CIO – Beyond Service as a Process
IT Service Management is rarely a discussion topic when I am involved in CIO-related activities. Having just returned from the Norwegian IT Service Management Forum I realise this is something of an issue.
Service management is very much focused around the IT function getting its process act together in order to become a more responsive function to the organisation it serves. Customer-service is something that many IT functions are too busy to think about. Consequently when mistakes are made the customer will always take an unsympathetic view; much like the way patients enjoy suing high-handed, arrogant and mistake-making doctors.
Interestingly the UK is the spiritual home of service management. The UK Government presides over a set of sacred texts that detail best practice and are more commonly known as ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library). Despite the IT-inspired moniker its branding is impressive. As an ex-technologist, I can see that ITIL fills a much needed gap in the IT department’s toolbox.
However in traditional IT industry tradition it falls short of going beyond the procedural in respect of the customer experience. It’s strong on process and weak on emotion. In other words it doesn’t really explore how to move from call centre incident management to premier league hotel reception.
It also doesn’t make the connection between IT service and strategic imperatives. Thus it is unlikely to become strategically relevant.
I mention these points in an ‘emperor’s new clothes’ capacity. However ITIL is mature and enjoys its own sustainable ecosystem. Thus I would (and did) suggest that ITIL is extended as suggested. In turn forward-thinking CIOs would then take more of an interest.
My comments were taken in the right spirit. Though finding a first aid kit in my conference pack prior to my presentation did cause me some initial concern. I have thus stumbled upon a pocket of emotionally intelligent IT specialists. This was personally uplifting and gives me hope for the industry’s future. I will observe IT service management with interest as a result of attending this event.
Should you ever get the opportunity to attend the Norwegian IT-SMF Conference, take it. The event is first rate and the atmosphere is fantastic. In fact I would say that the service is first class.