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A Journey from Manufacturing to Service Provision

Asia – A maturing ITSM market
The Asian region has, for a long time, been the world’s factory. Clothing carries the label ‘Made in India, Pakistan or China’, electronics come to us from Japan, China and Korea. But the digital marketplace is forcing a rapid change in this relationship.

No longer is Asia solely a source of physical goods, more and more the rest of the world is receiving services from this region. This change in focus has necessitated a rapid uptake of service management principles, and there is quite a bit of catching up to do.

Asia has been leading the world in the use of manufacturing methodologies such as Lean, KanBan, Six Sigma and the like, but has been slower in its uptake of frameworks like ITIL® and COBIT®.

ITSM must expand and mature

In order to support the quality provision of cloud-based services to a global audience it is essential that this region continue to expand and mature its IT service management capability.

The uptake has been strongest in the banking and telecommunications area in this region and we have led many successful projects based on the Kepner-Tregoe methodology, particularly in the banking arena where they are facing more and more pressure from regulatory agencies related to compliance.

With the intense competition in this sector, banks are forced to prove that they can meet the growing service expectations of their increasingly technology-enabled customers. They have realized that the way to do this is to improve their service capability, and to do this they need to adopt tried and true service management practices.

A relative immaturity

I have seen real growth in the uptake of ITSM skills in the past six or seven years, but there is still a relative immaturity in this area across the region. Pressure from customers both inside and outside of the region will continue to provide a strong impetus to ensure that service management maturity continues to grow.

There are a number of factors that are influencing the uptake of best practice principles in ITSM in the Asian region:

1. Competition – local and international

2. Budgetary requirements – the need to do more with less

3. A drive to increase customer satisfaction

4. Regulatory and compliance requirements

Certification is only one part of the equation
There has been a strong interest in ITIL and other certifications in the region, but this is only scratching the surface of what is needed to meet the demand. Learning the theory of ITIL is one thing; actually being able to apply what you have learned in a business environment is much harder.

This is where I think Kepner-Tregoe offers real value to the ITSM industry here as it provides a very practical way of applying ITSM principles to your work and gives a real advantage, particularly in the level of customer satisfaction experienced.

Kepner-Tregoe optimizes operational efficiency

While many manual processes have been eliminated through software-based automation, service recovery efforts still rely on rational thinking in order to achieve excellence.  Kepner-Tregoe’s methodology optimizes operational efficiency through a logical and systematic approach to IT service management, creating a common language throughout the IT organization.

Asia must catch up

Asia cannot afford to sit back and gradually take on the principles of service management, we need to play catch-up and reach the level of maturity that the rest of the world expects, because that is the field we are now playing on.


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