Cloud computing, mobility and other emerging technologies are fueling a sweeping change in how organizations deliver and support IT services. With such a large-scale shift happening across the industry, service desk teams need to be prepared to rethink and refresh their practices in response to their new role in the organization. In fact, so much has changed that a recent Information Age report suggested that the IT Infrastructure Library best practices need to be refined once again in light of cloud computing’s pervasive impact on organizations.

The Changing Role of ITIL

According to the news source, the ITSM framework put in place as the ITIL has changed and evolved over the years as technology requirements within organizations shift. This has proven necessary, in large part, because the ITIL has roots going back to the 1980s and so much has happened in the IT world since then that the core principles that define service management best practices have needed to be refined. Now, we are looking at another major shift in how organizations support users and manage IT services, making a close look at the ITIL and broad service management strategies necessary.

Industry expert Andrew Brabban explained that the need for improved ITSM practices comes in large part as cloud computing forces IT and support teams to take a new approach to meeting user needs.

“The introduction of cloud has meant that support processes need to be reviewed and amended to reflect the way each service provider delivers their support,” Brabban told the news source. “While in the past support could often be tailored to meet a client’s particular needs, with cloud the support a cloud provider delivers is standardized for all clients. And the support offered will vary across cloud services. Hence, cloud demands that ITSM processes are much more federated, supporting the service desk as an aggregator of service delivery.”

Industry expert Kaimar Karu, who works with an organization devoted to revising the ITIL best practices and standards to make them more relevant for contemporary needs, told Information Age that the company is taking a collaborative approach to updating the best practices. He also explained that businesses should avoid treating the ITIL as a sacred text and instead become more flexible and adaptable based on their actual requirements.

The Cloud May be the Solution to the Cloud

Cloud computing creates ITSM challenges because of the way it alters the service delivery landscape and forces support teams to take a broader, more strategic approach to meeting business needs. Cloud-based IT service desk suites may end up being the solution to these problems.

Deploying the service desk through the cloud frees organizations to add new modules and features with relative ease. This added flexibility allows companies to fine tune their service desk to their specific needs rather than having to buy a bundled solution that is going to end up leaving them with complex integration processes, rigid licensing agreements and significant risk that parts of the solution end up becoming shelfware.

The added flexibility in terms of adding modules and refining the technical capabilities of the service desk can end up expanding out to easier process management, a smoother path to automation and better workflow management. All of these factors come together to create a situation in which support workers can get the job done more flexibly and adapt to changing demands. This includes being able to provide the overarching support framework for users that are leveraging services from a variety of different cloud vendors.

While IT support and service management needs have changed, the technologies that empower service desk teams are becoming more sophisticated, creating potential for innovation.