Service management has been maturing over the last decade. Processes are more streamlined and tools are available to support them. However service management faces new challenges as technology extends further into business-facing and complex environments. Shirley Lacey MBCS, Managing Director of ConnectSphere, reports.

The future IT-enabled services and move to shared services will impact our strategy for service management. The move to flexible working, further consumerisation of IT and the adoption of new technologies like smart devices, BYOD, cloud and mobile, analytics, big data and the disruptive internet of things will affect the business landscape and drive transformation.

Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30 per cent from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020...

Gartner’s top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for organisations in 2015 are:

  1. Computing everywhere
  2. The internet of things (IoT)
  3. 3D printing
  4. Advanced, pervasive and invisible analytics
  5. Context-rich systems
  6. Smart machines
  7. Cloud / client computing
  8. Software-defined applications and infrastructure
  9. Web-scale IT
  10. Risk-based security and self-protection

Strategic development of services

Both business units and IT departments are investing in digital, smart devices and sharing information across the value chain. They need to engage and work together to ensure maximum return on investments - working in silos will hinder progress. They also need to decide what role each party should play.

To develop new customer opportunities, the business units, enterprise architects, IT and service management professionals and information security need to work together from the concept stage. To be ready for significant changes to the current operating model, service providers should continue to build their capabilities in service management, especially service strategy best practices.


With ecosystems that allow billions of devices to connect, communicate and interact, increased collaboration and governance across value chains will be necessary. Standardisation and secure methods for ensuring interoperability and information security will also be required.

As organisations transform their business models and technology, it is vital that business owners and heads of technology delivery units lead and work to the same goals. Departmental key performance indicators (KPIs) should be set to ensure buy-in from all areas.

Service integration and management

Service integration and management enable an organisation to manage its service providers in a consistent and efficient way across a portfolio of multi-sourced services and goods.

Service integration models, such as SIAM (service integration and management), are evolving from managing a small number of large suppliers to managing a greater number of smaller suppliers. The degree of service integration varies depending on the complexity of the services and / or customers being supported. For the model to be effective the service portfolio including component services needs to be well-defined and understood.

Changing roles in the new world

To succeed in the future, managers must be more agile, responsive and able to adapt to the needs of a radically different workplace.

As transformation happens, people regularly change their roles. Organisations need to identify the roles and responsibilities, knowledge and skills needed for each role and ensure that there is continuity when the role changes or transfers.

Service management professionals will need to develop their skills. For example, they need to learn how to focus on delivering business outcomes, superior customer experience and service quality.

Enterprise architects, business analysts, user experience, project teams, service designers, security and other service management professionals will need to work together to model, design, integrate and deliver and improve complex environments and end-to-end services.

CIOs and service managers will need to take on different and multiple roles to coordinate ICT activities. These might include collaborating and aligning with marketing and business executives or being a cloud service broker to negotiate relationships between cloud service customers and cloud service providers.

Globalisation and standards adoption

Adopting international standards enables globalisation, trade and service integration across the supply chain. Organisations have been adopting the following ISO standards:

  • ISO / IEC 38500 Governance of IT
  • ISO / IEC 20000 for service management
  • ISO / IEC 27000 for information security

ISO / IEC 20000 is based on practical industry experience to manage and deliver services for the business and customers.

Failing to standardise will make cloud services more complex to manage. Fortunately, ISO has just published standards for cloud computing:

  • ISO / IEC 17788:2014 is an overview of cloud computing, terms and definitions.
  • ISO / IEC 17789:2014 provides a cloud computing reference architecture (CCRA).
  • ISO / IEC 20000-9 promotes guidance on the application of ISO / IEC 20000-1 to cloud services.

Future of the service management standard

In 2014, ISO established SC40, a new standards committee responsible for standards and guidance on IT service management and IT governance. At a recent meeting, national body representatives considered the future of the ISO / IEC 20000 series on service management.

Key strengths were identified as:

  • many organisations have gained huge benefits by using ISO / IEC 20000;
  • clear support for the end-to-end supply chain;
  • continual service improvement is embedded into the ways of working;
  • a technology-independent standard;
  • implementation enables service providers to enable rapid change safely;
  • Alignment with ITIL1 service management (that provides how to guidance).

An initial list of priority areas for the revision of the ISO / IEC 20000 series were identified as follows:

  1. Governance of services
  2. Risk management
  3. Service strategy management
  4. Requirements management
  5. Design and transition of new or changed services - aligned with best practices
  6. Customer perspective and user experience
  7. Measurement and reporting of service levels, availability, business and customer value delivery
  8. Supplier management - mapping and control of the supply chain
  9. Knowledge management.
  10. More focus on developing people and their competencies.

Managing all the new IT-enabled services with new operating models and billions of devices in new ecosystems will put new requirements and challenges on service management. Service management needs to aim to:

  • work collaboratively in a smarter IT-enabled world to meet business and commercial needs;
  • Govern services across multiple suppliers to avoid any ambiguity about the boundaries of both responsibilities and accountabilities;
  • design and measure IT-enabled services within the larger context of customer and organisational outcomes;
  • start building and improving capabilities in service strategy, service design and transition;
  • create a vision and strategy for service management for the new world including automation.


1 ITIL is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Ltd.