You probably interact with several hardware and software assets during a typical workday. It’s imperative for businesses to ensure that they are always available to you.
What makes this possible? IT service management (ITSM) includes designing, implementing, managing, and delivering IT services.
You might think that your company doesn’t practice ITSM, but chances are it does. Even if a small business has a designated ‘IT guy’, it’s implementing some form of IT service management. An international survey of 491 firms showed how 90% of them implement ITSM in some form or the other.
However, before we dive into the finer details of ITSM, we need to understand what IT services are.
Your company must have numerous pieces of technology, such as laptops, an internet router, printer, and so on. Of course, you also have to get various apps installed on the laptops. You need to reset the passwords periodically too. All these are services that the IT team or IT manager provides. Hence, they’re IT services.
All these services are important for the normal functioning of a business. Let’s say the laptops don’t have the requisite app installed. This will obviously increase the idle time of the employees because they don’t have the necessary resources to do their work. In such cases, you need some form of IT service management in place to ensure that all the laptops are ready for work.
Why you need ITSM
In a nutshell, setting up management of IT service processes enables companies to improve the quality of service, ensure greater compliance, and more. Here’s a whole list of reasons why you need to implement ITSM:
- Standardize processes with the help of a more structured documentation system.
- Reduce IT costs by building a predictable IT organization and reducing mishaps.
- Mitigate various types of risks, such as financial cost control, and improve governance.
- Uncover actionable IT insights to the front-line to help in decision-making.
Common ITSM processes
ITSM processes help you in managing IT services. They are necessary to gauge the service’s capabilities, how it performs, and whether it requires any changes. Here are some vital ITSM processes:
1. Service level management
As the name implies, this helps you maintain and improve the level of service you provide your customers. It also helps the organization meet Service Level Agreements (SLA).
2. Change management
This includes a set of standard methods and procedures to manage all the changes within ITSM services.
3. Release management
This includes the testing, release, and verification of any changes to the IT environment.
4. Incident management
Incident management tackles any incidents on a day-to-day basis to restore normal and acceptable service. The goal is to maintain minimal impact on business functioning.
5. Availability management
The goal is to decrease service outages by optimizing IT infrastructure capabilities.
6. Capacity management
Capacity management aids the company in managing current resources. It also allows you to easily plan for any future resource requirements.
7. Project management
This type of management is necessary for IT firms to maintain regular services while avoiding issues such as outdated systems.
8. Finance management
Finance management is important to manage your company’s costs so you can meet financial obligations.
9. Problem management
Most IT firms fail to solve the root cause of any problem and instead simply make do with temporary solutions. This only leads to further incidents in the future. However, with problem management, the company learns to fix the initial cause of problems to improve performance.
Top 5 ITSM challenges
To put things in perspective, let’s go over the top 5 challenges that companies commonly face.
Challenge 1: IT security
While technology is growing to aid us in several ways, malpractice is on the rise as well. With the growth of technology, there’s been a surge in malware and data breaches. 65% of companies have a genuine concern about their organization’s security.
To deal with these security issues, companies are willing to invest a substantial amount of time, money, and effort. Integrating ITSM is an ideal solution for organizations looking to reduce these risks. With the help of an ITSM, companies enjoy greater visibility of assets, both hardware, and software. This visibility helps decrease the chances of assets getting lost or corrupted.
Challenge 2: Collaboration and knowledge
Collaboration and social knowledge are among the most important aspects IT organizations are focusing on. Both have distinct roots in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is simply a set of detailed ITSM practices meant to align IT services with your business needs.
To continue the development and improvement of social knowledge management, your organization needs to move away from traditional methods. You need to shift from creation to capturing; something that ITSM can help with. By putting ITSM practices to use, you can curate knowledge that is more useful and shareable.
When it comes to collaboration, you need to align resources to ensure that all your staff is working with the same knowledge. This leads to an environment with greater clarity as well as more accountability.
