In addition, one-off opportunities such as the 2012 Olympics are making businesses across the country think strategically about how to take advantage of one-off events. The 2012 Games has provided many businesses with new opportunities which have challenged their IT systems and required them to strengthen their internal processes.
Unfortunately, a lack of effective IT strategies means that many businesses will fail to make the most of the opportunities presented to them.
Service management has enabled some companies to unlock value from their IT investment by aiding the planning, management and delivery of the IT function. For those organisations IT service management has matured; enabling them to adapt and extend core processes and establish Continual Service Improvement (CSI) practices.
Forward-thinking companies are also starting to re-use good service management principles, which lay a solid IT foundation, and apply them within multiple departments. This is forcing change, allowing the integration of departments within the company, introducing an agility which benefits the entire organisation.
Flexibility is key
I firmly believe that in 2012, one of the biggest barriers to success for businesses is a lack of agility within organisations to react or adapt to changing circumstances; for example for one-off opportunities such as the 2012 Olympics.
This lack of agility can restrict competiveness, so it is essential that businesses who wish to take advantage of the unique opportunities being presented to them, overcome these issues as quickly as possible.
This can be achieved through great service management techniques which entail the re-usability and recycling of already established ‘good’ processes within departments for maximum impact.
Businesses that deploy service management concepts within multiple departments use its flexibility to echo exceptional processes, from the IT department to HR, procurement and customer service.
The next step
This summer and beyond presents new opportunities to win business, increase market share and reverse declining margins. However, these opportunities will also stretch many businesses, and they will be looking for the IT department to be agile enough to support both their short-term tactical initiatives and their evolving strategic needs.
Progressive organisations will use IT service management principles to ensure their business can adapt and take advantage of new opportunities. These companies will be committed to driving forward and supporting the implementation of collaborative technologies and establishing automated IT processes within departments.
Automating IT processes within the business ensures that all departments receive consistent, efficient and timely service. Automation also allows for measurement, which provides clarity on what is working well and what needs to be improved. This in turn drives organisational efficiency and flexibility in improving tasks, processes and decision making. Enabling effective CSI will invariably have a positive effect on the bottom line.
ITSM supporting the business team
I firmly believe that businesses that wish to see true value from IT this year will be those that do recognise that change is the only constant, and so allow the IT function to evolve and become integral to multiple departments within the business.
Organisations must use products which are flexible enough to grow with the business and its changing needs; supporting the business strategy. IT must be customer-centric, serving the wider business needs, in order to demonstrate clear value. Ensuring IT services are agile, support collaboration and provide greater governance is becoming essential in our technology dependent world.
The value of having great service management principles in place cannot be ignored as IT is a critical element in gaining competitive advantage. Businesses that recognise this and implement effective, agile processes will prove to be the most successful long-term.
The agility that businesses show in seizing the opportunities presented by 2012 will be a great indication of their fitness for the future.
James Gay is the CEO of ICCM Solutions, suppliers of ITIL Service Management and Helpdesk Software