What is IT Service Management?
There are several definitions for ITSM or IT service management depending on the lens (read: implementation/framework) that you view it from. For example, from the lens of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), IT Service Management is about the management and implementation of high-quality IT services to support business objectives as performed by IT services providers through the right mix of people, activities, process, policies, and technology.
DevOps, which is a different lens/framework for implementing ITSM, defines it from the standpoint of delivering high-quality software faster so that the business can provide value to the customer more quickly. IT Service Management from the DevOps lens also deals with regulatory controls and audits while managing risks and impact.
One Melbourne IT Support expert has informed us that IT Service Management is more than just the optimal use of people, activities, process, policies, and technology. It also encompasses an approach or collective mindset for IT delivery, whose central focus is service delivery. ITSM is responsible for activities involving the design, planning, delivery, operation, and control of IT services offered to customers.
Reasons why organizations need IT Service Management
Although the reasons to adopt IT Service Management primarily come from taking a service-delivery, customer-centric approach, there are additional benefits that can be manifested by an IT Service Management rationale. These additional benefits can be gained through:
- Standardization and consistency
- Utilization of fit-for-purpose ITSM solutions
- Defined roles and responsibilities, and,
- Adoption of industry best practice
Furthermore, all the benefits of IT Service Management that we shall examine below are not just limited to IT functions in an organization. The reasons for adopting ITSM also extend to other business functions including legal, finance, Human resource, and facilities. IT Service Management mainly benefits these areas by improving; insight, effectiveness, efficiency, and control.
With this in mind, below are the reasons why organizations need IT Service Management:
1. Enhanced efficiency and decreased operational costs
Optimization of workflow, processes, automation, notifications, and alerts eliminates manual effort and rework. Efficiency (and reduced operational costs) are further enhanced because with IT Service Management the end user (customer and employee) is more self-sufficient through self-service and self-help capabilities.
2. Workload reduction through self-service efficiency
The service desk (or the equivalent business function) will experience a reduced workload because the ability of employees (and customers) to gain solutions faster through self-help and self-service becomes a reality. For instance, employees can make requests and log issues through self-service mechanisms that provide additional channels of communication and prevent time-consuming telephone calls to the service desk. Additionally, the automation of request and solution delivery further augments potential labor savings.
3. Higher ROI and reduced personnel ongoing management costs
Adoption of IT Service Management by a higher number of business functions and individuals translated into a higher ROI and reduced per-user operational cost or ongoing management cost. Additionally, through business function application rationalization, further cost savings can be achieved if redundant business function systems are phased out.
4. Enhanced effectiveness
Through IT Service Management employee requests and issues are dealt with according to adopted SLAs. As such, the organization no longer faces problems like the delay of service delivery due to personal inefficiency or the loss of requests in personal email accounts.
5. Enhanced visibility into performance and operations
Using IT Service Management allows management and staff to identify and appreciate achievements and failures. Furthermore, the use of ITSM provides insight into the value of each organization function and facilitates easier communication of organization function value to stakeholders including customers and owners.
6. Improved governance and control
IT Service Management provides a rationale for implementing controls and providing insights into the people, activities, process, policies, and technology used. In other words, ITSM provides controls that offer insight into who did what, when they did it, why they did it, along with higher-level reporting. All these controls also reduce the organization’s risk exposure.
7. Improved customer and service experience
IT Service Management enhances service provision to end users through improved service delivery based on:
- People or customer-centric support
- Knowledge availability,
- Self-service and self-help,
- Service request catalogs,
- Social or collaborative capabilities,
- Ubiquitous access to information and services
8. Improvement opportunities across the board
IT Service Management enhances visibility into an operational performance which increases opportunities for improvement and provides mechanisms for the opportunities to be managed and delivered. For example, ITIL’s service improvement capability offers tools for improving the management and delivery of services.
9. Enhanced communication
IT Service Management provides more choices and access to communication channels as well as enhanced capabilities for alerting and escalating requests, challenges, and issues which translates into improved effectiveness in communication. Such capabilities ensure that no discussion or ticket goes unnoticed or unaddressed.
Some of the communication channels that are accessible include broadcast channels through self-service portals, telephone, chat, alerts, self-service, and email.
10. Enhanced accountability
IT Service Management creates an environment of increased accountability, within and across business-function boundaries, through technologies that simplify the assignment of responsibility and accountability among individuals in the organization.
11. Enhanced collaboration
Through IT Service Management the organization will experience enhanced collaboration not only within specific business functions but also across business functions as well. Such improved collaboration is created since work can quickly be passed around or worked on collectively, among individuals or groups. The ultimate result is efficiency and delivery of expected outcomes to the customer.
12. Improved understanding of service required, and services rendered
IT Service Management is used to manage and support business function services through insightful identification, appreciation, and rendering of services with regard to customer needs. For example, ITIL service lifecycle manages business function services including Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continual Service Improvement.
Since IT Service Management brings together a way of thinking and acting towards service-delivery, through a customer-centric approach, this facilitates a single point of service where delivery of customer expectations based on SLAs is the result regardless of the service provider within the organization.
Essentially, ITSM facilitates the standardization, consistency, utilization of fit-for-purpose solutions, definition of roles and responsibilities, and the adoption of industry best practice, all of which allow for improved service delivery.
Once you decide to implement an ITSM framework approach, it should not be just a leap of faith but rather a thoughtful consideration of the benefits of IT Service Management capabilities and principles to specific organization functions (and to the entire organization as well).
Since ITSM has a set of standards guiding its execution, organizations should also direct their attention towards choosing the most appropriate software which will be made much easier with the help of the ITIL exam simulators which will enhance one’s knowledge and help to deliver tangible results and value to the business and end user (customer and employee). Through a set of IT Service Management standards and the appropriate software, execution will be facilitated in a smooth and timely manner whether the challenge at hand is related to change management, release management, problem management, supplier management, and so on.