Top 10 ITSM Trends to Watch Out for in 2023

Sophie Danby December 7, 2022
- 29 min read

IT service management (ITSM) is a critical corporate capability, but what are the key ITSM trends to watch out for in 2023? Thanks to the general evolution of technology-enabled businesses and the digital transformation acceleration caused by the global pandemic, the suitability of your organization’s current ITSM capabilities needs to be questioned – especially in light of the ten ITSM trends we’re about to share.

We consulted ten IT leaders to reflect on the road ahead. Here are their answers on service management’s “reason for being,” the exploitation of artificial intelligence, the focus on sustainability, the suitability of the corporate ITSM solution, and more.

Keep reading to learn more about how and where your organization’s ITSM capabilities might need to change in 2023.

Top 10 ITSM trends to watch out for in 2023

It’s always good to be aware of ITSM industry trends; some are usually well-known (having been ITSM trends for a good few years), while others are newer and might not yet be on your organization’s ITSM improvement radar. 

To help, we asked ten ITSM industry authorities to contribute their views and guidance on the key ITSM trends that organizations should focus on in 2023.

ITSM trend #1: Employee-centric IT, with employee experience as a change driver

You’ve probably seen an ITSM presentation at a conference that talks about service management moving IT organizations from being technology-centric to service-centric. After all, this is what ITSM is about. However, over the last half-decade, the corporate needs of ITSM have evolved – especially with the move to hybrid-working practices – with technology seen as a critical employee enabler, not just a business enabler.

This is driving one of the hottest ITSM trends – employee experience management. With the need to understand how IT service delivery and support capabilities either help or hinder employees in the work, they need to do. The experience data also helps identify “what matters most,” issues, and improvement opportunities, so employee experience becomes a primary change driver.

Importantly, employee-centric IT isn’t just about introducing new experience-focused metrics. Instead, it requires your organization to revisit ITSM’s “reason for being” (in your organization) such that ITSM capabilities can better align with business needs.



“Employee Experience has recently bubbled to the top of business conversations, especially in light of massive changes in the job markets brought about by work-from-home, hybrid work, and the shift called ‘The Great Resignation.’ Businesses and organizations want to retain their top talent while taking advantage of current and emerging technologies to enhance productivity and produce better outcomes for the organization and its customers.

Employees know what’s working well, what isn’t, what is slowing them down, and what truly aids them in their work. If you ask and listen, they will tell you which applications are and are not living up to their promise, which systems are problematic for them, and which positively impact their workday. Given that information, IT can make well-informed decisions about where to make improvements and where to seek better technologies.

Information Technology — that is, the technological means to create, record, transmit, and store information — has always been about assisting and enabling employees to accomplish work, but for many years became bound up in becoming an ‘end’ rather than a ‘means.’ When it started to become clear that IT (whether viewed as a department or a capability) was an integral part of the organization, its ability to power and accelerate work became tools to drive revenue, market share, and profit by maximizing human and technical achievements.

Employees do best with tools that make work easier and more efficient. If we listen to what they say about our technology, we’ll make informed choices about improving it.”

Roy Atkinson
CEO and Industry Analyst at Clifton Butterfield LLC





ITSM trend #2: The move to data-driven ITSM operations and improvements

In many ways, this is an extension of ITSM trend #1, in that service management capabilities are focused on “what matters most.” However, this trend targets the use of data to drive decisions, whether related to operational improvements, new or revised services, or some other part of the service management ecosystem.

For example, employee experience feedback can ascertain and improve employee productivity (which, in turn, enhances business operations and outcomes). With the data and insights, not only identifying issues but also the root causes and, once improvement initiatives are in flight, the adequacy of the improvements made.




Data-driven ITSM has always been around; this is nothing new. What is new is the tools to help rapidly reduce the impact of issues while increasing the experience of individuals, both staff and customers. The trick is appreciating that:

- Your service desk ‘knows’ everything – the good and the bad. You must delve daily into what is happening and feed that data to the relevant product owners and teams.

