Report: Education Leads Way in IT Service Management Maturity Steps

EdTech spend is driving higher ed IT Leaders to be at the forefront of IT service management (ITSM) maturity, according to a new research paper.  Knowledge Centered Service (KCS) and Self-Service are taking center stage as resource constraints worsen and tech spend continues to rise.

The research from HDI, commissioned by TeamDynamix, found that despite resource constraints, education IT staff, along with information technology staffers in government and healthcare continue to lead the way in knowledge management, process controls, and other steps towards what is called “maturity” with respect to IT service management. Each of these industry sectors are affected by the rapidly expanding spend in technology despite not having enough IT resources to manage the technology. Having maturity means that IT departments are more likely to embrace process controls, change management, KCS, and self-service delivery.

Key numbers from the HDI report:

  • Despite pressure to keep up with technology trends, two-thirds of college IT professionals say that campus IT funding has yet to recover from budget cuts that began in the Great Recession of 2008.
  • IT professionals in education, government, and healthcare are 60 percent more likely to embrace change management than the overall IT population, and 65 percent more likely to leverage knowledge-centered service than their peers.

“Our research in the IT service management space is extensive,” said Roy Atkinson, senior writer and analyst at HDI. “Over the years, we have seen a trend toward improved adoption of knowledge management and knowledge-centered service. What we found interesting here is that government, education and health care are leading the pack. These sectors are facing rapid expansion and adoption of new technology, which creates a need for more efficiency and expanded use of KCS and self-service portals.”

Source: Shutterstock

New research from HDI, commissioned by TeamDynamix, found that despite resource constraints, education IT staff, along with information technology staffers in government and health care continue to lead the way in IT service management and knowledge-centered service

Executives from TeamDynamix said things will continue to change in government, education, and health care information technology. “The rapid influx of technology in these sectors will not slow down,” said Andrew Graf, chief product strategist at TeamDynamix. “In fact, all studies show that the pace of technology adoption and device proliferation will pick up speed. This places an immense strain on IT departments in education, government, and health care. Research tells us that the way to deal with this change is to improve process controls and to embrace self-service and knowledge management. Fortunately, this migration makes a significant positive impact very quickly.”

Several important elements of ITSM are worth noting as a result of HDI’s research.

IT departments in education are doing more with less.

The HDI report highlights that IT professionals in education have to do more with less and this efficiency might be a contributing factor why they are leading the pack. More than 70 percent of IT professionals in education say they are providing additional IT services beyond those that are typically expected of them.

IT departments embrace knowledge-centered service.

In education, IT departments stress the importance of knowledge-centered service, which is a knowledge-management method combining the production and maintenance of knowledge with the problem-solving interactions from providing services. The HDI report pointed out that individuals in education, as well as government and healthcare, are also setting the standard here.

KCS includes all of these elements in IT:

  • Knowledge being created through problem-solving
  • Content evolving with reuse and continued improvement
  • Collective experiences being stored in an accessible knowledge base
  • Learning, sharing and collaboration being rewarded in the process
Source: TeamDynamix

These higher education self-service portals use TeamDynamix for IT service management and are examples of ITSM “maturity”

The solve-evolve loop drives organizational change.

KCS elements can be part of a solve loop and an evolve loop. In the solve loop, individuals actively create, use, and improve knowledge. In the evolve loop, the collective knowledge grows from activities and tasks used to solve problems. Organizational change and improvement—or the organization’s evolution—occurs by analyzing the collective knowledge generated by solving problems.

Robust self-service is key to efficiency.

The HDI research also shows that 65 percent of end users contact support for assistance at some point. Possibly, the remaining 35 percent simply don’t have a question, but it is more likely that the individuals simply find their own answer to inquiries. This indicates the importance of self-service. Without a strong self-service system, IT departments don’t know which questions aren’t being addressed for users or which one’s were solved through other means such as Google-ing for solutions.

IT organizations need to ensure that a robust self-help system exists on their website. The self-help, normally accessed through a web portal, must be Amazon-like and Google-like, according to the research. The ease with which computer users access information on Amazon or Google is the expected norm. Researchers believe that the larger importance on “self-help” with education personnel is a direct result of tech-savvy young people who prefer to solve their own problems when questions arise.

Digital integration is a top goal in education

“Digital integration” is also seen as a top 2019 goal for educational institutions. With decentralized application procurement and organic growth of technology, IT in the educational field is becoming more complex. Integrated project management, according to the HDI report, ensures the design, configuration and handling of services is done in an effective manner. Every opportunity to coordinate and collaborate should be taken to avoid adverse technical and fiscal consequences.

TeamDynamix, which commissioned the report, offers IT service management and project management on a single cloud-based platform. A Virtual Roundtable hosted by the Project Management Institute and TeamDynamix on May 21 will feature five speakers discussing how their organizations reached greater project management maturity.

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