IT service management (ITSM) and IT operations management (ITOM) are two essential parts of the IT value chain. IT infrastructure and operations (I&O), looked after by IT operations, is the technical platform for the services (and experiences) that deliver value to customers and employees.
Where services are the vehicle for value, IT operations orchestrates and maintains the technical components on which services rely. Think of ITOM as the “below ground” foundations of a building, and IT services as the visible superstructure—the “above ground” architecture that people can see.
Agile IT is Essential to an Agile Business
In today’s business environment, the customer’s definition of value changes at an accelerated pace so organizations must be more agile in the management of the service portfolio. Market opportunities occur in increasingly small windows, so the path from problem to solution must be as short as possible to ensure an organization can consistently capitalize on these chances to drive revenue and increase market share.
In this hyper-accelerated environment, there is no room for friction. The service management function and IT operations need to work together to create a well-oiled delivery machine.
Silo-Busting is the Key to Agility
Through the sharing of capabilities and data, and the establishment of a seamless flow of IT processes across both disciplines, IT organizations can break down silo walls and cultivate collaboration between ITSM and ITOM – driving greater productivity, agility, efficiency and transparency.
Unified ITSM and ITOM is about integrating people, planning, processes, data and technology. It’s a complex organizational change challenge with a number of key objectives:
Align the two programs at the management level. Getting ITSM and ITOM heads in the same room and on the same page.
Establish co-planning of innovations that will drive the business forward.
Build relationships between people at all levels within both teams.
Pool people, skills, expertise, tools, and data (in a central CMDB), and make them open and available to both functions.
Work together to build a more complete picture of the IT estate, what it does for the business, what is costs (both procurement and operations) and where the potential risks lie.
Educate service management teams about IT operations and vice-versa.
Formally integrate IT processes to combine ITSM and ITOM capabilities into a seamless, end-to-end flow. Processes shouldn’t be constrained by department walls when capabilities exist just across the hall.
Present a single unified interface to the end user community through a single service desk and a single web and mobile IT portal/service catalog.
Where do I Start?
It sounds like a lot—because it is. So where do you start? Taking a focused approach will help you target change to where it provides the highest impact. There are three key scenarios which can provide focus points for integrating ITSM and ITOM and improving your overall IT maturity:
Shift left – empower agents and end users: Knowledge-sharing between ITSM teams (like the service desk) and IT operations teams (typically found in line 2 and line 3 of the support structure) is critical. Move knowledge and tools towards the front line to empower the end user community.
Digital transformation: Connect demand and supply by implementing a service catalog for end user requests, which are in integrated with service delivery processes and technical automations for a better experience and more efficient IT operations.