What is IT Service Management?
ITSM, short for IT Service Management, is a collection of processes and policies that enable organizations to design, implement, manage and improve IT services offered to customers. ITSM is an area of expertise to covers the management of IT service activities.
There are two points adopted by ITSM:
- Service is the main form of value provided by IT.
- The best approach to organize IT services is to establish these processes with clearly defined goals, objectives, and roles and responsibilities.
IT services could include automation systems, applications and analysis tools needed to operate the day-to-day activities of your business. But, how do these services operate with enough efficiency to create value for your company? This is where ITSM comes in.
Organizations with an ITSM strategy understand that delivering quality services to internal stakeholders, IT administrators and customers drives company growth. Effective management of your IT services will lead to happier employees and satisfied customers! Through ITSM, organizations can also improve their business performance by optimizing how these processes are carried out.
Why Your Business Needs ITSM
The departments of your organization each function to provide a service, whether it be internally or externally. These services could include providing technical assistance, account management, organizational changes, and budgeting. How these services are used by your employees can have a profound effect on how your business operates. A strong ITSM process can increase the productivity and overall happiness of your employees by maintaining a focus on the resources they need to do their job better.
Benefits of ITSM
An efficient IT service management strategy gives employees the flexibility and confidence they need to complete tasks knowing that the resources they require are within arm’s reach. The leading benefits of an ITSM solution include:
Reduce Your IT Costs
Save money with effective problem management and knowledge management processes that resolve recurring issues, speed-up resolution times and increase employee productivity.
Improve Your Service Quality
Design custom workflow that eliminates the need for manual processes and improves collaboration between your teams.
Streamline the way your users communicate by replacing long and inconsistent email chains with processes that ensure the right people get connected with the right resources.
Reduce Wasted Resources
Save your employees time and effort by avoiding the duplication of work, ensuring more efficient processes and removing unnecessary costs.
Increase Business Efficiency
Reduce downtime, prevent serious issues before they occur and remain compliant to risk management requirements both internally and externally.
Core ITSM Processes
For organizations to run more smoothly, they must deliver quality services to their employees to ensure productivity and effectiveness. When implemented correctly, the processes of ITSM can achieve just that.
The main goal of the incident managment process is restore disrupted IT services for your users after an unplanned interruption via an end-user Incident ticket.
Provide users with a smart and easy-to-use Self-Service Portal for requesting services, software, hardware and access to network resources.
Service Catalog Management
Standardize your service request and fulfillment processes with the service catalog so you can measure and improve your organizational support.
Make modifications to your IT infrastructure and applications with minimal adverse effects on your business.
Manage your IT problems, minimize the impact of IT-related incidents and create solutions or workarounds.
Control, monitor and document the configuration of your IT assets that deliver services and provide value to your company.
Service Level Management
Ensure that your current and planned IT services are designed to fit the specific needs of your customers.
ITSM Processes in ITIL
ITIL, the most universally accepted approach to ITSM, is a framework of best practices and recommendations that organizations reference when managing IT operations and services. ITIL is often used to realize potential change, transformation, and growth within a business while also ensuring that your ITSM strategy is running smoothly and efficiently. (link to ITIL page)
The ITIL framework consists of five different areas that collectively compose an organization’s “service lifecycle.” These ITSM best practices help to improve the quality of service delivery and how an organization’s IT processes function.
Defining the services that an organization will offer that meet business needs through planning a strategy, managing a service catalog, organizing finances, anticipating demand and identifying user needs.
Designing the services that an organization offers to the demands of their business. This can include creating new services as well as assessing current services and making necessary improvements.
Building and testing the designed services to ensure that they work smoothly and do not interfere with the delivery of other existing services, especially when these services are being updated or changed.
Implementing tried and tested services in a live environment. While these services have previously been tested and have had issues resolved, it’s still possible for new services to have problems so this phase requires close monitoring.
Continual Service Improvement
Maintaining an emphasis on continual improvement by keeping up with the changing needs of your business and enhancing your activities accordingly. Keeping track of predetermined KPIs to dictate the success of a service over time plays a significant role in identifying areas for improvement.
ITSM vs. ITIL
To fully leverage the processes of ITSM and the ITIL framework, we must be able to understand the difference. ITIL is the most commonly used framework for ITSM, but it’s not the only framework that organizations may use. They may be employing ITSM, but they may also be using one of the following standards:
- COBIT – A framework relating to the governance of enterprise IT
- ISO 20000 – An international standard for IT Service Management
- MOR – The Microsoft Operations Framework consists of a series of guides for creating, implementing and managing quality IT services.
- USMBOK – The Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge works as a “companion” to support existing ITSM resources such as ITIL in terms of both strategy and operations.
The possibility always exists that organizations could also be using a combination of frameworks or standards such as ITIL with COBIT.