Continuous Business Process Improvement Reduces Operational Risks

Optimizing business processes positively affects an organization’s overall success, according to the results of the third part of OTRS Spotlight: IT Service Management 2023″. ITIL can help design, monitor, and continually improve processes, yet many don’t realize its potential.
  • In over half of U.S. businesses, business processes are not or are insufficiently defined and documented, according to OTRS Group survey
  • Just over 25 percent do not use either ITIL or other frameworks to establish and continually improve processes
  • Use of ITIL practices has positive impact on business success for vast majority

Cupertino, CA, 18. July 2023 – In today’s environment of economic uncertainty, business processes must be constantly optimized and modernized in order to retain existing customers and build new relationships. However, according to the results of the third part of the “OTRS Spotlight: IT Service Management 2023,” many U.S. companies have been neglecting this. In just over half of U.S. businesses, business processes are currently not (8 percent) or are only insufficiently (47 percent) defined and documented. Best practice frameworks, such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which help to set up and continuously improve services and processes specifically in IT service management (ITSM), but also across an organization, are currently used by around three quarters in U.S. (ITIL: 62 percent; others: 12 percent).

This leaves 28 percent of U.S. based companies without the clear benefits that come from taking care of their processes: For the 600 executives surveyed by OTRS Group in six countries, including 100 from the U.S., the most important benefits of business process management (BPM) are that it improves the quality of work (40 percent) and performance (37 percent), saves time (26 percent) and reduces costs (25 percent).

ITIL practices boost business success

ITIL implementers largely agree that the practices they use have an impact on business success. Only two percent do not name any of the ITIL practices they use as having an impact on operational success. The list of implemented ITIL practices with the greatest influence on business success is globally led by IT Asset Management at 24 percent. In the U.S., IT asset management (21 percent), Information security management (13 percent) and Software development and management (13 percent) top the list.

The fact that the use of ITIL is proving its worth is also reflected in the fact that in countries with higher ITIL adoption rates, more businesses plan to introduce more ITIL practices in the next twelve months. For example, 62 percent in the U.S. and 65 percent in Brazil already use ITIL, and about one-third each (31 and 33 percent, respectively) plan to implement additional practices.

ITIL makes business process management easier

It is true that companies that have not yet adopted ITIL have set up certain business processes – but far fewer than those that use ITIL practices. For example, 55 percent of all ITIL implementers surveyed and only 35 percent of those not using the framework have processes for IT asset management. A company is twice as likely to have implemented processes for supplier management if it uses ITIL than if it does not (28 percent vs. 16 percent).

Optimizing business processes cannot be done alone

To design and implement business processes, many involve their employees and other stakeholders in one or multiple ways. Most common among international respondents is offering trainings to employees and stakeholders to increase their understanding of processes and enable them to contribute to improving them (44 percent). Four out of ten companies regularly conduct surveys to gather feedback on processes. At 38 percent, almost just as many appoint a dedicated employee representative to act as a link between employees and the organization to provide feedback and suggestions on processes.

In the U.S., companies like to spread this burden over several shoulders: The most popular method here is to regularly invite employees and stakeholders to meetings or workshops to discuss and provide feedback on processes (21 percent). Other popular options include regularly conducting surveys among employees and stakeholders to gather their feedback about processes and offering training in processes to stakeholders to increase their understanding of processes (17 percent each).

Business processes under scrutiny: KPIs provide orientation

In ITSM, executives rely on various KPIs to measure how well their processes are working, in addition to feedback from their employees and stakeholders. Just under one in two of all respondents (47 percent) measure customer satisfaction (CSAT), while a good third (35 percent) measure service availability. Likewise, just under a third (31 percent) have even defined and measure individual key performance indicators (KPIs) for each ITSM process in place. In the U.S., managers place a particularly high value on CSAT (54 percent) and Service Availability (47 percent).

“In a market environment that is changing as rapidly as it is today, it is no longer sufficient to set up a process once and not touch it again. In other words, the principle of ‘We’ve always done it this way’ is becoming a real business risk,” explains Andreas Bender, VP Consulting at OTRS Group. “Business processes must be put to the test again and again and readjusted according to new requirements and conditions so that they remain efficient, customer- and goal-oriented. This requires suitable measures to involve all those who work with or come into contact with the processes in some way. Combined with appropriate KPIs, best practices from frameworks, such as ITIL, and the right software to support them, companies can thus get more out of their business processes for business success.”


About the “OTRS Spotlight: IT Service Management 2023” Study

The data used is based on an online survey conducted by Pollfish Inc. on behalf of OTRS AG, in which 600 business owners and executives in the U.S., Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore and Hungary participated between March 7, 2023, and April 8, 2023.

The full third part of the study is available for download here.

About OTRS Group

OTRS Group is the manufacturer and the world’s largest provider of the enterprise service management suite OTRS, awarded ITIL®4 Accredited Tool Vendor. It offers companies industry-independent solutions for structured communication in customer service, IT service management and security management. In addition to the core product OTRS, the security solutions STORM and CONTROL ensure efficient cybersecurity incident management and transparent documentation in accordance with standards such as ISO 27001.

Among its customers are Lufthansa, Airbus, Porsche, BSI (Federal Office for Security in Information Technology), Max Planck Institute, Toyota and TUI Cruises. The company consists of OTRS AG and its five subsidiaries OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil) and OTRS Magyarország Kft. (Hungary). OTRS AG is listed on the basic board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

For more information, see

Press Contact OTRS:
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Name Laura Bug
Phone +49 6172 681988-32

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