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Digital Disruption in IT Service Management

Mark O'Loughlin

Mark O'Loughlin


You have probably noticed some fundamental shifts in the world of IT in recent years. This shift has proliferated through to both the IT function and the business itself.

What we are now seeing and experiencing first hand is a seismic shift in areas such as;

  • IT technologies
  • Management of IT
  • Business models
  • Attitudes, behaviors, and culture

Digital Disruption

The traditional IT landscape and IT model which has served well over the last twenty-or-so years, has changed significantly. The initial cause of this shift is cloud computing, generally now just referred to as cloud. Cloud was the first wave of significant change which underpinned what is now being referred to as digital disruption. Over the last number of years, many organizations took the plunge and started to migrate some of their IT to cloud-based services.

Digital Disruption Meets Digital Transformation

What we are now seeing is the next logical step for organizations to take. That step is to actually look at how they are to evolve, using these latest technologies. This evolution is required in order to remain relevant, retain customers and market share, grow new market opportunities and exploit the new potential. The alternative is to find themselves replace or even made obsolete by challenger organizations who do not have the constraints of legacy or traditional IT to contend with. This is what is being referred to as digital transformation

A good, brief explanation of digital transformation is; the changing and development of existing and new business models underpinned by the latest technologies and an agile approach. These latest technologies include Cloud, Big Data, Internet of Things, Blockchain and Artificial intelligence (AI), etc. The most common of these technologies being adopted today is cloud.

Dealing with any disruption in our work or personal lives is difficult and challenging. Dealing with digital disruption and the execution of digital transformation is very difficult and very challenging. Fundamental changes in attitude, behavior, and culture are required at both an individual and organizational level. Also, upskilling in the application and management of these new digital technologies is required throughout the organization.

To help with these difficulties and challenges, new ways of working such as DevOps, Lean and Agile are gaining popularity. They are actively being used to achieve the scalability, flexibility, and innovation provided by the cloud model and the latest in digital technologies. Even ITIL was updated to ITIL 4.

Critical Problem

Ongoing research from the CCC continues to highlight a substantial problem for both organizations and IT professionals using and adopting cloud. In simple terms, far too many organizations and IT professionals do not have a clear understanding of what cloud actually is. They are lacking even a basic understanding of the fundamentals of cloud. Worse still they do not understand the context behind cloud even after adopting and using cloud services.

To put these finding to the test, arrange a Cloud Challenge™ in your organization. To run a Cloud Challenge, gather a number of people in a room, e.g. ten. Ask them this very simple, very fundamental question; ‘What is cloud?’ The answers received will be the same every time. The answers will be both varied and different. These varied answers clearly demonstrate a lack in understanding the context of cloud. Basically, no-one can provide a coherent, relevant and agreed definition or explanation of what cloud is with any real context behind it. This is a significant problem.

Opportunity for IT Service Management

Research from Gartner highlights that by 2022 almost a third of key enterprise spending on IT will be cloud-based. This represents a significant change affecting both the organization and its IT professionals. This also represents a significant opportunity for IT Service Management professionals at all levels to move both themselves and their IT function up the corporate value chain.

RU Digital Ready?

Today, technology training is still very important, as digital technologies continue to change and evolve. What is less recognized is; upskilling IT professionals to deliver value from digital technologies is a necessity yet remains a significant gap and often overlooked. Focusing on technology alone will not deliver digital success, digital innovation or digital value. It will only deliver new technology. So, ask yourself one simple question. RU Digital Ready? … in the context of delivering digital value.

Upskilling Service Management Professionals for Cloud

As a recommended first step by the CCC, Service Managers should look at taking the Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) certification. The PCSM certification provides a significant level of education and context regarding cloud-enabling IT Service managers to lead and manage their organizations’ cloud initiatives. PCSM upskills IT Managers and Service Managers providing them with knowledge and information to deal with the following from a cloud perspective

  • Basic understanding of cloud
  • Hybrid cloud and hybrid IT scenarios
  • Service Level Agreements
  • Contracts and terms and conditions
  • Integration challenges
  • Consumer and end-user requirements
  • Data privacy and legislation requirements
  • Governance
  • Showing the value of cloud
  • Cloud strategy development

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Mark O'Loughlin

About the Author

Mark O'Loughlin is the Managing Director of the CCC. Mark is internationally recognized as a global thought leader and published author in digital IT, cloud computing, DevOps, cloud service management, and IT Service Management.

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