What is the Future of IT Service Management?

What is the Future of IT Service Management?

AXELOS have recently released two reports about the future of the IT Service Management and Project Management industries. Last week, we looked at The Future of Project Management. This week, we break down ‘The Future IT Service Management Professional’ and what it could mean for your career.

For their report, AXELOS surveyed 330 ITSM professionals about their thoughts on a range of hypotheses and industry trends. They then combined this research with discussions and interviews involving a further thirteen ITSM experts.


Technology touches all parts of business

As technology use becomes increasingly widespread, users are expecting more from their services. This means ITSM professionals are required to work outside the traditional IT function to ensure services are efficient and deliver value.

Key findings:

  • 81% of ITSM professionals see other departments moving to a service-based approach.
  • 77% believe IT teams will be organised around services or applications.
  • 77% believe non-technical units will get more involved in service governance, service strategy, and service design.

What this means: As IT departments are becoming decentralised, the idea of service management is filtering through to parts of the organisation which are not traditionally involved with technology.


ITSM as part of organisational strategy

ITSM professionals must view the services and solutions they deliver as a part of the whole business, providing input into the organisation’s service roadmap and strategic direction as required. As the latest service solutions are easily integrated, an ITSM professional’s role will focus on guiding the business in adapting their services for the needs of customers.

Key findings:

  • 92% of ITSM professionals agree they will need a much stronger strategic vision aligned to the wider business.
  • 76% see a growing need for coordination of services provided by vendors.

What this means: ITSM is becoming a core part of business strategy. Our increasing reliance on vendor services means they must be managed carefully if they are to be effective.

ITSM and artificial intelligence (AI)

Although it is likely to negatively impact some roles, artificial intelligence will generally be beneficial because it will automate mundane tasks and allow greater focus on strategic tasks which provide more value.

However, it must be handled carefully, with critical thinking and strategic analysis needed to minimise risk and ensure benefit to both customer and organisation.

Key findings:

  • 91% of ITSM professionals believe there will be more creativity and flexibility in ITSM
  • 89% think automation will take over repetitive tasks
  • 77% believe artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a profound impact on the ITSM workforce.

What this means: These high numbers show there is a great belief among the community that artificial intelligence will affect the profession positively, and that this change is almost inevitable.


The importance of risk management

Technology brings innovation, but this must be balanced with consideration of risk. Risk management is more important now than ever, especially when it comes to data security, and this can be combined with ITSM. Processes must be in place to ensure data is not vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other security breaches in the future.

Key findings:

91% of ITSM professionals agree that cyber-attacks, security breaches, and hacking will continue to increase and present a bigger threat.

What this means: Data security is clearly a huge concern for ITSM professionals and will continue to be in the future.

  • 90% agree that new technologies will generate new risks that will need to be managed carefully.
  • 90% agree that increased regulation and compliance will generate a greater demand for IT governance.

What this means: Again, the overwhelming consensus here is that regulation and risk management are vitally important.

ITSM professionals are business leaders

As ITSM increasingly touches other parts of business, those involved are required to interact with people throughout the organisation in order to guide them through change. This requires skills in problem solving and effective communication.

Key findings:

 “There are more managerial and people skills needed than there used to be.”

“You can get away with knowing ‘enough’ technically, but you can’t get away with not being able to work well with other people.”

“IT is way more than just tech now – it is a much broader skillset.”

What this means: All these comments suggest that ITSM has truly broadened beyond technology to encompass all parts of business, meaning it is essential for professionals to be able to work effectively with other people.



Overall, there is no doubt that ITSM professionals will be required to take on a more strategic role in future. This is because technology is now affecting everything businesses do. But as technology develops, the risks it brings must be managed effectively. This is especially true where artificial intelligence comes into its own in the future. To succeed, you must be business leaders, able to communicate with a range of people around the organisation and work with a range of different techniques in order to deliver results.

Prepare for the future of IT service management with exclusive tools and learning aids from an AXELOS membership. Save money on the cost of a membership by buying from us. Find out more here.

The full AXELOS report is available here.

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