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Updated by Charles Bystock on 07/26/2022

IT service management (ITSM) firms work to employ a set of best practices to efficiently manage technology architectures. The cloud became a huge disruptor for ITSM by virtualizing the large physical data center into architectures infinitely more scalable and potentially more complex. How have “standard” ITSM models changed with the introduction of the cloud?

Defining “standard” ITSM in or out of the cloud

Traditional ITSM always had one primary purpose: efficient management of an IT architecture to achieve strategic business goals. Service professionals sought to achieve this through a set of processes to design, deploy, and maintain IT software and hardware.

Today, a variety of cloud services are available that support both specialized and generalized ITSM. Getting the most out of your cloud architectures remains the job of ITSM partners; despite the cloud’s disruption, it’s important to note that the aim of ITSM hasn’t changed.

Third-party management firms still work to align IT business processes to the strategic goals of the organization, whether the architecture is cloud-based, on-premises, or a combination of the two. This partnership between external IT professionals and internal corporate stakeholders serves to solve business problems in new ways while keeping networks safer and more highly efficient.

Despite the encroachment of new cloud models, ITSM typically still includes:

  • IT portfolio management, including risk analysis
  • Business partnership relationship management
  • Strategic development and management of IT services
  • Financial management of IT portfolios
  • Disaster recovery and security

What has changed is that companies are now using cloud open-source architectures to roll out their own technology service offerings and applications. McKinsey Digital points out, “The full value of cloud comes from approaching these options not as one-off tactical decisions but as part of a holistic strategy to pursue digital transformation.” In the same vein, leveraging an ITSM services firm for a simple cloud migration negates the strategic value of these firms.

Changes specific to cloud-managed service models

We recognize that one of the biggest changes and challenges for enterprise IT management is the migration to cloud applications from on-premises architectures. But simply lifting and shifting data won’t yield high-level benefits; instead, IT managers must look at cloud tools as strategic steps toward digital transformation. That is the true key to maximizing the value and benefit of cloud technology.

Cloud technology has moved IT from the back server room to the front of our strategic business imperatives. While hardware and software have become easier to manage in cloud models that are more uniform and interoperable, this wave of disruption has impacted ITSM firms in three ways:

  1. Service desk — Managed cloud services come with a high level of uptime, so consumers have grown accustomed to high expectations of service availability. This means ITSM providers must not only keep architectures live but also manage outages quickly.
  2. Easier configuration and asset management — Self-service models are inherent in cloud technologies. Standardized infrastructures with UX-driven designs have opened the doors for end-user configuration of sophisticated cloud and hybrid models. While API layers help with interoperability, these models still create the need for change managers that can streamline cloud workflows and automate basic tasks.
  3. Scalability — Chief among cloud benefits has always been the scalability of these tools, but it’s the ITSM firm that monitors service-level packages to ensure organizations get what they’re paying for.

While ITSM firms have shifted to accommodate these new strategies and workflows, there are signs that the disruption to traditional models will continue.

ITSM trends to watch

Tech Beacon predicts that the new wave of disruption for ITSM service providers will be the strategic emphasis on employee experience. IT architectures of the future will emphasize employee engagement as the driver of ITSM. This means IT success will be measured less at the point of creation and more at the point of service consumption.

Private cloud models will also proliferate this year, according to Forrester, as will hybrid cloud-neutral models that use multiple vendors. It is within this complicated framework that ITSM providers will play an increasingly important role.

Harnessing the power of tomorrow’s ITSM firm requires a forward-thinking approach toward a true partnership centered on service delivery and strategic transformation. In addition to the strategic imperative toward operational efficiency, the cloud has challenged ITSM services firms to focus beyond the technology to the people who use it.

Windsor Group provides industry-leading ITSM for cloud, private, on-premises, and hybrid models. Talk with our experienced team today to find out more.