- Data is also needed on what changes the world wants or needs based on all sorts of things – from political changes to pandemics. Your data must be reviewed in this context, so every week, leadership should assess where we are on servicing customers or creating valuable services/products versus the changing environment
-- Are we green and viewed as green (sustainable)?
-- Do we make it easy for our staff to use services and access support in a hybrid working environment?
-- Do staff feel they contribute to how the IT organization assists individuals or grows?

- Bad data (telling you things are not going well) is quite good data! You cannot and should not always see green on your dashboards. If you are, then you risk becoming complacent. Use bad data to improve. Do not use bad data to kill products or teams unless there’s an agreement.

Data is a sharable commodity. Data is also your second most important asset to secure after your staff. Make sure that your data and the decisions it drives are transparent and supported by all involved. Make use of the ‘DIKW model’ where data grouped together becomes information for decision-makers at all levels leading to Knowledge about how, what, and why services are as they are or can be improved. Your result will be Wisdom! Have fun with data!

Daniel Breston
Independent Consultant at Daniel Breston Ltd



ITSM trend #3: ITSM benefit amplification through intelligent automation

The use of artificial intelligence in ITSM has been a talked-about ITSM trend for at least half a decade. Now, ITSM solutions are delivering use cases that leverage machine learning and natural language understanding (NLU) capabilities, mainly to improve existing ITSM tools and the IT service delivery and support needs they enable.

In the same way that ITSM solutions and native automation capabilities have improved ITSM over the last three decades, the application of artificial intelligence can amplify the benefits of ITSM further – and can be considered a relevant aspect of the future of service

For example, in ITSM use cases, it:

  • Improves business outcomes and employee experiences
  • Reduces costs
  • Increases execution speed 
  • Improves performance insight and decision-making 
  • Increases service availability, including 24/7 IT support.


“It has long been accepted that good ITSM can result in improved delivery and support of technologies used to facilitate business value and results. But good ITSM is not without its challenges, especially regarding managing, understanding, and leveraging the information captured and generated by ITSM. This is where intelligent automation can help.

Intelligent automation represents a combination of business workflow automation, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence. This combination of technologies allows organizations to streamline processes and automate workflow and task execution.

How does intelligent automation amplify the benefits of good ITSM? Of course, there are obvious near-term operational benefits of using intelligent automation. The automation of processes and workflows delivers operational consistency and reliability. Cost optimization can be achieved by organizations using automation for repetitive and mundane tasks rather than spending money having humans perform those tasks. In return, people can use that freed-up time and energy on more high-value activities.

But there are other, perhaps less obvious ITSM benefits from using intelligent automation:

- Faster resolution of incidents and service requests. Historical ITSM data can be analyzed by intelligent automation to identify and predict the best approach for incident resolution or request fulfillment, eliminating the need for human intervention. 

- Better collaboration and teamwork. Often, ITSM efforts are disjointed as work moves among teams. By understanding, defining, and automating workflow, teams can better understand roles, responsibilities, and contributions to ITSM practices.

- Improved holistic approach. Another benefit of intelligent automation within ITSM is a more holistic approach to delivering and supporting products and services. Intelligent automation adoption encourages ITSM organizations to take an end-to-end approach to define and automate workflows. Machine learning can use both structured and unstructured data from across many systems, not just the ITSM tool, to deliver solutions.

Doug Tedder
Principal at Tedder Consulting LLC


ITSM trend #4: Enterprise Service Management as a platform for continued digital transformation

The non-IT use of ITSM capabilities is not new, but adopting what the ITSM industry has called “Enterprise Service Management” has grown as an enabler of the digital transformation strategies accelerated by the global pandemic. 

While other business functions might not subscribe to the service management thinking of ITSM, the ITSM solution technologies are well suited for delivering the enablement that processes and employees need when working in a distributed and remote manner. This aligns with the view that Enterprise Service Management should be focused on “better business,” not on forcing IT’s ways of working on other business functions.

