Want to be appreciated as an ITSM professional? Train yourself as a businessman. Present and future ITSM roles will not be based on technical and operational capabilities only but would require a deeper understanding of business needs to design and deliver the tools which could add real value to the organisation and its people.

According to some recent surveys, a new set of soft skills and capabilities is being requested when applying for ITSM jobs. The ideal candidate knows how to unravel complex workflows, cross-function processes and intercompany procedures. He or she is aware of the outcomes of IT operations and does not consider them as mere internal services. These Business Relationship Management (BRM) capabilities allow the organisation to bridge the gap between IT and the existing lines of business, thus contributing to create demand for new tools and applications, and ensure an adequate ROI from any IT investment.

If IT is genuinely intended as a business facilitator, ITSM staff need to have customer experience skills: employees’ and end users’ satisfaction is a key parameter to measure the quality of service and performance levels. Don’t underestimate this, as people expectations towards IT continue to rise, and who succeeds in creating a superior user experience and improving availability, engagement and quality of current services will probably deserve better career opportunities.

Communication and collaboration skills are also required, as ITSM professionals normally work in small teams where leadership and a problem-solving attitude are fundamental to achieve the best possible results with the lowest possible effort, saving time and costs. More than other roles, personal flexibility, the ability to deal with complexity and work under pressure are appraised.

But the focus on innovation is probably becoming the most sought-after skill, although it is difficult for recruiters to recognise it at first sight. As companies struggle to remain competitive and consider innovation as a strategic lever, ITSM professionals are more and more requested to develop new ideas and concepts, transforming them into valued business tools — impacting team and people productivity, organisational agility and financial results.