The 2016 service management agenda

BLOG: As businesses gear up for 2016, Sunrise Software believes it’s the ideal time to adapt the latest developments in service management to start the New Year. Geoff Rees, Director for Business Services and Sales, and Dean Coleman, Head of Service Delivery, share their view on the future….

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The virtual CIO

The trend for companies to outsource increasing amounts of their IT needs as a managed service has lead to the rise of a new role we have dubbed the “virtual CIO”. We have seen many of our clients and their customers adopting this approach, which sees the company buying in most of their IT services and having an executive to handle the provision. The job title varies, but whatever the name the role sees them managing IT and suppliers and services.

This is the next step in the Service Integration and Management (SIAM) approach to multi-sourcing, and enables businesses to cut down on overheads by reducing permanent staff and avoiding capital expenditure into expensive infrastructure. It’s also perfect for businesses looking for scalability, as services can be added or removed as easily as any other utility. Having a C-level executive to oversee everything will help to keep IT needs visible at board level and stop issues from being overlooked.

Virtual CIOs or IT directors like this may only be needed for one or two days a month, so they could also work across multiple organisations.

Enterprise Service Management breaking through

Many times in the IT world the next big thing is actually nothing new, and that has been seen before – maybe under a different name. The concept of the cloud existed for at least a decade before it became so well known, but having such a clear, accessible label attached to it has definitely helped its visibility and understanding.

We believe the same is now happening to Enterprise Service Management – the idea that service management is a practice that can benefit the entire business, not just for IT. Many of our customers have been using this approach for years, but the concept is now gaining a real foothold.

This is linked with the overall shift in mindsets, where IT is no longer seen as a set of tools, but as an integral part of the business – an enabler and facilitator As a result we’re seeing the Service Management approach being used for other areas of the business such as human resources, operations, customer service, and finance and facilities management. Companies with large employee headcounts in particular are now bringing in service desks to create the bridge between departments and the overall workforce, that cater for everything their people need.

Decline of the client

Many software vendors have previously treated mobile access to their applications as an optional extra but this has changed drastically as mobile device increasingly become a part of everyone’s life, at work and play.

You only to have to look around a train carriage to see the way that mobiles are now constantly used for almost every task throughout the day, and we’ve seen this reflected in the number of people visiting our site through mobile browsers.

Younger workers in particular will now be quite put off by the idea of installing a client on their machine before they can access services – they’re used to getting everything in a few taps through mobile apps and browsers.

This shift means the idea of client/server software applications is definitely on the way out, and it won’t be long before it is entirely replaced with the more instantly accessible alternatives newer generations demand.

Solutions on demand

People are used to having everything they need at their fingertips – in their home life they can simply hit Google every time they need answers, and they expect the same from their professional life. Why should they have to jump through hoops to find a solution? Self-Service solutions are the best way to address this new demand, as they enable users to quickly solve issues for themselves.

If the official system doesn’t work for them, most people are now tech savvy enough to bring their own solution. This is a problem for IT departments as mobile and browser-based solutions are very difficult to regulate, leading to an increase in shadow IT.

Once an unofficial solution has become popular it’s hard to push it back out again. The IT department should focus on engaging new technology used by employees rather than trying to lock them out. The smart approach is to look at what is driving their use and how they could be beneficial to the business.

The death of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is rapidly losing its value as a tool for professional connections, and is being taken over by recruiters and a multitude of self-promoting types, keen on using any platform to make lots of noise In the same way fewer young people are using Facebook because their parents have signed up, I think we will see LinkedIn lose traction quickly as its original value is being lost

Death of ITIL? Think again….

The death of ITIL has been a popular prediction for many years now, but I believe it definitely still has a place. The processes outlined by ITIL are still very much applicable as long as they are adapted to match the way business structures are changing with new technology. AXELOS is creating new qualifications to address this and keep ITIL relevant in 2016, and I believe it will be with us for many more years.