Who is Stealing Your BSM Thunder?

While CIOs may driving the decision to define and implement business service management (BSM), several other roles—including IT Director, IT manager, CEO, COO, and business line manager—may be the actual catalyst for BSM adoption.

As a CIO, are you missing out on the opportunity to lead your organization’s BSM adoption?

Leaders of BSM initiatives have achieved a variety of benefits for their organizations including cost reduction, improved service quality and greater agility. With the increasing reliance of businesses on IT, BSM has the potential to deliver competitive differentiation and increased profits. In many cases, BSM has fundamentally transformed IT organizations from technology focused cost centers to value added business partners.

Some of the most common benefits of BSM include:

· Improved service quality

· Business and IT alignment

· Reduced IT operations costs

· Greater cross-silo collaboration

· Improved compliance with regulations and company policies

· Greater ability to support new business initiatives

This all means that leading the charge for BSM adoption makes good sense for the business, for IT, and for those individuals savvy enough to be in the BSM driver’s seat.

As part of a larger research study on BSM, we asked 91 companies that are using or planning to use BSM technologies: “Who in your organization drove or is driving the decision to define and implement BSM?” The top six roles (in order) driving BSM were: CIO, IT director, IT manager, CEO, COO and line of business managers. The role of CIO has a slight lead over IT Director, a role which commonly reports to the CIO. However, there are a number of other roles that also compete for BSM leadership.

Note that three of these roles—CIO, IT director and IT manager—clearly reside in the IT organization. Together they comprise 58% of the roles driving BSM. Other C-level roles, specifically the CEO and COO, together comprise 24% or about 1/4 of the roles responsible for initiating BSM. Interestingly, business line managers are also a notable catalyst, launching BSM about eight percent of the time. Clustering the data as described provides three separate groups from which BSM leadership may emerge: the IT organization, C-level managers and business line managers.

Each of these three groups appears to have some unique motivation for driving BSM. The largest group, the IT department, has responsibility for delivering IT services. And BSM is, of course, a leading service management methodology used to deliver those services.

The C-level group has primary strategic responsibility for their organizations, and BSM, in support of strategy, is known to align IT with business needs as well as support new business initiatives.

Finally, business line managers are accountable for profit and loss within their business lines and often have critical dependencies on IT to meet their financial objectives.

While each of the groups has clear and legitimate motivation to push for BSM adoption, the IT organization ultimately must implement the majority of a BSM projects. However, CIOs are not taking advantage of many of the available opportunities to lead BSM adoption for their companies. This is not meant to imply that every BSM initiative should start with the CIO. On the other hand, CIOs need to consider the position they could be placed in by not leading the initiative. The CIO may be seen as lacking strategic focus or not supporting business needs.