Technology has become entrenched in the way we do business, and as a result, IT has shifted from being a pure enabling capability within the business and is now seen as an equal partner in the business.

By Richard Peasey, managing executive of Marval Africa

Digital transformation has been a significant driver in the positioning of IT within business, and in many instances, IT itself is the business. Organisations that are focused on the digital transformation of their business are looking to structured mechanisms such as IT Service Management (ITSM) to enhance this transition. Properly executed ITSM strategies have the capability of assisting in the collaboration and alignment of services and products in order to provide the desired quality services.

Many organisations are transforming their business practices, and the financial sector, in particular, has embraced this digital transformation. Financial institutions leverage IT-based services such as mobile and internet banking, ATM services to enhance and leverage technology to better support their service offerings to their customers.

However, in order to best achieve a sustainable and long-term level of quality service delivery, the utilisation of ITIL, ISO standards and best practices will position an organisation to deliver on its defined services. However, in order to achieve this, a well thought out ITSM strategy needs to be out in place. This ITSM strategy will go a long way in supporting the business objectives.

Service is key

The financial industry is largely customer service-based, and consumers have over the past years become accustomed to receiving quality services through the effective use of integrated online services.

Financial institutions interact with consumers via a number of different online platforms with the primary goal of delivering relevant and quality services whenever and wherever the customer needs it.

However, consumers also need to trust the services they receive from the financial institution that provides them. it. Banks have prioritised information security as a critical component of focus in the delivery of their digital service offerings to ensure that the transactional processing is safe and secure. Although there are a myriad of regulations and standards adhered to, these regulations and standards are fundamental in allowing them to operate in a secure and trusted manner.

To ensure the correct adoption and management of effective security processes and reporting mechanisms ITSM has become an intrinsic and critical component of IT in the banking sector. ITSM underpins virtually every service that banks offer, both to consumers and internal customers.

The benefits of ITSM

ITSM provides organisations with a measurable guarantee on their desired outcomes. This extends beyond IT and into the business, taking into account the ultimate business goals of an organisation. To achieve structure and organisational alignment, ITSM goals need to be synergised with those of the business.

ITSM also underscores a banks credibility – a vital factor in an industry driven by trust. When banks are able to deliver on their commitments to customers, as well as to internal users, it provides evidence of their capability, experience and value. People want to do business with institutions they trust and having been certified in all aspects of ITSM gives credence to consumers’ and users’ trust in a bank.

Ultimately, ITSM is about being able to deliver the best value and quality of service within the fastest timeframe and at the most optimal cost.

It’s not ITSM if it’s not measurable

Many financial institutions claim to be ITSM capable, however, if it’s not measurable, it cannot be proven. Within the constantly evolving landscape of technology, which impacts on services delivered, it becomes increasingly important to be able to provide evidentiary based output to support the claim of being ITSM compliant.

ISO 20000 certification ensures that banks are auditing their processes and displays commitment to continual improvement interventions across all areas of their service delivery. With the changing landscape plus the introduction of new and emerging technologies, the process of continual improvement has become a critical focus area organisation will need to address going forward.