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Digital (Service) Transformation – what does this mean? For ITSM? For ITSMF UK?

Posted By Barclay Rae, 26 January 2017

What and why ‘Digital Transformation’?

We all love a hype don’t we? — and Digital Transformation is our current amore…

What does this mean, beyond the obvious? Haven’t we in IT been working to digitise and transform for many years? — maybe that’s just a cynical view. The current term ‘digital transformation’ relates to the confluence of a number of technology, business and cultural factors and opportunities:

These include using Big Data, IoT (Internet of Things), automation, cloud, robotics, AI, mobile and other technologies in a coordinated way to improve efficiency, capability and customer experience.

This is also combined with business demands for greater speed and flexibility in delivering new solutions, so Agile, DevOps, Lean and other new techniques are employed to build and deliver technology solutions faster, better and with fewer obstructions.

In addition, other models and frameworks like BRM, ESM, SIAM are helping to expand the commercial and cultural use of existing models such as ITIL/ITSM COBIT and BRM — broadening the scope of service management beyond IT and across organisations. Social Media is also in there as a new culture and way of communicating and collaborating…

It’s a perfect storm of opportunity, demand and change, driven and supported by a profusion of models and frameworks, tools and techniques. The possibilities are endless, the demands are high and the potential for chaos and disruption huge. 

"The possibilities are endless, the demands are high and the potential for chaos and disruption huge. 

Digital Transformation is the term of convenience, although this in reality means so much more — organisational and cultural transformation, people and sociological transformation. We are in the grip of a revolution driven by the demands and potential from technology, which has created a new generation of people (millennials) who have a completely different new way of thinking and working — as well as different expectations from technology and work.


Children grow up using technology now and are much more tech savvy.

The first time I used a computer of any sort I was 28 years old. That technology was very basic and practically useless outside of one particular business function. My seven year old son has already given me some good advice on which browser I should be using…!  The technology he uses is boundless in its global business and personal potential.  We live in a transformed — and continuously transforming — digital world. We all need to transform accordingly…

So, we have a lot of questions:

  • What does this mean for those of use working in IT and particularly ITSM?
  • How does the Service Management industry respond and react to the new world and new challenges, particularly since in IT we have created a straightjacket for ourselves in terms of frameworks, processes and operational siloes?
  • How do we move from managing services in a controlled internal environment, to utilising external public systems that we have no control over?
  • How can we use service performance data more intelligently to deliver better customer experiences? How can we manage security for corporate networks and data when our ‘users’ may be interacting with these via their toaster?  
  • How do we expand our capabilities and skills to meet the new demands of the technology industry?
  • How can we move from a rigid process-based (ITSM) organisation to a more agile and flexible (DevOps) one?
  • What does it mean to be a ‘Professional’ in the world of IT/IT Service Management?

What is ITSMF UK doing for Digital Transformation?

At ITSMF UK we are transforming too — we are part of this evolving world.

We already have a great network of people, experience, ideas and knowledge, which is regularly shared at events, meetings and conferences, and through our various media. Our focus going forward is to provide the industry with direction, clarity and insight around Service Management, and to answer the questions above.

We strive to provide practical and relevant guidance, to make sense of the hype and the plethora of new ideas that constantly bombard us. In particular we aim to help the industry to see the ‘wood from the trees’ in terms of new things and how to apply them sensibly and pragmatically.

We are here to make sense and to guide ITSM professionals through the transformational jungle… For 2017, we are fixing on a few key themes, under the over-arching banner of Digital Transformation.

"For 2017, we are fixing on a few key themes, under the over-arching banner of Digital Transformation.

People and Professionalism will be championed through our PSMF programme, for which we will shortly launch new membership opportunities and a simple career-supporting scorecard system.

Our media output, conference and events schedule will focus on:

  • DevOps: its relationship with ITSM and practical considerations
  • Cloud: how ITSM is relevant to manage the complexity and new challenges
  • ESM (Enterprise Service Management): the reality of extending Service Management across organisations, including use of models such as SIAM  
  • Customer Experience: developing practical guidance and including areas such as BRM

Our Workshop and Masterclass programme is being re-developed with new content to include these themes and more. Our annual conference will be held in the North of England and will focus on these themes. Other events will reflect specific topics such as SIAM, BRM and of course PSMF.  

Our Awards programme will be re-launched as the Professional Service Management Awards, a new signature event. These will also include new awards that reflect new themes and areas of excellence, to be announced shortly.

We are also working to develop partnerships and practical collaboration with other parts of the industry, to ensure that messages are optimised and co-ordinated as much as possible. We will continue to provide consumable output via papers, blogs and media such as video and audio webcasts.

We are here to support you, the industry professionals that keep the world ticking over — if you’d like to get more involved, please get in touch.

Tags:  Digital Transformation 

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