Are we ready to admit we’re all consumers?

2 min read
12-Sep-2017 17:09:00

Thanks to our very own Jonathan Boyd, Solutions Consultant, for writing this thought provoking article. To discuss how Service Management can become a multichannel service delivery methodology, get in touch with Jonathan at or on LinkedIn!

 Service Management needs to become a multichannel service delivery methodology

 With Forrester Research reporting that two-thirds of business users are not happy with what IT provides, business user satisfaction is a topic that needs highlighted. But why is it so hard for IT to keep business users happy? Service Management got lost somewhere between the evolution from Help Desk into Service Desk and becoming a “Service Centre of Excellence”. There’s been a lot of talking, and an explosion of ITSM solution functionality, but how much has actually changed?

 Yes, ITSM technologies such as Service Catalogue have helped IT reduce the fire-fighting. But does it translate into quantifiable business value?  E.g. helping the service consumer do his/her job better. The IT organisations that have achieved real success in ITSM in recent years have done so by cultivating a customer-oriented culture that frames everything they do. The question that should be on IT’s lips should be: “Is what I’m doing right now helping the business?”

 The rise of the customer-centric IT department is pretty similar to the revolution in retail. Online stores appeared everywhere, challenging traditional stores by offering consumers a fast, easy service that fits in with their daily life. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a service provider that doesn’t have online presence. There are retailers like Amazon, and Shop Direct. Even parking is digitalised, and when buying travel tickets, it’s common practice to use the Internet instead of hunting for change.

 Service Management is in the process of making the same leap. The influx of late Generation X and early Generation Y to the workforce is putting pressure on IT to think differently. The new workforce expects to communicate via web, mobile and social channels. The telephone is no longer the weapon of choice for the disgruntled business user.

 You may have heard about “outside-in-thinking.” To IT, this means considering what IT does from the business user’s perspective – strategy, services, support and reporting. Is what we’re doing adding value for the business user? Is it making it easier to do their jobs? Like many other things, people think that they can acquire “outside-in thinking” in a box.  Reality is rarely so simple. Cultural, training, process and partner aspects are critical pieces of the IT customer satisfaction jigsaw, and many organisations are still struggling to fit them together.

 By rule, you should spend twice as long in consultation with your market as you do in administering a solution. This is why so many Service Catalogue implementations have yielded poor results. When approached from an “inside-out” stance, IT will implement a Service Catalogue that reduces call volumes, but won’t contribute significantly to increasing business user satisfaction. IT needs to put improving the user experience at the top of the objectives list when planning a Service Catalogue implementation.

 Service Management people need to think more like retailers – understand the market and the needs of the market. Put customer experience at the top of the agenda and work out how to achieve that by considering people and processes, not just tools. Only then should you look at what ITSM technology you need to support the plan and achieve your business objectives.

 IT needs to “turn the map” and start thinking about the business user experience. How can IT develop a better understanding of what business users want? What can IT do to help business people get their jobs done? How can IT demonstrate the value it delivers in terms that the business understands?   

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