The evolution of IT service management has been consistent since its initial deployment in the 1980s as a data center management tool to more recently becoming a significant resource for business, dev, and ops teams. Therefore it’s no surprise that the 2020 digital shift now requires a much greater consideration of a distributed workforce, alongside mass migration from on-premise infrastructure.

According to Jon Brown, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, IT has traditionally acted as the “central conduits of ITSM”, minimizing risk from incidents through extensive change reviews, documentation focus, and repeatable processes. The issue with this concept in the modern technology landscape is that it limits visibility, thereby slowing the pace of work. In a high a high-velocity environment, this dulls a competitive edge.

Brown’s analysis highlights:

  • A 7% drop in companies mandating a return to the office for full-time employees, leading to a greater need for self-service approaches as employees are more distributed than ever before
  • 98% of the organizations studied by the ESG that maintained traditional ITSM models reported challenges in evolving with the modern needs of business and dev teams
  • Cross-functional collaboration is deeply inhibited by teams using disparate tools

To better streamline delivery while promoting innovation, a new generation of ITSM has emerged, offering teams greater flexibility and velocity within a regulated environment that IT can fully oversee.

Cultivating harmony between IT & dev

To manage risk, IT teams have traditionally exercised cautious, if not stringent, control over assessing and approving changes submitted by developers. However, this structure is polarized by the readiness of dev teams to ship updates for improved end-user satisfaction while remaining ahead of the competitive curve. The tension arising from this duality reinforces silos and hampers momentum.

According to ESG’s findings:

  • 38% described ineffective communication across departments as a challenge when deploying a traditional ITSM process
  • 25% described limited dev velocity as a challenge when deploying a traditional ITSM process

Adopting a modern approach to ITSM requires dev, IT, and operations teams to work on a shared platform to foster greater cross-team collaboration. Furthermore, modernization entails the automation of processes, workflows, and other repetitive tasks to reduce silos and accelerate innovation with enhanced risk management, quicker post-incident service restoration, improved decision making, and better prioritization of critical development work including problem management.

A modern toolset relies on adaptable architecture

The traditional “central command-and-control” ITSM approach standardizes service delivery with IT in the driver seat for building and managing services. While this approach may seem efficient from a distance, a closer look reveals other service teams unable to meet their needs due to the lack of customization due to the complex nature of legacy ITSMs being reliant on a small specialized IT group. Having to depend on such a group becomes a bottleneck for other teams developing and deploying their services.

ESG found that the traditional approach to ITSM often results in the following effects:

  • Slowed (or blocked) operations for business teams
  • Frustrated internal customers
  • High cost/effort to extend service management to business teams

Finding a modern approach relies on business teams developing and customizing their own service systems as needed on a platform with full IT oversight without creating obstacles for business teams. This approach enables greater autonomy as business teams are able to roll up their sleeves and fully own their services which reduces reliance on IT. For example, an HR team could develop their own service desk tailored to their team’s unique needs. By building on a shared platform that IT oversees, both the business team and the IT team would have shared confidence that they’re aligned to their organization’s standards.

According to ESG’s study, organizations that deploy a modern ITSM approach:

  • 41% see improved system/application responses to failures
  • 30% see fewer service outages
  • 38% see increased collaboration within & between teams
  • 33% reported reduced operational friction between teams

This balanced approach of allowing autonomy while also maintaining alignment empowers business teams from HR, to marketing, and more to deliver services even faster.

5 ways Jira Service Management could change your enterprise

Building the modern ITSM: enterprise stories


Funny enough, as ITSM practices evolve, so do our TV-watching habits. In a new era of “always on” programming competing with the newer social media realm, CBS knew that it had to take action to expand its bandwidth for innovation, and do it fast. CBS turned to Jira Service Management to connect their teams to streamline change, incident, and problem management while aligning all teams and making enterprise-wide visibility available.

“…for the first time, because of Atlassian, we have an accurate measure of our inputs and outputs in a very granular way. We have realized sizable increases in our throughput and bandwidth with the use of these tools.”

Mitch Cardwell, Vice President of Brand Identity and Systems, CBS


Scaling a business during rapid growth can be a challenge, to say the least. When Nextiva, a company specializing in business communications, saw its workforce double in just three years, it faced obstacles in providing top-notch service because teams were required to use multiple tools to manage internal systems. For Nextiva, the trick to delivering excellent service fast came about by adopting Jira Service Management which enabled them to win four Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service in only one year. This consolidation of tools has continued their success with a 94% customer satisfaction score.

“…we’re able to share the same platform as the rest of the organization so that we can work more efficiently. It’s been really helpful to have all of the integrations and have everything work together fairly seamlessly. It just makes everyone’s lives easier.”

Max Hurst, Information Technology Infrastructure Manager, Nextiva


Since 2013, creative platform Canva has scaled to over 40 million users worldwide. Due to its rapid growth, Canva had to scale its internal tools and processes to accommodate an influx of needs – enter Jira Service Management. By leveraging automation features through Jira and Jira Service Management respectively, Canva’s Internal Infrastructure team has saved 150 hours per month while processing 5,000 tickets annually. According to software engineer, Andrew Toolan, “Having a structured approach to our workflows with products like Jira has really helped streamline the way we work” – not a bad level of confidence for scaling 40 million users.

“Having Jira Software and the Jira Service Management setup gives me the confidence that I can forward a query to someone and it’ll be picked up and dealt with.”

Andrew Toolan, Software Engineer, Canva

See my savings: The ROI of Jira Service Management

So, why Jira Service Management?

Modern teams need modern solutions. Jira Service Management brings all service teams together on one unified platform, fostering an optimal environment for collaboration. With Jira Service Management, you can empower teams across the enterprise to respond to business changes and deliver exceptional service for employees and customers alike—all while opening up work across your organization and unleashing the full power of your teams.

For a deeper dive into Senior Analyst Jon Brown’s findings on the evolution of IT service management, check out Enterprise Strategy Group: Modern ITSM Requires Autonomy With Alignment to see why the future of digital business relies on autonomy with alignment.

Finally, if you would like to experience the future of service management without commitment, make sure to take advantage of Atlassian’s free trial offer for Jira Service Management to experience a modern approach to service management across teams.

Navigating change in IT Service Management: balancing autonomy with alignment