It’s that time of year again when your email inbox and social media channels are flooded with IT service management (ITSM) year-ahead predictions. 2023 is no different to previous years. Still, hopefully, this blog has taken a slightly different approach by offering a practical view of ITSM trends for 2023 rather than simply stating a number of areas your organisation needs to focus on in the year ahead.
Please keep reading to learn more about four key ITSM market trends that might affect your organisation this year.
1. IT organisations will try to convert their interest in employee experience into action
One of the key findings from the AXELOS 2022 ITSM Benchmarking survey and report was that:
“Two-thirds of survey respondents (67%) stated that their organisations understand the need to deliver a better employee experience, with another 18% expecting them to in 2022. Only 9% thought that their organisations would never see the need for improving employee experience.”
While these percentages look great, it’s essential to appreciate that this is merely a gauge of “understanding the need”, with no indication of how many organisations are proactively seeking to improve employee experiences (and employee productivity and business operations and outcomes as a result).
The latter will be an ITSM need in 2023, and a key point to note is that employee experience needs to be data-driven, not solution-driven. For example, introducing artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled capabilities to improve employee experiences without experience data and insight can be harmful. First, the technology could degrade rather than improve experiences (and would your organisation know?). Second, there’s no guarantee that the technology is aimed at the areas that matter most to employees. Either way, the technology-facilitated improvements are suboptimal.
2. ITSM tool customers will expect and benefit from AI-enabled capabilities in ITSM tools
Following on from the need for AI-enabled capabilities to be driven by “what matters most” to employees, there’s no doubt that organisations will want to benefit from the available new technologies and their use cases in 2023.
In the same way that traditional automation leads to “better, faster, cheaper” IT operations and outcomes, the addition of AI-enabled ITSM capabilities amplifies the opportunity with this for both the execution of tasks and analytics. However, in addition to ensuring that AI is applied to the right use cases, organisations must ensure that they don’t make the same mistakes as they did with IT self-service.
For example, focusing on the technology rather than the people they want (and expect) to use it, deploying the new technology without sufficient use of organisational change management (OCM) tools and techniques, or being motivated by the possible cost savings rather than experience improvement or the more-rapid scaling of capabilities.
In 2023, AI-enabled ITSM capabilities will significantly impact ITSM operations and outcomes, but only if introduced in a people-centric way.
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3. IT organisations will need to improve their basic ITSM capabilities
At the November 2022 Service Management World conference, Alan Nance spoke of the need for “beautiful basics”. While his point is understood and agreed with, the aforementioned AXELOS ITSM benchmarking research also showed that there’s still significant room for improvement across the commonly-adopted ITSM processes (or practices if your organisation has adopted ITIL 4). This need for improvement is shown in the table below.
|Practice||Adoption level||Working well||Needs improving|
|Service request management||85%||39%||61%|
Source: AXELOS 2022 ITSM Benchmarking
While the spectrum of what “needs improving” means here can be wide, it’s essential that organisations are happy that what they currently do, in ITSM terms, is sufficient. First, in meeting business and employee expectations of IT service delivery and support. Second, when sharing ITSM capabilities with other business functions via enterprise service management strategies.
4. The ITSM tool market will continue to see churn
Over the last decade, there have been many statistics shared related to the volume of organisations changing their ITSM tool, with this commonly described as ITSM tool churn. A decade ago, the industry thought that the growth of the SaaS and then cloud-delivery models would slow this churn down. It likely has, but other factors are contributing to the level of ITSM tool replacement.
One could argue that this is a positive step for the ITSM market – that the reasons for replacing ITSM tool have changed from negative factors such as:
- Tool was end-of-life or simply outdated or a homegrown ITSM tool was no longer workable
- Tool dissatisfaction related to ITIL alignment, usability, manual activity, flexibility, or customisation
- Old tool failed to deliver the expected benefits
To more positive factors such as:
- Closing silos between teams by centralising on a single platform
- Multiple service desk and tool rationalisation projects
- A corporate cloud strategy, a larger transformation project, or a senior employee dictated it
- New ITSM process adoption required a new tool, including enterprise service management support
The reasons for ITSM tool change can be complicated, and a mix of these and other reasons. However, the benefits of using a fit-for-purpose ITSM tool shouldn’t be underestimated. For example, the AXELOS ITSM Benchmarking research found that the organisations reporting “great” ITSM success – from the options “great”, “good”, “we’re getting there”, and “we’ve still much to improve upon” – were by far the happiest with their ITSM tools.
While we must remember that “correlation does not imply causation”, these organisations were at least twice as likely to have used their ITSM tools for more than two years. Whereas the organisations not reporting ITSM success, i.e. the “we’re getting there” and “we’ve still much to improve upon” responses, made up most of the organisations either without an ITSM tool or planning to replace their ITSM tool.
Hopefully, this blog on the ITSM market trends for 2023 has been helpful. If you would like to discuss your organisation’s needs related to these or other ITSM trends, book a demo by clicking on the button below.