Optimize your ITSM tool and be on top of your IT challenges. Here’s what you need to know!
Organizations have become increasingly dependent on IT management. Companies would lose a competitive edge without IT. Technology’s reach and responsibilities continue to expand to address evolving needs, challenges, risks, and so on. The IT function has become so complex and far-reaching that successful organizations now run it as a business within the larger organization.
Running a successful business, particularly one as complex as IT management, requires a robust approach, processes, and tools, and those approaches have developed into IT service management (ITSM), and the tools have taken the form of ITSM software or solutions.
Here Is Why Your Business Needs ITSM
You might require an ITSM tool without even knowing it. How do we know? Well, technology plays a larger role in organizations than ever before, and that footprint is rapidly expanding. If IT is not properly managed, issues can have a major negative impact on the business’s bottom line that will only compound over time if left unresolved.
ITSM is a proven way to manage and deliver the IT services that keep organizations running smoothly. While management is possible without ITSM, it is difficult to deliver consistently and effectively and will only become more challenging as IT organizations see increased influence and demand. We found the ITSM Tool article helpful in learning about the important ITSM statistics to help you evaluate whether an ITSM tool is worth investing in.
With the emergence of ITSM as a service, it is now much easier to implement ITSM than ever before. Organizations can implement robust, proven service management tools, such as self-help libraries, ticketing tools, and other popular applications. Here are six recommendations to help you choose the right ITSM solution:
Firstly, you need a clear understanding of what your organization require from an ITSM Solution
Tip 1: Start with an ITSM Maturity Assessment
You may already have a fairly good idea of the capabilities you need your ITSM software to provide. You want great IT service desk capabilities, including a modern IT self-service catalogue, a comprehensive configuration management database (CMDB), robust IT ticketing and issue tracking, and contract and service-level agreement (SLA)management, to name just a few.
Be sure to determine which information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) processes you need to support. Only the most mature organizations have implemented all the ITIL processes, but it’s important to think ahead to where you want to be. This is important because some tools sell processes as modules that you must purchase separately. The ITIL processes ideally include the following:
- Change Management
- Incident Management
- Problem Management
- Service Catalogue
However, before you can start compiling your features checklist to lock in on your specific ITSM requirements, we encourage service desk decision-makers to start with a process maturity assessment. There are many self-assessment maturity models available, so it is advisable to be familiar with all of them.
The assessment models will give you a snapshot of your current state of IT maturity and are designed to provide you with contextual advice, both tactical and strategic, on how to improve. Without an improvement roadmap, you risk investing in an IT service management tool that’s not aligned with your future business goals.
Tip 2: Determine Your Key ITSM Tool Integrations
IT organizations should determine how the service management tool will fit into their broader portfolio of IT operations management tools after conducting a maturity assessment. In extremely siloed organizations, each IT domain (end-user computing, server administration, network administrators, etc.) owns and manages its own IT management tools.
For years, IT organizations have falsely assumed that the only way to achieve this cross-portfolio integration is to purchase all their tools from the same vendor. However, this is not always the optimal approach from the standpoint of meeting functional requirements and cost objectives.
Thanks to the evolution of application integration capabilities, integrating ITSM tools with other products is no longer as costly or as daunting as it once was. Taking advantage of this opportunity requires IT organizations to understand their existing portfolio of IT management tools. They should also determine which integrations make sense and research which ITSM vendors can meet those requirements. While some vendors may advertise “code-free” customization or configuration, be sure to investigate exactly what that means. Ideally, product integrations can be added in a modular manner that doesn’t require costly development resources or professional services to implement.
Tip 3: Tap into ITSM Industry Analyst Expertise
As part of your due diligence, it is wise to participate in demos, talk to vendor references, read product reviews, and speak to your peers about their experiences with IT service management tools. We also encourage you to review analyst reports such as the Gartner for ITSM SaaS Delivery Capabilities to help you narrow down the playing field. It’s important, however, to note that these reports do not provide an exhaustive list of available solutions, nor does their research methodology necessarily represent the most appropriate approach for your organizational profile and ITSM goals.
If you have a relationship with an analyst who focuses on ITSM tools, reach out to them to enlist his or her help. Analysts can be invaluable in understanding which IT service management solutions make the most sense given your maturity level, requirements, and budget. They can also review your contract, pricing, statement of work and anything else the vendor puts on your table.
Tip 4: Evaluate the ITSM Vendor’s Value as a Business Partner
While it may seem somewhat cliché, you need to view your vendor as a business partner because you aren’t just choosing an IT service management tool, you’re choosing a partner for a longer period. One great way to evaluate this is to review a vendor’s ability to adhere to a product roadmap schedule. Take note that a vendor’s commitment to you may vary on the size and scale of your organization, if you are a smaller organization, make sure you speak with references or peers with a similar organizational profile to your own.
Tip 5: Evaluate Your Licensing and Hosting Options
Be sure to obtain a solid understanding of short-and long-term licensing and hosting options. Do you need a separate production, staging, training, or development environment? Do you need an on-premises or cloud-based solution? If you are leaning toward one model, what assumptions are driving your preference? If you are looking for a cloud-based ITSM tool, do you plan to host it directly or through a third party, and what are the associated costs? One thing to consider is that cloud-based solutions often appear attractive from a cost perspective because you’re not spending as much money upfront. Still, over time you may find yourself spending more than you would under a perpetual model.
Pro tip: perform a financial analysis across various scenarios before you can effectively compare vendors on cost factors to develop and understand the total cost of ownership.
Tip 6: Focus on Improved Customer Experience
Lastly, do not neglect the business perception of IT when you select your ITSM solution. One of the primary goals of your ITSM implementation should be to increase end-user self-sufficiency and improve the IT-business relationship. IT organizations must therefore understand how their service management tools facilitate such improvements. For example, does your potential solution provide an IT self-service portal that is easy to customize and configure? Does the solution provide a means of gathering information and context about users so that support analysts have relevant and timely information that can improve the end-user experience? Does it provide comprehensive, out-of-the-box reporting that shows IT’s impact on both IT and business stakeholders? These things matter as the IT service desk drives the perception of the entire IT organization.
Some other ITSM implementations may have fallen short because they have been more about processes and less about services. In the rush to implement ITSM, many organizations focus on designing and implementing processes. The notion of a “service”, the value and outcomes delivered to the business, often becomes secondary, or in many cases, ignored. Another negative outcome is business IT misalignment.
IT Service Management tool will allow you to:
Standardize processes – As IT teams grow, it’s both increasingly important and increasingly difficult to maintain consistency. Inconsistent processes and standards can lead to confusion and discord within an organization. ITSM creates a standardized process for an entire organization, taking the guesswork and individual decision-making out of IT service management.
Streamline simple tasks – Simple and common issues such as password reset requests and communicating ticket status updates are important but can take a lot of time. Creating an IT self-service portal, a common aspect of ITSM allows IT personnel to focus on more critical issues and business initiatives.
Make data-driven decisions – Well-implemented ITSM solutions will result in real insights and data about your organization. This information can be aggregated and analysed, allowing companies to make smarter decisions and adjustments based on real, quantifiable needs.
Get in touch with us here to learn more about how our agile business software can be configured to meet your exact needs for contract management, IT service management, customer support, and more. To provide you with additional resources here is our ITSM article on how you can implement the ITSM tool easily in just 7 steps.