Service Management Blog

Top 5 ITSM Trends for 2017

Stephen Watts
by Stephen Watts

Forbes Insights, in association with BMC, recently published the results of a comprehensive State of ITSM survey. This report, titled “Delivering Value to Today’s Digital Enterprise: The State of IT Service Management, 2017” details the latest development and emerging trends in the world of enterprise service management.

This blog post will break down some of the key trends identified in the comprehensive State of ITSM 2017 report. The Forbes survey, from which these trends were identified, includes responses from more than 250 senior executives covering a wide range of job titles and industries. Over 60% of respondents are based in North America, 30% from Europe, and the rest coming from Asia-Pacific or elsewhere. Three quarters of respondents represent companies with greater than $500 million in revenue, with nearly a quarter representing organizations with annual revenues exceeding $5 billion.

Top 5 ITSM Trends for 2017:

  1. IT is transforming
  2. IT resources increasingly used for ongoing maintenance and management
  3. ITSM budgets are on the rise
  4. Self-service tools enabled by vast majority
  5. Cost savings and increased productivity are key benefits of ITSM

Trend 1: IT is transforming

Most executives surveyed agree the IT landscape is changing quickly and dramatically.

The effects of this transformation vary but often results in staff being spread too thin and pressured to deliver projects faster, all while requiring new training and skills just to keep up. It can be difficult to maintain the necessary skills to support the latest developments in IT and the majority report needing more training and skills to keep up with the rapid changes.

Trend 2: IT resources increasingly used for ongoing maintenance and management

Many organizations still spend most of their IT budgets—and a good deal of staff time—keeping the lights on. Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents report that the majority of their IT budgets go to ongoing maintenance and management—maintaining uptime and availability; applying upgrades, fixes and patches; and ensuring security.

Not only are maintenance and management a large portion of IT resource expenditures, but they’ve been growing. A majority report that the share of IT budget dedicated to ongoing maintenance and management has increased over the past three years. This trend is likely to continue into the future.

The results of the time, money, and resources spent on ongoing maintenance and management, rather than on project development or new initiatives, is a negative impact on the overall competitiveness of IT organizations.

Trend 3: ITSM budgets are on the rise

One of the most important trends identified in the 2017 State of ITSM report is the growth of IT budgets and an expectation for continued growth.

Two-thirds of surveyed IT executives report an increase in ITSM budget over the past three years. A significant increase of more than 10 percent budget was reported by 21 percent.

ITSM budget growth is likely to continue with 70 percent expecting a continued increase in budget over the next three years.

Trend 4: Self-service tools enabled by vast majority

Eighty-three percent of IT organizations now enable or support self-service tools for end users. This state has developed over the course of a few years, as organizations have empowered users to help themselves by putting employees in control of their own IT experience. IT self-service software can help users quickly solve technical problems and even crowdsource known solutions.

Trend 5: Cost savings and increased productivity are key benefits of ITSM

Forty-two percent of IT executives reported a cost savings in business processes as a result of their ITSM program. More than one-third of executives reported increases in employee productivity and cost savings in IT systems.

This trend is most pronounced among IT organizations with advanced Enterprise ITSM strategies in place, compared to their less developed counterparts.


Taken together, these ITSM trends suggest that while IT transformation often requires new skills and training, and can initially be a strain on an organization, implementing an Enterprise ITSM strategy, including self-service tools, often results in cost savings and increased productivity.

If organizations continue to focus their resources on maintenance and management rather than on implementing transformative programs that result in eventual cost savings, they risk a decline in overall competitiveness – at an increased cost.

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

About the author

Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts

Stephen is based in Birmingham, AL and began working at BMC Software in 2012. Stephen holds a degree in Philosophy from Auburn University and is currently enrolled in the MS in Information Systems - Enterprise Technology Management program at University of Colorado Denver.

Stephen contributes to a variety of publications including, Search Engine Journal, ITSM.Tools, IT Chronicles, DZone, and CompTIA.