Over the past 30 years, we have often discussed elements of IT Service Management maturity with our clients, whether related to tools, process or change, but now we are talking more and more frequently about the overall maturity of the services – as they relate to the ability to deliver what the business needs in the digital era.
How Has IT Service Management Evolved?
There are other maturity models that can be referenced, such as Business Relationship Management (BRM) and the maturity of the alignment with the business. We are talking here specifically about the maturity of managing the services.
IT historically had a technical, infrastructure-based focus, and IT Service management evolved to align closer to the business with a service focus, but with that shift has also come to an inward-focused view.
The Role Of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Service level agreements are needed as part of the journey to maturity – but this may mean the efforts of service delivery are focused on how well IT performs – regardless of how the customers or end-users are experiencing that service.
If Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) have been created from an IT perspective with no real view of the priorities of the business services – the targets set and reports on those achieving and those breaching targets – may bear no relation whatsoever to the experience of those using the services.
The Risk Of Information Technology
An example of this is the reporting of ‘degradation of service’ still showing services as available and running within the parameters set and measured whether they align with timings, critical business periods, and outages for the customers or not – the customers' perspective and experience is not visible to IT within this reporting mechanism (especially if they don’t report to the service desk and are not asked for their feedback).
The risk for IT in this scenario is that the customers are wholly dissatisfied with the service at certain points in time – and this level of potential misunderstanding means the reputation of IT as a whole is based upon their daily experience at the desktop – justified or otherwise.
Experience Level Agreements (XLAs): The Next Step
The evolution of digital transformation and the business demand for services in the enterprise that match the personal experience – means there is now an increasing focus on Experience Level Agreement (XLA’s) and the customer.
Experience Level Agreements and Digital End User Experience are two of the subjects we cover in our events and webinars.