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The real pressures facing ITSM today

TeamUltra, a Computacenter company and EMEA’s leading ServiceNow Gold Sales and Services partner, undertakes an annual survey to assess the state of IT Service Management (ITSM) in the UK.

Based on the findings, this blog delves into the key issues faced by today’s ITSM professionals both now and in the future.


Cost will always be a factor

The expectations placed on ITSM continue to rise which, combined with a relentless push for cost reduction and budget cuts, puts inevitable strain on ITSM departments and successful delivery of the service. Team sizes have been cut and salaries remain primarily static but, interestingly, this is the first year that budget availability is not top of the list of pressures. This sliding trend is also reflected in the fact that cost reduction has moved down the list of business objectives for ITSM – however it is not going away anytime soon.

Competing projects are causing more strain than ever

For the first time the fact that there is just too much to do and not enough time or resources to do it has emerged as the primary pressure facing ITSM professionals. Just under half of respondents cited this uppermost on their list.  While it’s obvious that this and budget availability are inter-related, it also reflects the trend of ITSM being used outside of the two original most-popular use cases – HR and facilities – at the same time as being instrumental in delivering against back-office digital transformation initiatives.

Lack of specialist skills is a growing headache

A concerning trend is that survey respondents find it hard to recruit the right talent. Given the sector in question the pressure points are likely skills shortages for newer technologies (such as cloud) or SOC specialists. This is one to stay close to and organisations need to build contingencies to address this as without the right people to deliver increasing numbers of projects this pressure will continue to intensify.

Current ITSM systems constrain successful delivery

These constraints range from the expectations of implementation timeframes, the frequency and ease of upgrades, the focus on value over costs, to the ease of moving between different vendors and tools. Clearly, there is both a challenge and an opportunity for vendors in the ITSM marketplace to deeply understand the drivers behind the need to upgrade current ITSM tools and deliver the technology that addresses these business needs.

Customer service and end-user experience need continual improvement

This pressure for improvement is never going to go away and is consistently cited in the annual survey as the key business objective for ITSM operations. Indeed, in another section of the survey improving end-user experience is also the primary outcome for any planned digital transformation effort. Understanding exactly what users want, therefore, must be a huge focus for ITSM teams – getting this right and delivering against it will ensure success.