HDI regularly hosts webinars with IT service and support thought leaders, and we like to share the findings from these webinars with you. This is the first in a series of articles focused on key ideas from Beyond ITSM: Leveraging ITSM to Deliver Value Across Your Entire Organization, a webinar sponsored by Freshworks.
As AI and other advanced tech enable a hybrid workforce that blends humans and automated tools, service management leaders are working to understand how that transformation is changing the skills needed for effectively managing hybrid teams and for managing cross-department relationships as service management principles and processes expand beyond the IT department.
Not all those skills are traditionally part of the service management toolbox. As Freshworks’ Ken Gonzalez explained during HDI’s recent webinar, Beyond ITSM: Leveraging ITSM to Deliver Value Across Your Entire Organization, marketing is one of those less obvious, but increasingly important, skills for service management leaders and their teams. I asked Gonzales why marketing matters to technical teams focused on delivering IT services.
“Why marketing? Because, traditionally, IT stinks at it. If we're not actively making it available to people, ‘Hey we can do this for you,’ they're not going to know,” Gonzalez said.
And if they don’t know, then they are not going to use and value all the services IT provides. “So we have to find a way to do [marketing], and that requires, actually, a lot of work to develop,” he said.
Marketing is communication
HDI strategic advisor Roy Atkinson expanded on Gonzalez’ point.
"If you think about marketing, marketing writ large is communication...When we're collaborating with hybrid team members, we're doing most of our work in writing of one form of another - whether that's instant messaging, or it's planning documents, or it's real-time problem solving. So writing and language comprehension skills are essential,” Atkinson said.
Changing focus to help drive organizational change
So, are service management teams getting the training they need to develop these expanded skill sets? It’s very hard to market something you don't fully understand, or at least hasn't been defined end-to-end, Info-Tech research director Valence Howden noted.
“And so a lot of the challenge IT has is it's really still not focused on the value provision [of service management] at the end,” Howden said. "We're still very siloed in the work we do, the activities we focus on, so it becomes a much harder lift to start building up the skills we need.”
In his work with clients across many industries, Howden sees people struggling to share knowledge of the value they provide and how to translate demand into a service portfolio. As with much of service management, the real issues are often tied to the challenges of realizing organizational change.
“There's a lot of areas where the skill sets that we need to develop aren't there because the organization isn't ready,” Howden said.
Beyond incidents and changes
As reflected in HDI’s State of Service Management survey and other industry studies, Howden notes that the adoption of some higher order service management capabilities remains limited in many organizations.
“If we're still stuck dealing with incidents and changes, we're not really looking at an end-to-end vision of value and the results that we generate through these [service management] practices,” he said.
Clearly, SM leaders need to expand their thinking about the skills and training their teams need. Marketing, communication, the ability to share a clear vision of service management’s value – all of those start from taking an end-to-end view of how and where IT and enterprise services create value in the organization. Then service management leaders and service delivery teams understand where they fit in accomplishing the organization’s mission and what skills are needed to keep improving what they deliver.
Want to view more HDI webinars? You can find our complete webinar library here.