Enterprise IT support organizations and help desks are facing a dramatic shift with technologies and applications evolving faster and user expectations becoming more demanding. There is now a constantly evolving portfolio of applications and technologies for IT organizations to support, while being more responsive, efficient and cost effective. Against this background it is relevant to note the trends and see how they will emerge in the short run in 2018.
IT Spending to increase on ITSM improvement and innovation
Industry surveys have revealed about 21% and 15% of the IT budget would be spent on Hosted & Cloud-based Services and Managed Services respectively.
Trends indicate that the big ones are more likely than smaller companies to allocate budget to managed services while mid-size companies (100-499 employees) are slightly less likely to invest in hosted/cloud-based services. Within hosted/cloud services we see online backup/recovery (15%), productivity solutions (10%), email hosting (9%), and web hosting (9%) being the major spending areas.
What trends are driving these numbers?
We see five interrelated trends that will spring up due to the IT spend patterns and would impact IT support organization – productivity pressures, cloud computing, consumerization of IT, corporate social media and growing service expectations. So, what does this mean for the business? How are businesses slated to react to them? Some of the major ITSM trends that we foresee in the coming year:
- Business processes orchestration beyond IT into sales, finance and HR functions through a combination of process automation, monitoring, troubleshooting and rudimentary corrective action. These are specifically in regard to scenarios such as self-service diagnosis and provisioning – repetitive workflows with a dependency on data that were and traditionally supported through manual help-desk.
- Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities combined with ITSM platforms will have a significant impact on the IT Configuration and Change management functions during 2018 and will see companies move from manual data collection and verification activities to automated discovery and component self-registration capabilities. This will enable higher quality data to support decision making, lower costs, real-time insights and the ability to support large-scale business change.
- There will be a shift in IT asset management from focusing on what a company owns to managing the technology components the business consumes. During 2018 we expect that businesses will change their approach to software asset and license management so that there is greater transparency of software usage and tighter controls on licensing costs.
- With companies moving to more cloud and 3rd-party components, IT departments will look to extend and virtualize their ITSM processes to their broader ecosystem of suppliers and partners. This will make traditional contract- and SLA-based approaches to managing supplier interactions non-scalable and ineffective for most companies.
- During 2018 companies are likely to develop a need for configuration transparency across the business-technology ecosystem and seek supplier interoperability standards, particularly in the areas of SLAs, financial management, configuration, and risk and incident/problem management. This will help ensure that the company’s service-level expectations can be achieved.
- We expect that during 2018, the industry would reach a tipping point wherein users and companies will begin to demand greater interoperability amongst services, leading to a consolidation of service catalogs for IT hardware and software services.
- Digital transformation of operational processes Another continuing trend that we expect involves companies shifting focus from installing platform capabilities to the digital transformation of operational processes. These changes would change a company’s service management experience. We have seen companies implementing modern IT service management platforms, upgrading infrastructure to leverage cloud-based capabilities and adopting a service-centric perspective on the business-technology ecosystem. We have also seen technology service providers making advances in the underlying technical capabilities such as machine learning, discovery and data management, energizing service management.
We expect that 2018 would be an eventful year for IT Service Management, with companies extending past platform investments and deriving transformative value through the application of new technology to support their business and IT operations.