The addition of artificial intelligence-enabled capabilities to ITSM solutions is also a quick way to bring these new technologies into other business functions, whether improving the commonly-shared ITSM solution capabilities or reporting and analytics capabilities that leverage artificial intelligence to provide greater insight into performance and improvement.



“Digital organizations aren’t just doing different things; they’re doing things differently. This has far-reaching implications for IT and beyond. A modern organization is best understood as a complex “system-of-systems”; any changes in one system (IT, for example) will impact the greater system. Heading into 2023, IT must recognize its role in enterprise service management is not to “bring service management to the enterprise,” but rather fulfill its role as a critical part of the enterprise, with expertise in service management.

Greg Sanker
Director of IT Support at Taylor Morrison



ITSM trend #5: Optimizing operations, assets and services, experiences, and outcomes

One of the seven Guiding Principles in the ITIL 4 body of service management best practice guidance is “optimize and automate.” While automation has long been an ITSM trend, and artificial intelligence has brought about opportunities for intelligent automation, there’s likely still much that can be done related to optimization.

A good example is IT asset management (ITAM). Your organization might already have ITAM capabilities in place, but are they optimized? The optimization opportunity here has many parts. 

First, there’s the optimization of hardware, software, and services, where asset use and costs are compared to business value to understand if they could be better employed elsewhere or even if their use ceased. 

Second, there’s the optimization of ITAM practices, mainly through the latest best practices and automation. Importantly, this isn’t just the optimization of the status quo; it can also include adding new ITAM capabilities and perhaps widening ITAM coverage or scope. 

Third, there’s the optimization of assets from an employee perspective – from how assets are acquired and refreshed to whether the employed assets are fit for purpose, where more costly assets might deliver a disproportionately higher increase in business value. 

Finally, there’s the optimization of ITAM outcomes. For example, the greater use of ITAM data to support other business processes.



“For me, 2023 will be the year of getting hardware assets under control. So many organizations fast-tracked sending out equipment during the pandemic with fewer controls for understandable reasons. One way to introduce control is to create a lifecycle for managing hardware assets. By putting some structure to support hardware asset management or HAM, your organization will be able to manage assets from request all the way through to retirement, improving reliability by having clearly defined maintenance schedules, reducing loss, and improving the experience.

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd


ITSM trend #6: Self-help needs to be reinvented 

IT self-service has been touted as the savior of corporate IT organizations for the last decade, offering “better, faster, cheaper” IT support. But while enterprise adoption levels have been high, low employee uptake and satisfaction have meant that self-service initiatives have failed to deliver the anticipated return on investment (ROI). 

It’s no longer an ITSM trend in its self-service portal form. However, there’s still an employee demand for self-help that is driving a different ITSM trend based on the following:

  • Remote-working employees needing to maximize their productivity 
  • Consumer-world service and support capabilities still influencing internal IT support capabilities
  • Employee expectations requiring an immediacy of service and the removal of friction.

The self-help solution takes a different view of self-service capabilities, forgoing the traditional IT self-service portal (although this can still be offered to employees who prefer to use it) in favor of bringing IT support and self-help to employees. This involves using intelligent automation, often in the form of bots, and access channels that are already “within reach” of employees and don’t require them to hunt out the IT self-service portal for help.

Example alternatives to the traditional IT self-service portal include:

  • Mobile apps offering employees immediate IT support access “at their fingertips.”
  • Bots within work collaboration apps such as Microsoft Teams and Slack 
  • Bots within line-of-business apps
  • Voice-based access to support via devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home, or Android and iOS mobile devices. 

The ultimate aim is to make accessing IT support quicker and easier for employees.



“Is the self-service portal dead? No, but to survive, it needs to move away from an externally-located list of static knowledge base articles and become an easy-to-access, automated, universal channel for the whole organization.

Logged in, authenticated, and within the organization’s environment, your organization’s employee doesn’t care how the sausage is made or who answers the query – IT, Finance, or HR – but just that it is answered quickly and effectively.

AI and automation have the power to make the experience individual and swift; investing in the service desk tool and the quality of the existing knowledge base will contribute to a self-service solution that can win the hearts and minds of the employee if better than any other communication channels for user experience and efficiency.

