2012 saw a series of conflicting demands placed on businesses’ IT requirements. Economic pressures forced organisations to cut costs and demand even more from their investment in technology.

Yet in stark contrast, the pace of technological change over the past year has meant that businesses must invest in their IT service management to keep pace with the changes, not least to enable them to support initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device, social media and cloud solutions.

I’ve witnessed many forward thinking companies react to these pressures over the last year in a positive manner, for example by making more of their IT service management investment.

Last year there was a shift to implement formalised change management processes, which enabled many organisations to invest in IT efficiently and effectively, while ensuring that risks are reduced. Businesses have woken up to the fact that the adoption of new IT services and policies must be actively managed.

In 2013 I believe the struggling economy will place even greater pressures on businesses and many departments may become increasingly stretched. IT must respond with resourceful and tenacious technology solutions to support the short-term tactical initiatives and evolving strategic needs.

As a result, businesses will look to consolidate systems, selecting vendors that can provide solutions for multiple departments, and support processes that span departments and integrate data silos.

Businesses will need platforms which promote agility throughout the organisation and are capable of changing in response to new conditions. This will be particularly important as the pace of change increases and organisations will need the ability to rapidly adapt processes and services to keep up with market innovations.

2013 will also see customers’ demands on technology increase and this will apply across all sectors. Customers will expect the service and support functions they rely on to provide intuitive, consistent services built on accurate, up to date information. Proactive organisations will continue to innovate and seek differentiation through effective Continual Service Improvement processes that give them efficient service delivery and a great customer experience.

The continuation of a strained economic climate will mean that businesses will continue to face cost pressures. However, they must still have the capability to respond to greater demands for an enhanced customer experience, which will be even more crucial in 2013. I believe that improvement initiatives will also see an upsurge, and organisations will expect their service management platforms to be able to support these.

Over the coming year, I foresee businesses increasingly shifting their approach to focus on the big picture. Organisations will look at how IT can be used across the organisation, enabling collaboration between business functions, effective continual service improvement and taking centre stage in the journey to deliver a superior customer experience.