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Exploring Digital Service Management (DSM)

The evolution of Service Management

In past blog articles we have discussed the relationship between `traditional ITSM`, Agile and DevOps in relation to how these approaches can help us to fully understanding business and customer needs.

As organisations are reaching an ever-increasing level of digital maturity leading to increased delivery times to market, the need to evolve traditional Service Management approaches to make them more effective and support these Agile ways of working is becoming more urgent.  This post introduces Digital Service Management (DSM) and how this concept can help you achieve best practices that support high velocity delivery and continuous deployments.

What is DSM?

It’s easier to say what DSM isn’t rather than what it is. DSM doesn’t mean a set of new processes, procedures, or practices to compete with ITIL 4, IT4IT, Agile Service Management etc. Not at all. DSM is, the exploitation of technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IOT), Cognitive Computing and more, to manage the delivery of the services consumed by customers, stakeholders, and users.

This doesn’t mean that you will suddenly become ‘digitally mature’ by standing up a self-service portal or automating workflow and process activities. It means evolving and modernising the IT Service Management processes that you currently use.

A new approach

IT Service Management processes within organisations tend to be `implemented` in a project-based manner and often end up as manual, reactive, and not fit-for-purpose. DSM enables these processes to become proactive and `easier on the eye`, by leveraging technologies that provide predictive capabilities, such as AI and ML. Can you imagine a world where you don’t have to rely on somebody to spot an issue, and where technology can help to spot problems before something fails? That’s what DSM can do.

Furthermore, DSM allows tiered support models, that are typically in place in most organisations, to be replaced by a direct support model. The tiered support model recognises that the `symptoms` might not equate to the root cause of an issue and relies on a first level team to triage the issue first and then root it to the appropriate team.  This team investigates the issue further and attempts to resolve the incident.  If they can’t, they will either route the issue to a third level of support or to another team that they think can better resolve the issue.  This can result in extended resolution times as tickets bounce between teams before finding the right home.

With the direct support DSM model, the technological tools route the issue automatically to the right team based on an understanding of the current state of the environment and learnings from similar issues that have been seen in the past. This ensures that issues are resolved by the correct team efficiently and effectively, hopefully before the issue has been experienced by customers and users.

Finally, the experience of the customers and users will change. Rather than dealing with a human Service Desk agent when trying to report an issue, they will engage with ChatBots and Virtual Agents that will use AI and ML to simulate the experience of dealing with an individual. This ensures that the user is dealing with ‘someone’ who has a more complete knowledge of the environment and can resolve their issue quicker than being routed through different support teams.  If the technological agent doesn’t have the answer, then the user will be routed through to a person.

AI and ML aren’t investments that just work out of the box and immediately provide the expected benefits.  They must be fed with the right information and then gradually learn from ‘experience’. The long-term benefits of using technology to deliver DSM will greatly outweigh the initial implementation hurdle.

DSM doesn’t fix everything.  Poorly designed processes remain poorly design processes.  In fact, DSM will emphasise where these poor processes are in place.  Skills will need to be in place to ensure that the DSM technologies continue to learn and develop to provide the expected benefits. The DSM tools don’t just work, they must be maintained and continually developed.

DSM will transform Service Management, not replace it.

If you are at a stage of your Service Management journey where you realise that your approach needs to change as it is no longer meeting expectations, please do get in touch. We can relate to the challenges you are facing and can work with you to help you move forward confidently into the digital world.


We have been in business for 25 years and are helping companies and organisations across several market sectors to modernise their Service Management strategy and focus to be effective in a Digital, DevOps world.

If you would like to discuss how iCore can help you then contact us on +44 (0) 203 821 1252 or email us at info@icore-ltd.com