Heroes Wanted: Why ITSM Professionals Will Be the Heroes of the Digital Revolution

Remember those old Westerns where every good guy wore a white hat and the bad guys wore black? Well out in the wild west of the digital revolution, things aren’t so black and white. The landscape is ever shifting–and so, at times technology can seem duplicitous, always switching hats. Transformative or disruptive? Easy to use, or huge time suck? It all depends on the digital dexterity of the workforce.

This is where ITSM professionals can ride in on their white horses and save the day. More and more over the years I’ve seen businesses who had to hire people in order to understand IT, because IT didn’t understand the business.

It’s the ITSM professional who can look at things holistically. We are outwardly focused on the business and internally focused on IT and its performance. The service management perspective, focusing on service availability, customer satisfaction, streamlined processes, and consolidation of redundant technology tools, enables us to understand direct impact for the people who are using the technology.

So, we can take the idea behind the software and make it real to the people in the business who use it. This is how you take technology out of the box and deliver in a way that truly enhances people’s lives.

So Partner, What’s in it for You?

As an ITSM professional, you don’t have to go out and transform yourself before you don the white hat. You’ve already got the quickest draw. The rewards are yours for the taking:

It’s good for your company. Every organization today is trying to become a digital enterprise. Your expert knowledge of ITSM principles and ownership of the platform to make these things happen means that you are the one holding the key to open doors for your company.

Out in the wild, problems come up because people tend to be reactive. When something doesn’t work, or they can’t get what they need to do their job, they seek a different tool from somewhere else. Shadow IT can begin to infect an organization, posing security risks, and threatening outcomes. This is where you bust in, spurs jangling. As the new law in this wild west town–armed with the tools of ITSM–you are equipped to beat back Shadow IT, and help teams find those flexible solutions that will actually work for them while still maintaining some responsible governance.

It’s good for your career. Your service management superpower gives you the ability to elevate out of individual incidents and into a more strategic place where you’re asking a department, “What do you do, and what services do you provide?” You’ve already harnessed this power to help IT become a service-oriented business. Now, you have the opportunity to take the next step in your career by extending that power to all the departments within your business. Do that, and your role will be elevated to one of trusted adviser.

A note on competing buzzwords: With “Agile” and “DevOps” dominating the SEO list, it might seem that ITSM has fallen out of fashion, but that’s just not true. It’s comparing apples to oranges, or more specifically the “how” to the “what”. Faster, more efficient development practices don’t say anything about what you accomplished and whether it was effective. How many sprints you completed does not illustrate what you provided to your business.

It’s good for your soul (and that’s also good for your company and your career).

There are business groups out there languishing in the dark, at the bottom of the IT queue. You know the ones. Without the help of service management, people don’t even know these departments exist, much less how to help them. They need help a) articulating what they do and how they do it, and b) developing a mechanism to intake and provision their services.

Just by recording how much, how many, and how big, the cost and price, you are giving them the information they need to build a strategic story so more people can understand who they are. These teams might be small and their functions not as visible, but time and time again when I’ve done this, they’re able to use the data we provide to say, “Hey, our contributions matter. We need money, we need people, and we need time and energy around what we do because it’s making a difference against business initiatives.”

Additionally, you’re also helping them do what they’re doing in a way that’s much more effective. Helping someone with a quick process win is like giving them the gift of their time back–and they will love you for this.


Stacey Fournier-Thibodaux

VP Enterprise Strategy and Solutions, AERITAE