The world is moving to an on-demand, service-centric approach to delivering value – software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS)… anything-as-a-service. But often when we speak to IT leaders about service management the same response comes back – so what? Service management is just what keeps the lights on, isn’t it?

And maybe they’re right. Certainly, the evidence is there to back them up. In a recent survey amongst IT executives by EMA and Easy Vista, mean time to resolve incidents was the top IT process and opex efficiency metric. In another report, by Forbes and BMC, close to half the respondents surveyed (48%) chose service availability as the key performance metric used to benchmark their ITSM effectiveness. The message being, make sure we fix things quick and fix them right.

Service management is just what keeps the lights on, isn’t it?

However, what these metrics don’t reflect is the emergence of a next generation service management paradigm: seamless access to products and services; plug and play integration for service partners and customers; redefining the whole business model through a service lens. Think Spotify, AirBnB, and Uber. Music as a service, hotels as a service, taxis as a service… business as a service.

Why is service management relegated to a necessity?

Fundamentally, because it is seen as a utility and only important in its absence… My laptop doesn’t work. Our passwords need to be reset. The server needs rebooting.

In other words, service management capabilities are constrained by the bounds of specific services. The potential reach of services and service management must, however, be considered enterprise-wide. And only through doing this can we drive competitive advantage through service innovation.

That said, this is not always possible. Sometimes it is essential to use the operational excellence of the existing service management environment and extend its reach. In effect, making a virtue out of necessity.

What should be done?

Start by thinking about what you interact with inside and outside your business, and think about service in the context of your end to end business model:

  • Outside / In – build a platform with externalised Service-APIs to allow for plug and play, seamless integrations with service partners and customers
  • Inside / Out – Unify corporate functions (IT, HR, Finance etc) on a common platform where faults, products and services can be consolidated
  • Front to Back – transform the customer experience through service innovation
  • Back to Front – re-think core service management services in the context of next generation technologies such as cloud-based application development, automation and machine learning

There is a fundamental change happening in service management that is transforming businesses and the way they go to market. Despite evidence to the contrary, we see this happening regularly with our clients. And through our service innovation and management expertise, we offer our platform to prospective clients. Why not get in touch?