As the year comes to an end, many of us turn our eyes to planning the future. We at Efecte certainly do the same. Taking time to discuss where the industry is going is especially important during these extraordinary times. Today I’d like to share some of our thoughts and trends we see on the Service Management market for 2023 and beyond!
CIOs are faced with the mounting challenge of managing increasing IT complexity and support needs - while keeping the cost levels in check. No wonder IT teams are trying to find ways to increase productivity with automation. This isn’t a new thing and often the low-hanging fruits are exercised already. At the same time, the big productivity leap that digitalization promised has not yet fully materialized, which is leading many IT teams to look for new approaches to automate.
One such approach will be to “left-shift”. Traditionally, ITSM automation has mainly focused on processes after the request capture from the end user. Going forward, IT teams need to actively left-shift the automation in the support chain to increase end-user self-resolution rates. Every left-shifted resolution helps to improve key metrics like cost per ticket and average resolution time – while reducing the load of busy agents. This requires IT support that comes closer to end users, like mobile and collaboration platforms, equipped with more intelligent AI-powered capabilities, like AI & voice bots, smart search, and self-help tools.
Agents will also still have plenty of work on their hands. That’s why we will continue to see a fast-paced evolution of intelligent tools to help their evermore complex work. This calls for the power of AI - and in particular ability to operationalize AI into agent processes. A good example is augmented intelligence - where virtual assistants will be increasingly assisting human agents with deep contextual insights, recommendations, and automated actions.
We will also continue to see increased adoption of lean work practices and collaboration methods as ways to do more with the same. DevOps approach helps to improve time-to-value and eliminate process waste. IT teams will also look for ways to enable collaborative teams to attack problems together, e.g. with better swarming support.
One consequence of an increasingly complex working life is the deterioration of employee well-being. There’s even a talk about a "big wave of resignations". Addressing risks is particularly topical in Europe, where well-being is an important competitive factor to get the best talent.
IT has an increasingly important role to play here. Clumsy digital services reduce employee motivation and satisfaction. That’s why IT leaders have started to pay more attention to the user experience of business applications their employees are using. While this is a good trend, there is still a long way to go. Bigger and more sustainable changes in employee experience will not happen with a single application or interface, but will require systematically consistent experience, aligned across all touch points where IT services are consumed and managed.
As an example, think of an employee who was happy to find an immediate workaround to a Wi-Fi issue by interacting with a bot in a self-service portal. But then struggles, when an email to check the status for a more permanent fix goes unanswered for days. Result: inconsistent experience - where typically the worse part of the chain is what the employee will remember. Such inconsistency undermines any past successful experiences and will likely prevent any bigger leap in overall employee experience and NPS.
To serve employees as new customers, IT teams will need to broaden their focus from individual applications' user experience to user journeys that interact with multiple applications and services. Consistency and aligned experience are the keys to success. IT teams need clear strategy, capabilities, and measurements (like XLA’s) to deliver uniformly good experience in an omnichannel manner.
Platforms are back - and they need to be evermore agile! Lightweight ITSM solutions have been trending for some time. While the need for quick-to-deploy systems is still there, many organizations are starting to feel their limits when facing increasing needs to expand. Such needs aren’t limited anymore to support processes like HR, finance, facilities, etc, but cover increasingly processes at the core of organizations' value chains. For retail chains, this can mean business processes like store operations and reclamations, whereas for a financial company, processes like know-your-customer checks or new customer onboarding.
Going forward, the need for a platform approach will accelerate as businesses look for ways to ensure flexibility to react and optimize their business processes. This is why IT teams will be increasingly looking for multi-purpose service management platforms that combine the best of both worlds: can be deployed quickly with core process ready-made, while also having agile software architecture and continuous deployment (CD) models for flexibility to grow.
Cloud and SaaS have been the megatrends shaping the IT industry for years. Now we are seeing cloudification taking on a new turn. Earlier, cloud was seen predominantly through lenses of scale and efficiency. While these continue as important drivers, organizations are paying increasing attention to data control, transparency and security aspects of their solutions.
The requirements of the GDPR and the limitations of data transfers outside the EU mean that more and more organizations want to host their software in their own data center of choice. The European energy crisis and various cybersecurity threats have further increased concerns that cloud services outside Europe could be disconnected. Simply put, organizations need to know exactly where their data is, who is hosting it and how they can maintain control of it in all situations. This requires infrastructure that meets both criteria: high efficiency of cloud-based delivery, with full control and transparency for own data.
News of data breaches and threats have ensured that data and system security have become top of mind for the C-suite. This has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the slow shift back to the office, as organizations must take further steps to train people and protect their devices and connections. IT teams will look to strengthen their InfoSec processes with certifications like ISO 27001 and with solutions like Identity Governance & Administration (IGA) to help protect critical assets such as digital identities.
The unpredictable macro environment has also raised another essential process to the focus list of IT leaders: business continuity. IT teams will pay more attention to alternative systems that can take over operations, if necessary. Also, topics previously considered a little dusty, such as backup, recovery, and performance management will play an increasingly important role. We anticipate high demand in 2023 for continuity management solutions that can be used to securely manage corresponding replacement infrastructures and access corresponding data and resources.
Thank you for reading my blog! Did it create thoughts or questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss more!
Santeri Jussila is the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Efecte since March 2021. He is responsible for leading Efecte's product management, vision, and strategy. Before joining Efecte Santeri worked for 14 years in various international management positions at Nokia and before that at Comptel. He has considerable experience in the field of international product and customer experience development of tech industries.
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