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A guide to change: Continual Service Improvement (CSI) to digital transformation

Change is constant in business today. Change has the power to increase profits and brings about growth. It can also improve productivity, employee satisfaction and develop customer relationships. Change is not something to be feared, but embraced!

Both digital transformation and continual service improvement (CSI) can help businesses advance. In this ‘Guide to change’ we look at how change can lead businesses to their desired results.

Types of change

Digital transformation, as the name suggests, involves transforming an element of the business with technology. This could be the adoption of new technologies, or replacing a manual process by introducing tech. That said, it is not merely an IT revolution. Digital transformation efforts must be holistic and align with business strategy. For example, efforts may modify the company culture, or enhance the customer experience. Whatever digital transformation looks like for your company, it is about reimagining and changing through digitalisation.

Continual service improvement (CSI), on the other hand, is more incremental. By utilising critical success factors (CSFs), companies can use metrics to identify where improvements can be made. Continual service improvement is about recognising opportunities to make IT services and processes better, and executing changes accordingly. Where digital transformation likely has more of an end goal, CSI is ongoing change and more about continually adapting.

How to deliver change

Whilst change efforts will vary from company to company, the processes of change within ITSM is largely consistent in terms of process. Change is commonly delivered through agile practices, usually with data at its core, and is delivered by talented individuals effectively working as a team. Innovation must be guided by strategic vision, and crucially, all change should be monitored. Let’s delve into this in more detail:

Vision

A clear strategic vision will ensure any digital change, improvements or transformations align with your overall business goals. CSI can also be employed to re-align IT services with vision.

Any change which will affect people, machines, or processes is sure to come with challenges. Vision is core in order to overcome these. By enlisting ITIL 4 practices, you can ensure focus is on value, customer experience and achieving goals. This is paramount for dealing with challenges, making good decisions and delivering change.

Agility

Continual Service Improvement and agility go hand in hand – recognise where incremental adjustments can improve service, then implement reforms through agile practices. Evolving your company’s digital capabilities can allow you to reform customer experience, boost the quality of service, lower costs, improve business health, and even build maturity. Similarly, ITSMs who are au fait with agile practices will have a much easier time implementing digital transformations. Adjustments will be made faster, and the change will be handled much more smoothly.

Data groundworks

Change is generally centred around data. Data can help form and guide decisions, and leveraging data can ensure change aligns strategically and is successful.

Successful change delivery relies upon data being consistent, easy to understand and interpret, and readily accessible. However, so often the opposite is true of company data! Huge amounts of data tend to be scattered, poorly formatted and hard to access. And so, data groundworks are essential prior to any change efforts. Not only will this bring data together, but it will also improve its quality and reliability for use in digital transformations or CSI changes.

Talents and teamworking

The right talent is needed to lead digital transformation, and this often falls to the CIO (Chief Information Officer). Whoever is responsible for heading up change within your organisation, it is paramount that their leadership toolkit equips them with the skills and talents to do so successfully.

Technology implementation and change initiatives are challenging responsibilities which require a strong understanding of both company vision and business operations. Digital transformation and CSI alike require team working. Creating and fostering collaborative working between the IT department and other business leaders and teams forms a more integrated approach. It could even mean a change effort is more likely to be financed and supported. The backing of the team, senior management and stakeholders is vital in order to triumph.

Monitoring

Finally, continual monitoring is key to delivering change. Whilst monitoring data metrics is part and parcel of continual service improvements, it is also a crucial factor in the success of digital transformation. By reviewing and assessing change against key performance indicators (KPIs) as an ongoing process, you will be in good stead for making valuable tweaks along the way, in order to align change with wider business goals.

Embracing a culture of change

Change is fundamental to progression. It has the potential to transform service, operations, and practices. It can add value and even open up new streams of revenue to be pursued. It can improve the state of challenges and streamline processes.

When change is second nature to you and your teams, you are able to adapt to external changes faster and with greater ease. You can innovate and develop the organisation’s practices through ongoing improvements, and pioneer digital transformation.

Follow our tips for delivering change and learn more about how change links to the ITIL service lifecycle with our accredited ITIL 4 courses; and you will be well on your way to embracing the culture of change.