Challenge 3: Migration
Most companies realize that ITSM is critical for the organization’s success. This is why successfully migrating to a dependable ITSM solution is a top priority for most organizations.
But why is it a challenge? It’s because the process of moving the entire organization on to a new ITSM solution is a lengthy and laborious task. While it is beneficial for the company once adopted, the setup itself is enough to dissuade companies.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts when migrating to ITSM. If you want to set up the best ITSM solution that meets your business needs, then you’ll have to put in the time and effort.
However, you can try finding a solution that makes the entire process easier for you. If you choose the right product, the customer service department will do most of the work for you, so you don’t have to stress.
Challenge 4: Upgrades
For those who have already implemented an ITSM solution, their biggest challenge is upgrading. Any upgrading of the current ITSM in place comes with a number of common headaches that all companies experience. These mostly include complexity with applications, the ability to migrate integrations, and ensuring your versions are compatible through multi-stage upgrades.
You can overcome such difficulties easily by looking for an ITSM solution that provides you with simple and risk-free maintenance processes. Look for one that has been purposefully designed to make maintenance as seamless as possible. Doing so will help you decrease overhead costs.
Challenge 5: IT maturity
While not a major challenge, IT maturity is still one worth discussing. A higher level of maturity is necessary for the growth of any company’s IT department. Utilizing relevant ITSM is crucial to help build such maturity.
There are several key attributes that you can work on to help build IT maturity. Some of these include:
- Do away with wasteful projects from your IT portfolio.
- Remove redundant services that don’t help to differentiate your business from competitors.
- Decommission any deadwood legacy systems.
- While aligning ITSM with business needs is good, ideally, you should aim for a more structured fusion.
- Invest in your people as well. Conduct training for your IT department and build their morale. This helps in increasing maturity.
Benefits of ITSM
Apart from obviously solving all these challenges, there are also myriads of benefits that ITSM offers businesses.
For example, it helps serve as a competitive advantage over all others who still stick to traditional methods. You can also enjoy improved work efficiency with optimized processes, automation, and alerts. All such benefits help to remove the overall manual effort and decrease the number of errors. Other benefits are further discussed below:
1. Improved efficiency
ITSM helps optimize processes and workflows, bring about automation, and set up important alerts. As a result of such changes, your business is going to save time by decreasing manual effort and rework.
2. Self-service efficiencies
With the help of an ITSM system, your employees can find solutions to their problems much quicker through self-help. Employees can also log in to their issues and place requests by themselves via self-service, which leads to fewer calls to the service desk. Furthermore, automated solutions also help reduce the stress on your service desk agents.
3. Greater control
Implementing ITSM brings you increased control and governance. This is because you can use enterprise service management processes to set up internal controls. These controls will in turn help provide insights into the actions of your employees and how they use any assets. You’ll know who is doing what and when.
4. Using a fit-for-purpose
If you implement an ITSM solution for enterprise service management, you’ll find that all employee issues and requests are dealt with in a much smoother way. You will no longer lose track of requests or have to deal with service delays due to the inefficiency of individuals.
5. Better customer experience
ITSM can help your company deliver a differentiated customer experience, one that is more fitting in the digital age. For starters, ITSM shifts your company’s “inside-out” approach to a more “outside-in” strategy.
This helps your company prioritize the customer’s needs and look at things from their perspective. Any services or products that you then design are meant to deliver frictionless interactions.
6. Increased collaboration
Collaboration is essential in companies to ensure that customers are getting the maximum value from service management. Catering to the need for collaboration, enterprise service management makes it easier for different business functions to share work or to work on it simultaneously.
Time to invest in ITSM!
While ITSM comes with its own set of challenges, it will do wonders for your organization. Especially if your business is highly reliant on IT, then ITSM forms the backbone for delivering services. In today’s competitive business landscape, investing in ITSM is no longer an option but a necessity.
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