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In this post found on Lean4it, the author discusses the various ways that IT is viewed by business, how IT views itself, and the various ways that both groups try to redefine information technology in such a way that it isn't information technol

Leave the “IT” in “ITSM”

In this post found on Lean4it, the author discusses the various ways that IT is viewed by business, how IT views itself, and the various ways that both groups try to redefine information technology in such a way that it isn't information technology anymore. For instance, people have suggested dropping the “I” or the “T” or both in ITSM. The author begins their discussion on this point: if we just called ITSM “Service Management”, what would separate that effort from any other kind of service management that exists (such as hotels or food service)? A bit tongue in cheek, surely, but the point holds water: IT is fundamentally what makes IT what it is, and simply removing that identifier doesn't necessarily change how IT looks to the boardroom or across the business. And how IT looks to the business is the reasons for the argument in the first place. According to the post, IT is viewed as out of touch with the business and unable to think or be strategic. The author doesn't necessarily disagree with that point, but also points out other divisions like HR or the squabbles between marketing as sales. Indeed, most every group within the business has some reason that they are likewise not aligned with it; so why should IT be singled out as the problem child? The author provides this quick story to illustrate that point: Really, only the CEO has the big picture. Any functional area has its own specialized language, reinforcing its particular concerns. I recall the time I was the only IT guy trapped in a room with some financial analysts trying to understand the nuances of  Activity Based Costing. At the end of the meeting, I said, “You realize you are all a bunch of geeks who speak a language nobody understands, right?” They laughed, because some of them had said the same of me. This story is the takeaway: each group within an organization has its own language and its own manner of doing work. It doesn't make it bad inherently, but it makes it bad when it's misunderstood. ITSM can be remarkably confusing to people who are far removed from the line of work, so learning to communicate clearly is a great way of making IT have a better appearance within the organization — a more lasting impact than getting rid of a few letters, in fact.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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