was once the most disruptive force in the corporate IT arena, pushing businesses to swiftly modernize and overhaul their technological capabilities and get moving on process improvements using this technology. In many ways, the disruptive power of the cloud has not necessarily been silenced, but companies are at least more proactive in their deployments. 

Rather than acting as a hindrance, the cloud has helped to facilitate the deployment of other technologies while maintaining cohesion and interoperability across strategic IT frameworks. With this in mind, here are a few of the most popular obstacles standing in the way of IT service management optimization for many businesses.

  • Data volumes and velocity: Big data comes with the promise of turning massive volumes of structured and unstructured information into actionable insights. However, the related increases in data volume and velocity have been extremely difficult to overcome in the average workplace. IT departments have to find ways to make the most out of all the information available without allowing errors, inefficiencies or misalignment enter into the equation. 
  • Enterprise mobility: This is likely the most difficult trend to handle when looking at industries that are under more stringent regulatory compliance coverage and security requirements. The sheer volume and diversity of devices and applications, which is only forecast to intensify in the coming years, can quickly make it impossible to effectively manage information governance, network access controls and support of each employee. 
  • Downtime and disruption: Again fueled by the wide range of IT frameworks, equipment and services that are entering the corporate infrastructure, businesses have struggled to deter downtime and maximize the reliability of systems. When service disruptions occur or, even worse, data loss begins to be a problem, the threat to continuity and financial stability is significant. IT departments are often tasked with ensuring the most exceptional level of reliability possible, regardless of how many systems must be available. 

There are plenty more challenges that are facing the IT department in terms of service management and delivery, but these are among the most important and central ones. 

What can be done?
In short, it is important to remember that the United States economy is moving full-steam ahead toward a full recovery from the recession, and this can act as evidence that businesses are succeeding in overcoming these and more obstacles. For one, cloud computing solutions, notably disruptive forces in the market such as ServiceNow, have helped to streamline IT service management for many organizations. 

Additionally, the prevalence of contracts between businesses and IT-related service providers has increased exponentially in the past few years, indicating that organizations are proactively seeking out external support for their technology management and delivery needs. 

In the next part of this series, we will dive further into the solutions and strategies that have been proven to help companies overcome challenges.