Modern businesses shift and evolve rapidly, but the need for strong IT service management (ITSM) remains constant. It is crucial for organizations to build and maintain a sustainable IT system to accelerate business growth and promote digitization.
Increasingly, IT departments are expected to do more with less, all the while improving IT responsiveness to governance, risk management, incident management, and more. Adding further complexity to an already intricate environment, IT systems need to smoothly integrate upgraded tools and applications into business workflows as technology evolves at an exponential speed.
Organizations, therefore, require efficient ITSM to quickly and proactively address problems before they impact business operations.
What is ITSM?
ITSM, or IT service management, refers to a set of IT policies, processes, and practices put in place to ensure that IT services are aligned with the business needs. By encompassing all managerial components of information technology, ITSM governs the way these practices are architected, delivered, and maintained in the organization.
As all this cannot be achieved manually, ITSM comprises multiple tools, processes, and frameworks implemented to facilitate the management. Moreover, ITSM solutions can also be designed to address the needs of specific industries like healthcare, construction, finance, and more.
Most organizations today rely on ITSM tools to execute policies and processes that drive agility, operational efficiency, automation, and customer satisfaction. However, due to the rapid evolution of the ITSM software market, businesses find it challenging to choose ITSM software with the right features that fulfill their functional requirements.
In this blog, we will highlight some of the must-have features an ITSM software should have, the benefits it can bring to your organization, and the integrations that enable your ITSM software to work better than ever.
Must-have features of ITSM software
As your organization embarks on a digital transformation journey, it is natural to expect that IT services offer deeper support to business functions. Some businesses experience higher ROI with a particular set of ITSM features while other organizations find a different set of features more useful. Although most of the critical ITSM features are subjective to use cases and vary among organizations, there are still some basic features that your ITSM software should offer.
1. Asset discovery and management
Although asset discovery and management are predominately an ITAM solution’s features, their integration with ITSM tools offers complete visibility and control into the IT environment.
With this integration, you can effectively manage changes, configurations, provisioning, deployment, licensing accesses, and incidents. This will enable actionable insights and data-driven decision-making across all IT assets without exhausting your IT teams. By tracking all IT assets in real-time, this integration would automate the configuration and would allow you to offer enhanced remote IT support.
2. Incident management
The consequences of unplanned downtime can be disastrous. It not only costs your organization money but also results in lost productivity and impaired business processes. According to an Everbridge report, unplanned IT downtime costs organizations approximately $8,662 and it takes an average of 27 minutes to assemble IT response teams in the event of an incident.
Automating incident management with ITSM software enables your IT teams to offer swift and proactive incident management to help address the issues before they escalate and disrupt your business processes. An ideal ITSM software will allow your IT teams to use historical data to predict future issues, enabling you to take necessary actions to keep the operations running smoothly.
3. Configuration management
From tracking the configurations of and relationships between various IT assets to ensuring that any changes to the IT environment go smoothly through a single database, configuration management in ITSM manages it all. It helps your teams to better understand the IT environment and enhances the capabilities of your ITSM software.
The state of hardware and software assets shift often in highly engaging IT environments. IT teams should update the configurations regularly based on updated company policies and to meet the requirements for different end-users. The updated state of these assets is stored in the ITAM solution and the configuration information is maintained in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
By using information from the ITAM tool, your CMDB will be able to keep updated information about assets history, relationships, and licensing. By integrating these processes with an ITSM solution, you will be able to better track your IT assets in real-time and avoid the risk of non-compliance.
4. Knowledge management
To encourage problem-solving with self-service support, knowledge management is the ITSM capability to constantly improve the effective and convenient use of information. Coupled with your ITAM tool, it becomes a knowledge repository solution that reduces incident resolution time, asset downtime, and overhead costs. Along with assets lifecycle knowledge, it offers workflows to publish, manage, and optimally utilize growing knowledge assets, hence simplifying the knowledge creation and management process. According to a report, average first-level resolution rates are higher for technical support organizations with knowledge management systems (70.3% service requests; 67% for incidents).
Benefits of ITSM software
The impact of ITSM software extends beyond IT infrastructure management and impact the entire business. A holistic approach to service, asset, and knowledge management standardizes key operational processes and enables self-service throughout the business. Along with the continuous improvement of operations and services, efficient ITSM software offers the following key benefits:
· Enhanced incident management: Its incident management capability dramatically improves the incident response and resolution time and employee productivity while minimizing operational and asset downtime.
· Reduced operational costs: By automating processes and implementing self-service portals, your ITSM tool helps eliminate unnecessary manual effort and reduces overhead costs. Employees can use self-service options for problem-solving instead of calling on the help desk for every minor issue.
· Greater visibility: Empowering your teams with intuitive and actionable knowledge, ITSM software provides a better understanding and tracking of your KPIs. Its business intelligence and reporting capabilities help you make actionable decisions so you can stay ahead of your competition at all times.
· Improved governance: IT service management software improves governance to a significant degree by delivering internal controls where necessary and by providing greater insight into the assets’ usage.
· Improved accountability: As ITSM software standardizes best practices and overall business processes, you can track that every process conforms to your set policies and procedures.
Connecting ITSM and ITAM — From silos to integrated systems
Where ITSM focuses on IT assets in terms of services, operations, and business values, ITAM tools manage IT assets in terms of locations, costs, risks, compliance, and security. Although both of these tools add value to your organization independent of each other, collaborating IT asset and service management can reap greater benefits. Collectively, these two form the backbone of IT infrastructure and operations by combining people, processes, data, and tools.
An integration between ITSM and ITAM would establish a seamless flow of IT processes across both disciplines. This collaboration will enable you to manage the life cycle of services and support cases, all the while handling underlying hardware and software assets. The integration can establish a seamless flow of IT processes across both disciplines.
Mentioned below are a few benefits of an integrated approach to ITSM and ITAM tools:
· Data center consolidation
· Improved change management processes
· Better understanding of IT asset relationships
· Reduced IT asset downtime and improved incident management
· Complete visibility into machines and business operations
· Employee empowerment with an asset-aware self-service
It is for these reasons that ITSM and ITAM software continue to be core components of agile business and are critical in their ability to drive value for them.
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