If you’re wondering about the suitability of your current IT support, or IT service management (ITSM) tool – or simply looking for a new ITSM tool – then it’s important to understand how ITSM tools are evolving based on a number of business and IT support trends. This blog highlights four key trends affecting IT support teams and discusses how they’re redefining ITSM tools.

4 key trends affecting IT support teams

Corporate IT departments and their IT service desks are currently experiencing the impact of the following four trends:

  1. The increasing corporate reliance on IT services
  2. The need for all business teams to clearly demonstrate value
  3. Consumerization and the growing importance of employee experience (there’s also a strong link here to back-office digital transformation)
  4. New support technologies, capabilities, and best practices.

Each of these trends has an influence on what you should expect from your IT service desk or ITSM tool, with this manifesting in five key drivers of change in the ITSM tool marketplace.

Here are the 5 key drivers of change in the ITSM tool marketplace:

  1. An increasing focus on value
  2. The growing importance of employee experience
  3. Newer use cases, e.g. enterprise service management
  4. AI technologies for IT support
  5. ITIL 4.

All of these drivers of change, and why they matter, are discussed in an on-demand webinar called “The 5 Key Factors Redefining ITSM Tools and Why it Matters for You.” As a teaser, I’ll cover numbers one and two in a bit below.

1. An increasing focus on value

Value can be a challenging concept to address. You might have heard the saying that “Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.” It’s so true. Plus, what someone values today might be different tomorrow. And value isn’t a new concept. For instance, there has been a lot of discussion about “IT-to-business alignment” over the last decade, despite the IT organization actually being part of the business for most organizations. There’s a valid point here though – which is how the IT organization and IT support, in particular, contributes to wider business success.

When considering value there’s a need to understand what key business stakeholders perceive to be “of value” – from the highest in management to your many end users. Any focus on, or measurement of, service desk value must ultimately reflect customer views on what value means to them. And it’s likely to differ across various stakeholders.

It’s then important to build the value perspective into your IT support metrics. For example, IT metrics that relate to better business outcomes such as:

  • For a car manufacturer – minimizing vehicle production delays and losses caused by IT issues
  • For a healthcare provider – minimizing the number of patient deaths caused by IT issues.
  • A reduction in the average handling cost per incident, while also achieving an increase in employee satisfaction
  • A slight increase in the average handling cost per incident that’s dwarfed by a significant reduction in lost employee productivity

Plus, traditional service desk metrics can be combined to help demonstrate value too. For instance:

Finally, your ITSM tool will need to both offer capabilities that positively affect stakeholder value – for instance, automated resolutions for speed, lower costs, and a low-friction support experience – and be able to easily report on value-focused metrics.

2. The growing importance of employee experience

A recent survey by the Service Desk Institute (SDI) on IT service desk strategy found that the focus on employee experience is now far higher than on cost. And you can see in the chart below that, not only is employee experience the first choice of the available options at 40%, it’s also the top-ranking choice in total for top-3 picks at 79%.

“Please rank these in terms of their influence on the service desk strategy”

Source: SDI, “The State of Service Desk Strategy” (2019)

The HDI chart below shows that improving the employee experience is the top factor in motivating new technology implementations and upgrades, at 71%.

Key factors motivating new technology implementations/upgrades

​Source: HDI, “Practices and Salary Report” (2018)

Moreover, in the 2019 ITSM.tools Future of ITSM survey, half of the respondents indicated that employee experience is already important to their IT organization, and another quarter believe it will be by 2021.

Employee expectations are being driven by employees’ consumer-world experiences, with the level of business-to-consumer (B2C) service and support, in turn, being driven by customer experience (CX) strategies. And this will be dialed up even further as B2C CX investments increase in the war to win, retain, and grow customers.

Today, ITSM tools must offer a consumer-like experience for analysts, plus the people they serve. These tools must provide easy-to-use capabilities and a frictionless experience at key employee touchpoints. Additionally, ITSM tooling also needs to report on the delivered employee experience – I suggest that you ask your ITSM tool vendor how they can help you here, either directly or via a third-party offering.

Hopefully, this blog has given you a flavor of how business and IT support trends are driving ITSM tool change. If you want to find out more, then please watch this on-demand webinar, The 5 Key Factors Redefining ITSM Tools and Why it Matters for You.

Related Resources

8 Strategies to Increase Your Service Desk Value (blog)

The True Cost of Free Remote Support Software (white paper)

Remote Support Tools - Why Less Is More (white paper)