Eleanor Draycott
Head of Customer Experience and Service Delivery at University of Reading


ITSM trend #7: The focus on employee well-being

Many IT organizations state that “people are our greatest assets.” However, one could argue that many aren’t treated as such, with this leading to well-being issues that, as well as harming the individuals, cause employee and productivity issues too.

The IT industry has long been thought to have employee well-being issues. Especially some high-pressure IT roles such as those related to IT support. Thankfully, related improvements have been made regarding how employee well-being is managed. 

2022 survey by found that only 2% of respondents thought that their organization didn’t have suitable mechanisms for preventing and helping with employee wellbeing issues (with 36% responding “yes” and 46% “yes, but they need improving”).

However, there were still reported well-being issues despite the improvement of corporate capabilities, with 67% of survey respondents stating that working in IT had adversely affected their well-being to some extent. This is made worse by 32% of respondents believing that their line managers are not suitably skilled to handle well-being issues and another 29% that they’re only partially capable. 



“You can’t be what you can’t see, and the mind will not follow where the body won’t go! This is both a leadership focus and one for personal development. There are some legal and structural changes to employee well-being, including specifics around mental health. As professionals and leaders, we must be familiar with our responsibilities, but you can’t ‘policy’ your way out of the behavioral issues and subsequent fallout. Wellbeing programs need to be practical, diverse, equitable, and inclusive – programs that provide a multi-approach full of techniques people can draw on to suit their needs.

There’s an urgent need to recognize, bring awareness to, and provide support for previously taboo and ignored areas, including health issues like menopause. It’s not just about transparency, which can be passive, but ensuring people and these subjects become visible, which is about actively communicating and having conversations.

Resilient is not something you can ‘order’ someone to be, so providing the environment in which we build an emotional culture where we can feel safe and participate is a step to the future in helping our people develop their resilience. This means serious consideration is given to how we implement the changing hybrid work models. The whole-life cost of our employee engagement and experience directly impacts our capability to thrive in a constantly shifting world.

Simone Jo Moore
Independent Consultant at SJM





ITSM trend #8: Personalized support 

Recently, experience management has been the center stage when it comes to innovation. We previously explored the subject in ITSM trends 1, 5, and 6, and now it's time to narrow it to personalized support.

This particular concept encourages IT support teams to "borrow" methods from sales, research, and development to customize interactions with customers and employees. The idea behind this approach is that service is a personal experience, it's unique, and the satisfaction that it brings depends on the details of every interaction.

There's no one right way to provide a good experience, but rather, it is important that your organization explores the matter and understands the opportunity and advantage it can provide.

The right way to do this would be to leverage personal details into the exchanges with customers and clients and to find a way to store that information along with their profiles, so every agent can use it to their advantage.



People are tired of sterile and awkward business interactions. Personalized support also aligns with the ever-popular ITSM trend of improving experiences and satisfaction – it's just one way that our teams can contribute to these experiences.

With a change in mindset, IT support teams can move from simply gathering the customer information required for the process and their needs, to including the details about customers. Storing and using what they should know about them as people.

Capturing, tracking, and analyzing these seemingly useless data points will give agents power with both customer and employee experiences. The people that we work with and serve daily are fantastic, diverse, and complex human beings. Why would we put so much effort into providing impersonal support?

Matt Beran
Industry Analyst and Senior Product Specialist at InvGate


ITSM trend #9: Measuring business-value focus, not simply ITSM operations

In some ways, this trend should have started this list of ITSM trends because everything listed above is ultimately about providing additional business value. However, this trend is more about measuring value creation, or co-creation, than value per se. It’s about understanding and reporting on the real difference ITSM has made to business operations and outcomes.

Unfortunately, though, value measurement is challenging. To start, value is subjective. Different business stakeholders value different things. They might also value things differently based on their circumstances. For example, senior management might be focused on operational cost reductions while team leaders focus on employee productivity.

