The year is coming to an end and it’s a good time to take a minute, reflect on what occurred during the last months, and have a look at what the future might bring to make sure we are prepared. Particularly in an innovative and fast-paced environment like IT, taking this time can be a real game-changer for ITSM professionals to ensure they are on track with new trends and industry upcomings.
With this in mind, for Ticket Volume’s December webinar we invited a panel of industry experts to discuss IT Service Management 2024 trends. Guided by our host, Matt Beran, Rob England, Mark Smalley, and Claire Agutter provided valuable insights into where they see the industry today and what they believe we should be putting our eye on for the future, touching on trending subjects such as Artificial Intelligence and corporate sustainability.
Read on to discover the main points discussed during the webinar – and you can register here to stay updated with what’s coming to the podcast next year!
#1 Balancing AI with the human factor
Nobody is surprised to hear that the impact of Artificial Intelligence in ITSM was a hot topic throughout 2023, and still today it’s at the top of the list. However, now that there has been (slightly) more time to interact and try out this technology, we can draw some new conclusions about how AI will be implemented in the short and long term future.
All three guests agreed that, after the first big hype, in upcoming times it is more reasonable to aim for a balance between AI and the human factor when it comes to providing IT support and excelling in customer satisfaction.
In this sense, Rob made the argument that we should move away from apocalyptic thinking. Humans have been automating tasks for as long as we can remember, and AI is no different. However, he added to this that there will always be a human element demanded from customers that can’t (and shouldn’t) be eradicated.
On the contrary, when personal interactions coexist with automation capabilities, not only will you have higher quality service delivery, but that resting human potential can also be leveraged elsewhere in the workplace.
"The human system is self-correcting. We are very good at extrapolating to apocalyptic outcomes. But the reality is that we have been automating for ten thousand years in various different ways and society works to not just accept the automation and work around it, but also to limit and adapt and constrain it to how we want to live. So, AI will be no different. (...) Automation is just offering an alternative but there is still a demand for the human element."
Down the same line, Claire warned to not always believe that the fastest or cheapest option will bring better outcomes. She explained that, although AI will certainly replace particular jobs in Service Management, the tasks that will disappear are the less meaningful ones.
Again, the focus shouldn’t be put on avoiding or fearing this, but on exploring how we can use it to our advantage, making sure that legislation supports these changes and that the human element is put where it can create the most value to both organizations and the workers themselves.
If you want to further investigate this topic, you can check out the 75th episode of Ticket Volume where Mariena Quintanilla explored strategies to reduce the fear of AI and incorporate the tool to daily operations.
#2 Incorporating global context and sustainability
Another hot topic of the moment that was covered is sustainability, coming in as the second trend. For this, Mark advised ITSM professionals to always have an eye on where the world is shifting towards and how this will impact IT.
He argued that this includes aspects such as complicated political landscapes, where cybersecurity will most likely take center stage, and the environmental situation that is bringing the need to incorporate sustainable ITSM practices.
As the planet will continue to be impacted by climate change, he made the point that IT should not only be incorporating more environmentally friendly practices to the workplace, but also analyzing how to react to the possible consequences of this situation in the upcoming years.
"Thinking about what’s going on in the world at the moment, such as climate destruction. How does that translate into IT or ITSM? This means thinking about sustainability, but also about continuity. For instance, how are you going to react when climate disruption disrupts work?"
We also have some extra material on this topic for you to explore! Antonina Douannes came onto the podcast to break down key sustainable IT practices to implement across organizations.
#3 Learning from other practices and industries
Coming from the previous point, all three guests brought up the importance of curiosity and having a constant will to learn and explore from many different fields of practice (even if they don’t seem related in the first place). This next trend focuses on this as an essential differentiator in the future for professionals in the ITSM industry.
In relation to this, Mark talked about the concept of playfulness as a useful approach to incorporate new concepts and ways of thinking. Rob pointed out that, in the coming times, it’s important to stay away from a rigid and conservative approach to Service Management, and adopt an open mind to interdisciplinary collaborations. He highlighted DevOps as a key driver of current and future transformations in the ITSM industry to keep an eye on.
#4 Shifting the main focus from frameworks to principles
Another 2024 ITSM trend that was discussed is a shift in focus away from ITSM frameworks and methodologies towards principles. Rob argued that, in an industry where it’s always been about discipline and control, it’s time to incorporate complexity, change, and instability into the equation, and accept that not everything can be analyzed. In this sense, he sees a movement “from process thinking to humanistic thinking” where “it’s not going to be so much about the how, but the why.”
Down a similar line, Claire explained that the industry won’t be putting its efforts so much in the constant development of new concepts and theories towards, but rather on building upon all the material that is already available. This way, she considered aspects such as Experience Management or the creation value as the new starting points to create your ITSM strategy, where frameworks will come in only to help support this.
"We’ve seen a bit of a slowdown in new things, new products, methodologies, whatever it might be. (...) And a shift to more focus on what are some principles that can help us. How do we look at value? How do we look at outcomes and experience? And then what methodologies or frameworks can help us do that. In terms of new things coming, I don’t know how much more development we will see in that space beyond an evolution of things that already exist."
#5 Fostering the ITSM community
What keeps you hopeful in the Service Management industry? Cutting across the elements that make up the evolving IT landscape, Claire pointed out the importance of the strong ITSM community that has been fostered throughout the years and in which she has taken active participation.
This is not so much a new trend, but looking into the future, continuing to build and maintain platforms to bring people together is very important. In this sense, Mark highlighted the generosity that characterizes the community. Claire added that, particularly in this industry, we are lucky to have “this massive group of super intelligent people who want to contribute, collaborate, and drive this thing forward.”
So, whether it's forums, blogs, conferences, books (or even this webinar!), the ITSM community will continue to offer support and make place for discussions when it comes to incorporating new technologies, practices, and frameworks.
Only time will tell what changes, innovations, and new technologies will come to the Service Management community during 2024. Still, we’re confident that this panel of specialists knows a thing or two and these valuable insights into the 2024 ITSM trends are worth taking a look at to stay aligned with industry transformations.
In this summary of our December Webinar, we explored the main points that were touched upon in the episode, but don’t miss out on the chance to listen to the full recording where you will find more knowledge and tips! You can listen to it on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast platform.
Also, don’t forget to register here and get notified about the exciting updates we are bringing to the podcast next year!