For the last several years, significant changes have impacted CIOs, changing their role from “technical expert” to “technological service expert”. Using service catalogues, they have helped users become more involved, autonomous and independent, thus gaining in productivity and efficiency.

Transformation Of IT: The Effects Of Maturity

Economic, technological and societal developments over the last few years have changed the role CIO’s have historically held. More than ever, they are feeling the impact of intense competition and new markets opening up, the reduction of budgets and investments, objectives and performance reports, and service level agreements (SLA), to name but a few.

In addition to economic and organisational constraints, companies must keep up with the speed of technology and, more specifically, consumer technology like Cloud Computing and the new security challenges it brings, as well as the exploding market of mobile internet and so-called “nomad working”.

CIOs must face and solve all of these new challenges. Users are more and more technophile in this “multi-connected” environment. Their knowledge of tools and technology in general is sharper and more honed. All accounted for, some CIOs teams find themselves having difficulty keeping up with user demands and requirements.

Shadow IT is the unfortunate result, with potentially disastrous consequences for the company. Consequently security risks are abounding for the company and its management. IT Directors must react and accept responsibility for re-thinking their strategy and position; respond to business needs and guarantee the security and productivity of the company.

Self-Service IT, A New Approach To ITSM

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) optimises IT Management through best practices and helps CIOs to provide the best services for users in the ITSM environment. CIOs have become aware that they must position their IT departments more and more as service centres focusing on the needs of the business and their users first, for example, enabling internal or external users to select the tools they require to do their jobs from anywhere.

By focusing on the user, IT can create and adapt services that maximise user productivity. No longer dependent on technical reasoning, the CIO has evolved from technological expert to service expert and can react better and faster to business and user needs while maintaining control over IT policy and process.

Self-service is vital in this user focus by providing a standardised set of services that have been authorised by company, thus reducing Shadow IT. Depending on profile and job, via “self-service IT” users access an online catalogue of services and secure tools corresponding to their individual needs.

Configuration, asset management, license management, installation and even retrieval of underused services from users; everything is automated to facilitate on-demand use and acquisition of these IT tools. The effectiveness of these services will depend on the IT team’s ability to bring real added value to the user and to provide a rapid response adapted to their needs.

Responsibility To Increase Productivity

User involvement is imperative in this new ITSM approach. When CIOs and their teams understand user’s needs and constraints, and ensure appropriate support for them, users (especially the less experienced) will understand and appreciate the benefits of self service, and utilise the services available. As focus on the user is adopted and incorporated as the norm, the quality of proposed services will better meet the user needs.

Allowing end users to become more responsible and autonomous with their IT tools will increase their satisfaction with IT and reduce the temptation to go elsewhere to find their own services. For example, tickets submissions, availability of online knowledge, and direct access to tools and resources will help end users solve their own problems and increase their productivity.

CIOs and their teams will be perceived and promoted as credible service providers and rid themselves of repetitive, time-intensive tasks thus enabling them to devote themselves to more important and more strategic projects for the company.

The benefits of this approach exceed the framework of the CIO. The entire company benefits from these new, efficient work methods. The standardisation of services across certain departments encourages better coordination of operations, for example, an IT department and Human Resource department needs are often closely related (directories, right of access management, etc.). By associating gains in time and money, self-service IT can be shared across business departments to provide great improvements in efficiency across the entire business.