So, an essential question for your IT organization in 2023 is, “How do our ITSM metrics measure and report the business value we help create?” It’s an interesting and helpful exercise to undertake because it’ll likely highlight the operational nature of the current ITSM metrics portfolio. For example, the propensity for metrics that measure “how long” or “how many” rather than considering the business impact, or outcomes, of what the IT service delivery and support activities achieved.

An easy starting point is to question whether existing metrics offer any interesting insights to business stakeholders, but there’s ultimately the need to have conversations around “what matters most.” Bring the focus back to ITSM trends #1 and #2 and the use of experience level agreements (XLAs) in addition to the often operationally-focused service level agreements (SLAs).



“If you think of how major incidents are measured, there are various metrics captured like duration, mean time to resolve (MTTR), mean time between failures (MTBF), and so on. There’s also an opportunity to measure the cost to the business when incidents occur. For revenue-generating areas of the company, historical management information will allow you to calculate how much revenue would typically be received in a given period. For a single major incident, you can estimate (using real data) the loss of revenue to the operational area.

Besides using financial data to work from, you can also measure business value through customer satisfaction, net promoter score (NPS), etc. The higher the rating, the happier your customers will be, which will likely result in repeat business, recommendations, etc.

While not a specific measure, regular reviews (and face-to-face meetings where possible) with your customers – be they internal or external – will add value. Collaboration, transparency, and seeking feedback are all simple methods that add value to an ITSM or broader IT function and its customers.

Sophie Hussey
Director at Lapis Consulting Services


ITSM trend #10: Sustainability as a competitive advantage

The 2021 AXELOS “ITIL 4: Sustainability in Digital and IT” publication defines sustainability as “a business approach focused on creating long-term value for society and other stakeholders by addressing the risks and opportunities associated with economic, environmental, and social developments.”

As stated in the AXELOS definition, it’s important to appreciate that sustainability is “a business approach,” not just an ITSM trend or a throwback to green IT initiatives. And corporate sustainability initiatives and sustainability programs might focus on a variety of issues, including climate change action, clean energy, water cleanliness, economic growth, species extinction, poverty and hunger, and health and education.

While many people might see corporate sustainability strategies and initiatives as the “right thing to do,” they offer corporate bottom-line benefits, too. This includes the improved public perceptions of organizations and their brands, creating a competitive advantage that drives sales and thus improves corporate financial results.

ITSM teams have a role to play in enabling corporate sustainability strategies, first, in helping the organization to deliver against its sustainability strategies, and second, in doing what they can to optimize the sustainability position of IT operations.



“Your IT organization must appreciate that the need for IT to focus on sustainability is inevitable. The business-level sustainability focus will come not only from corporate decision-makers and through employee and customer pressures; there will be regulatory and legislative drivers. It’s highly likely that your business has already committed to sustainability-related change, so how is your IT organization helping? Or planning to help.

If your organization hasn’t already invested in sustainability-strategy execution, it’s likely already behind its marketplace competitors. The same applies if the IT organization isn’t enabling business-level strategies, and everyone will soon feel the adverse impact of the delay (if not already) whether competitively or in the need to play catch-up with mandated sustainability targets.

Stephen Mann
Content Director and Principal Analyst at


Final thoughts

This ITSM trend list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully, it’s raised awareness of the broad spectrum of areas that might need to change within your organization and its IT operations.

A key takeaway is that there needs to be a deliberate focus on how ITSM capabilities positively affect business outcomes and value. For example, in:

  • Better enabling employees and their productivity
  • Driving data-based decision-making
  • Benefitting from intelligent automation
  • Facilitating corporate digital transformation initiatives
  • Optimizing operations, assets and services, experiences, and outcomes.

It’s also important to ensure that improvement activities focus above the ITSM process level. While it might be good for your IT organization to be better at incident management, say, whatever improvements are made to this capability, they’ll likely be suboptimal without the necessary focus on some of the abovementioned trends. 

Read other articles like this : ITSM, Automation, Experience Management, Sustainability

Evaluate InvGate as Your ITSM Solution

30-day free trial - No credit card needed