Business leaders in functional areas such as HR, Finance and Facilities may not have heard of ITIL but they recognize their business demands better service and support. Without a technical background, they may not understand the importance of ITIL and what it means to the delivery of service and support.
ITIL is a framework of best practices for delivering IT services. It is a systematic approach to IT service management, intended to help businesses manage risk, strengthen end user relations, establish cost-effective practices and build a stable IT environment to serve as a foundation for corporate growth, scale and change.
Service management started as the traditional role of an IT help desk. It has expanded across the enterprise as other functions recognize the need for better service and support of their workers beyond resetting password, access to VPN and ordering new equipment. While IT often extends their support to help other business areas manage their unique service solutions, in some cases functional leaders take on the active role of identifying new service solutions tailored to them.
Enterprise service management is a phrase coined by the IT community but it is rarely used by the functional leaders. The idea is that service management theories and principals can now be applied beyond IT. While you do not need to understand the details behind ITIL processes, it helps to recognize the requirements that assist in planning, implementation and measurement of continuous support. It is a good question to ask if the solution you are considering has ITIL certifications. Even better is to ensure your IT partner is part of the vendor evaluation team.
Human Resources is a good example of a functional area where services is an important part of the job. The trend is to streamline and improve, and in some larger enterprises to consolidate HR operations to create a shared service model. Clear business objectives are driving this effort. The desire to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, reduce headcount duplication, standardize and automate transactional and routine tasks all can be accomplished with a central service. On the qualitative side, employee satisfaction is increased as workers receive better and quicker service, while HR employees can focus on higher-value work.
As the need for service extends across the enterprise, there are a few ways we see the market evolving. In some cases it starts with IT and the solution is then leveraged for another organization. In other cases, business leaders may select a solution for their specific requirements. Ultimately, the most cost effective approach is to focus on one service solution that can meet the needs of the entire enterprise. A shared helpdesk, employee portal, technology infrastructure and integrations across communication channels and applications will allow you to spend more time building functionality versus integrations. An SDI study noted that roughly 55% of service desks receive calls intended for a different service desk group (roughly 5-15% of the volume is sourced incorrectly).
Service and support management is critical across the broader business, regardless of the functional area you lead. In many cases, leveraging technology in this manner is an important element of your digital transformation.
According to McKinsey, the most commonly cited objective for digital transformations is digitizing the organization’s operating model. “Digital transformations also tend to be wide in scope. Eight in ten respondents say their recent change efforts involved either multiple functions or business units or the whole enterprise. Additionally, the adoption of technologies plays an important role across digital transformations.”
As businesses strive for greater efficiencies, service and support is an excellent starting point for any organization. The long history of ITSM has proven the ability to streamline services and support and demonstrated that the processes that worked for IT can successfully be extended across many other functions. For this reason, you will find a vendor with a strong ITSM solution may be a perfect partner for your line of business needs.