As disruptive technologies transform industries, customer experience is quickly emerging as a prime factor in competitive advantage. Both consumers and employees expect more freedom and flexibility in the way they interact with businesses, with differentiated services designed around their own needs and preferences, and availability through any channel they choose. That’s a high standard to meet—and it’s made all the more difficult by the increasing complexity of the digital environment.
Workloads that were once confined to the enterprise data center now span multiple public and private cloud environments. Mobility, BYOD, and IoT have exploded the diversity of devices to be accommodated—both IT-owned and third-party. Even the best services can fall short of expectations if they’re not available through the full range of channels, including e-mail, phone, chat, and social media. At the highest levels of business strategy, conversations about digital transformation can spawn new visions for markets, product categories, and even entire industry ecosystems. IT is a key partner in all of this and as part of digital transformation, IT must solve hard challenges around service delivery. People, processes, tools, and technology must all adapt—and quickly—to meet the demands of the new digital economy.
ITSM will be instrumental in enabling digital transformation; a recent study from Forbes Insights found that most executives consider it highly important for initiatives around cloud computing, mobility, and big data. But the same study also highlights the increasing strain on today’s service management teams, citing challenges including the need for more training, faster time to value, and newer systems, as well as shortages of internal staff resources and expertise. For ITSM to fully enable digital transformation, ITSM itself must be transformed. The needed changes fall into three areas:
- Digitizing the way services are delivered to meet changing needs and expectations
- Digitizing the human and business components of service delivery to increase efficiency, productivity, and speed while reducing cost
- Leveraging cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure that service delivery keeps up with the rapid pace of innovation
Beyond ITSM: Cognitive Service Management
Even a baseline ITSM capability can have a powerful effect for standardizing and optimizing service delivery processes throughout the enterprise. At the next stage of maturity, digital service management (DSM) allows IT to extend visibility, control, and best practices across heterogeneous, multi-cloud environments, as well as to provide the consumer-style experiences today’s users expect across devices and channels. For digital businesses, DSM is a competitive necessity—indispensable for moving the business forward while optimizing costs.
Cognitive service management (CSM) represents the next phase and embraces next-gen technologies to enable the “cognitive enterprise”—an era in which businesses apply predictive intelligence and automation to people, processes, and technology to deliver the ambient experiences of the future. CSM can deliver key benefits for both IT and the business itself:
- Better customer and employee experiences—Consumer-style digital workplace experiences, optimized through cognitive technologies, that improve employee engagement, retention, and productivity. For customers, more intuitive and intelligent services increase value and differentiation.
- Faster, more efficient processes—CSM capabilities like virtual assistants help users get more done, more quickly, to improve agility and productivity. Services can be integrated and managed across heterogeneous environments for greater efficiency and control.
- Bottom-line impact—Cost reductions through increased operational efficiency can be complemented with new revenue streams and outcome-based business models that further boost financial performance.
You already know how important and valuable ITSM is for keeping your IT environment running at its best. As digital disruption transforms industries and reshapes the competitive landscape, CSM can help keep you at the leading edge for a new era of success. Learn more in our white paper, “Cognitive Service Management: Embrace the Future of Service Management.”
These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.