In preparation for presenting at this years ITSM14 I started to think about the future of service management. In 2030 we can guarantee the world will be very different and service management will have reacted to the changes, adapted, grown and evolved to be something incomparable to the service management we live and breath today. Service management has reached an event horizon moment, the point of no return where organisations at last believe in the benefit of the service management team and the process and would not consider trying to deliver their business without it.

ITSM14 asked me to gaze into my crystal ball and try to have a conversation about what service management would look like in 2030, rather than resort to the magic of a crystal ball I took to Siri and Google and the wealth of expertise that is out there to try to form a story.

One of the areas we have tried to impact upon within my organisation is to try to improve the understanding of service management and attempt to move it away from being always seen as an IT need and function. The concept of the service desk is perhaps the most prominent element of the service management discipline. So using the service desk as the hook for the organisation we are trying to push forward an understanding of what a service desk can do as a single point of contact for the organisation rather than as a help desk for IT. What will the service desk look like in 2030, we would want it to be the single way that anyone gets access to the organisation, but managing to deliver that in a world where concepts like the internet of things and the way in which technology has been consumerised will impact upon how the desk provides its service. A service desk that is always on and can react to any user will be a requirement of 2030, understanding who the consumer is will be more to do with if they are in contact then they must be a consumer of services rather than trying to validate every connection.

How will we provide service management for the Hoverboard? Seventeen years ago the director of Back to the Future announced that the Hoverboard would be on sale that Christmas, he was joking! But as we get 6 weeks away from Christmas 2014 the Hoverboard will be on sale and the concept of how to support it must be giving the development company a headache. You couldn’t really have a call centre with an IVR if you were on the board!

What will service processes look like when change happens at the user level every moment of every day? We see now Google releasing four releases a day of some of the applications, our organisation is using these applications and is not impacted by this! The service process to manage that kind of change is huge if the service processes of yesteryear were applied, and yet already we see an organisation like Google cutting a new cloth for the future of service management, real time reactions to issues and the mobilization and close down of rapid support and development projects like never before seen.

Successful service management in 2030 will require us to remove the concept of users, maybe even the concept of customers – service management needs fans! And, as we define who those fans are we can start to use the same ideals to create the best profile for the service management professional, what character traits make up the best Service Delivery Manager compared to the Problem Manager. In 2030 you can imagine the change in these characters, but, by analyzing, watching and listening the team structures can evolve around the consumer and continue to create a fan base.

Change process to manage change – If Service Management is here to support more being done faster, seamless and instant access to systems what will that look like. Not just the commoditization of IT but also a ‘Digital Deluge’, when the number of devices outweighs the population 6 to 1 (A real prediction for some countries) then service delivery will need to accept the levels of control it can perhaps have need to be different and that education of the business will perhaps be the most cost effective way to protect the business.

All in all 2030 service management will be exciting that is for sure, and the event horizon has passed, there is no going back. I believe the key is to keep watching, allow service to evolve quickly and maintain core concepts throughout.