IT services have become nearly indispensable for the majority of businesses, all over the globe. From cloud services to social media platforms and wireless networking, myriads of IT services are being used by companies of many types. This is not only applicable for the companies belonging to IT sector. Companies belonging to industries like FMCG, insurance, finance and healthcare all are adopting such IT services for revenue growth and expanding customer base. To ensure the IT services run as desired and remain aligned to business objectives, these companies use IT service management tools or frameworks. They also resort to ITIL guidelines to ensure the ITSM tools are deployed properly.
The changing face of ITIL and ITSM
In the 1980s, ITIL was developed as a set of guidelines to manage and use IT service management tools in real world workplace scenarios. It has received several modifications since the inception to cater to evolving user needs. This is natural given the fact IT technologies keep changing fast and it does not take long for a new technology to become obsolete! To ensure ITIL guidelines and methodologies remain relevant to the evolving technologies; these are modified by the governing entity-AXELOS.
Top trends affecting ITIL in 2020 and near future
In the itSMF USA Fusion conference 2017, AXELOS said that the ITIL framework is going to be revamped in many ways. This is definitely going to impact how ITSM tools are used and developed.
Below listed are top ITIL trends that will gain prominence in near future and impact the companies using ITSM frameworks and ITIL guidelines:
1. Machine Learning Automation for Incident Management in ITIL
The incident management process aids the organizations in restore services fast after an outage and they can find out issues leading to the snag too. As incident remediation remains a priority for all businesses, the incident process has become a popular ITIL practice. Machine learning is becoming a popular trend in automation. In 2020 and next few years, the leading IT companies will try to leverage machine learning capabilities along with automation to enhance current ITIL incident processes. This will lead to better service quality and enhanced customer satisfaction in long run. These engines analyze large amounts of data fast to locate patterns and evade future incidents. So, companies deploying ITIL should ensure the automation solution is updated to tackle incident management better. Soon, advanced automation software solutions like the one offered by ServiceNow will be used by a number of companies.
2. Enhanced Agility
While ITIL methodologies can be tweaked to match needs of different businesses, ITIL has drawn flak for not having enough agility. Some companies adhering to ITIL practices rigidly, scope for customization remain limited. The next version of ITIL will promote dynamic collaboration with ITSM tools.
3. Focus on IoT
Much has been said about the emergence of Internet of Things and how these are going to change lifestyle and communication for human population in near future. A lot of IT organizations and Technology companies are planning to introduce IoT to their products and services. Smart TVs are available and very soon other home appliances will be sold with such technologies embedded. Basically, IoT connects devices and appliances to Internet databases, enabling massive spreading of information across places. Using IoT in businesses will bring many benefits. The benefits include fast access to information and better connectivity.
Like other popular IT processes and tech, IoT needs to adhere to basic principles pertaining to maintenance, connectivity and security. So, deployment of ITIL methodologies can help businesses control a largely unorganized system. This will ensure IoT in a business setup runs without snags and complications can be avoided. Just like the companies use ITIL guidelines to manage and run IT related services properly, the same thing can be done to manage IoT services. The need to address IoT related security issues will be handled too.
4. Enhanced Security
In the last few years, incidents of data theft and hacking affecting some of the major technology and IT companies have made headlines. The high profile security breaches affecting these behemoths led to widespread public outcry and media entities were shocked too. So, it is only natural that IT firms and MNCs relying on diverse IT services and technologies are focusing on improving data security. The ITIL guidelines will also be spruced up to ensure the IT service security needs can be met. Gartner, Inc, a Global analyst and advisory entity reports worldwide enterprise security expenditure has shot up by 8% compared to the last year.
5. AI deployment
While the raging debates on viability of deploying AI technologies in business setups refuse to die, there is no denying 2020 and subsequent years will witness large scale adoption of this technology. It will be deployed mostly in business-to-consumer customer support needs. There is difference of opinions regarding job loss prospects caused by increased adoption of AI tech in companies. However, IT industry veterans think AI adoption will not lead to huge job loss and it will lead to creation of new jobs too. The ITIL methodologies will be enhanced to make place for deployment of AI tech in business scenarios.
6. Better customer experience and engagement
With time, the businesses diversify their services and products into new horizons, as it is. The evolution of technology also enables them to offer better and more services to the customers. Naturally, this leads to enhanced customer expectation. The expectations are not solely limited to product or service quality. The customers expect enhanced support, reduced delay in conflict resolution etc. This is why the companies are resorting to more advanced technologies like cloud services to meet rising customer needs. The ITIL guidelines will be enhanced to ensure the companies can use the new technologies while adhering to core principles.
7. Supplier Ecosystem Management
As companies deploy more 3rd-party components and cloud services, the IT departments feel the need to virtualize and extend ITSM processes to broader ecosystem of partners and suppliers. The latest ITSM trends indicate companies are likely to opt for configuration transparency across technology- business ecosystem. They will seek supplier interoperability standards. This will be relevant to financial management, SLAs, configuration, problem management. This will make sure service-level expectations of the companies can be met.
8. Improved User Interface Design for better user experience
As the businesses deal with different types of customers, they have to ensure the communication and interaction with them remains as fluid and hassle free as possible. As a majority of customers prefer using website and apps for purchase, support or grievance resolution, the companies need to focus on making UI more approachable and user friendly. This will lead to better user experience eventually. So, the upcoming ITIL guidelines will focus on enhancing UI and customer engagement.
Where it all leads to?
Overall, the upcoming ITIL trends focus on some key aspects. Security of data and IT services is going to be a priority for the companies using ITMS tools. Machine automation and AI are going to be among the emerging trends in ITIL – as it is clear. Overall the focus is on offering more value to the customers and enhancing the engagement experience.