What is IT Service Management, ITSM?

IT Service Management, usually referred to as ITSM, is a broad area. It encompasses all IT services which contribute to an organization’s operations – both in terms of the day-to-day running of the business as well as the delivery and aftersales support of products and services. Good ITSM takes a user-based approach to IT operations – focusing on user needs as opposed to hardware and software.

The importance of ITSM

ITSM touches every part of an organization and every person working within it, as the lines between business operations and IT blur. What was once a siloed part of the organization, now permeates everything from the device a mail is sent on to the IoT sensor monitoring a product to the secure cloud that you access for data.

The acceleration of digitalization has further increased the reliance on effective ITSM as more organizations transition to the cloud and utilize the multi-service provider model for business-critical operations. With this comes new complexities. Therefore, at the heart of any ITSM approach, is a competent service desk function that can manage end-to-end IT such as handling user issues, managing backend operations, and dealing with service providers on behalf of an organization.

When ITSM is implemented correctly, it streamlines operations, promotes collaboration, and drives productivity.

The benefits of ITSM

Not surprisingly effective ITSM offers many benefits, particularly if outsourced as it allows an organization and its IT department to concentrate on core operations. Benefits include:

  • Reduces costs through effective procurement and management of licensing
  • Improved efficiency thanks to a holistic approach to IT services, operations and delivery 
  • Proactive service management for reduced operational issues 
  • Greater transparency for all IT stakeholders with clear lines of accountability
  • Improved service for customers and employees 
  • Faster support and escalation of issues for quick resolution
  • Reduced burden on an organization’s IT team
  • Robust IT operations, smooth processes and reliable networks
  • Agile services that scale with needs
  • A complete managed digital workplace

IT Service Management processes

IT Service Management
Service Strategy

At the top of the hierarchy is the strategy that will be deployed to best serve an organization. This is dependent on multiple correlated elements including the organization’s needs, their business and market, IT capabilities and the relationship between IT and operations. The ultimate aim is to create a strategy that will enable IT to support and facilitate operational goals.

Service Design

Based on the strategy, IT services will have to be redesigned to deliver improvements. New services will also be required. It’s important to consider compliance, security, UX, longevity, etc.

Service Transition

Following the design of a service, a coordinated build, deployment, and transition must take place, with the right support for those involved and/or impacted. This can include anything from ensuring the development team has the right capabilities, to managing assets to training users.

Service Operation

Once a service is launched, it must be run smoothly. Achieving this requires bug fixes, updates, handling user requests and managing incidents, ad much more.

Continual Service Improvement

Launching a service is the beginning of a process – continuous improvement and development are central to its long-term success. Regular technical and user reviews will define must-dos and nice to-dos.

IT Service Management best practices

Utilizing best practices will ensure a smoother implementation of ITSM processes and ultimately improve results in accordance with SLAs and KPIs. Typical best practices are:

  • Take a user approach that adds value to the business and those utilizing the service. Let technology facilitate not dictate service offering.
  • Think long-term. ITSM isn’t a quick fix it’s a new way of operating and an organization has to accept that there will be changes for the better that are not always popular.
  • Review, assess, improve. Review, assess, improve. ITSM is a continuous improvement cycle that has to move with an organization, technology and users.
  • Use data to identify efficiencies and meet and prove KPIs ad SLAs.
  • Automate where possible so human resources can concentrate on core activities that drive value.
  • Use the right tool for your operations.

How to choose an ITSM tool

Choosing the right ITSM tool and partner is critical for success. Bringing in an external consultant to assess your needs objectively can be the best way forward. Key criteria to consider for a tool include:

  • ITSM needs and wants
  • ITSM scope
  • Budget and time requirements
  • Levels of integration
  • Internal capabilities
  • Outsourcing vs inhouse

To find out how we can help you with your ITSM contact us today.