Dmytro Lazarchuk is co-founder and CEO of Relokia with over 8 years of experience in digital marketing and data migration services.
Imagine you’re working your way through a contract offer when the Internet suddenly disappears or your computer randomly shuts down. Annoying, isn’t it? You need a well-considered ITSM (IT Service Management) strategy to avoid such situations altogether, or at least to minimize their impact.
However, that is easier said than done.
What is ITSM?
ITSM is a set of processes used to design, implement and deliver IT services. Ideally, it creates the right mix of people, technology and practices to ensure smooth and efficient processes.
Different ITSM tools serve different purposes to meet different business needs. Some tools focus on ticketing, while others offer broader functionality to identify and fix the root causes of negative incidents.
When talking about ITSM, don’t forget ITIL, which has become an acronym for IT infrastructure library. ITIL is one of the most widely used frameworks for ITSM implementation. It provides general guidelines and does not relate to any specific area. Organizations typically select and implement policies based on their needs.
The most commonly used ITIL practices are incident, problem and change management.
This practice deals with everyday incidents. They can occur at any hierarchical level within a company (e.g. when a new hire does not have access to a CRM tool).
To manage an incident, agents create a ticket and the support team takes care of the issue. Ticketing is more efficient than other practices. It helps prioritize issues, collects all incidents in one place for review and analysis, and tracks incident history.
This practice aims to identify and solve more complex problems. If you see many incidents related to the same problem, there is likely a single cause that is common to all of them. If every new employee has the same problem when signing up in the CRM tool, it means that the signup process is not set up properly. Problem management takes care of that.
Change management involves evaluating ongoing processes and current technologies to ensure maximum value for your organization. It ensures that IT services are stable, reliable and can be quickly adapted to business needs.
ITSM implementation challenges
Because ITSM implementation is a complex process, various issues can arise at different levels:
- Insufficient automation: When the IT department spends most of its time setting up employee accounts, it doesn’t have time to deal with more complex IT problems. Routine tasks should be automated to free up your IT team.
- Poor system integration: Successful system integration ensures that you don’t lose half of your data when moving from the old system to the new one. If the legacy system and the new system are not compatible, you are taking a big risk with your data.
Technology challenges typically arise in the early stages of ITSM implementation and prevent the organization from moving forward.
- Lack of feedback from IT specialists and employees.
- Bad or missing communication channels between the participants.
- resistance to change.
- Imprecise knowledge of ITSM or its purpose.
- Insufficient training for the specialists implementing ITSM.
Challenges with people often arise when a company does not properly communicate information about ITSM.
- Lack of documentation and improper ITSM implementation procedures.
- Undefined goals and metrics for implementation.
- Failed to highlight and solve problems.
- Partial implementation of processes.
Process challenges result from poor planning and execution. Define measurable goals and monitor the entire process to avoid chaos.
Adoption and maintenance cost challenges
When a tool is too expensive or underfunded, ITSM implementation becomes a more complicated path. Delays while waiting for funding or completing parts of the process can impact the final results.
Best practices for ITSM implementation
To make the ITSM process smooth, incorporate the following best practices into your strategy:
Assess your skills and set priorities
Begin with an assessment of your current state to adequately measure your abilities. Appreciate what resources you can devote to ITSM implementation. Pay attention to your current pain points (outdated software, internal communication barriers, etc.).
Identify areas where your service management strategy is not performing at optimal productivity. After you conduct an assessment, set priorities and decide which issues require immediate attention and which can wait.
Automate tasks and design self-service processes
With automation, your IT department spends less time solving mundane tasks that employees could solve themselves. With clear instructions and well-labeled buttons to click, you’re likely to have fewer problems.
Automation creates self-sufficiency via self-service, which means that end users can quickly solve routine problems independently. Self-service works by combining information from a knowledge base with existing ITSM tools.
Set goals defined by metrics
By defining metrics to track, you can identify which areas need improvement. Measure your progress toward goals across categories such as cost, employee satisfaction, self-service usage, and IT response time. Tracking progress in these categories will tell you if your ITSM is optimal or not.
Choose only the tools that contribute to your goals
With so many options on the market, it can be tempting to choose an ITSM solution with tons of functionality and features. Resist this urge. You probably don’t need all of these features at once. Gartner reports that companies will spend more than $750 million on underutilized ITSM capabilities by 2023.
To avoid overspending, don’t choose tools with features you don’t need for ITSM implementation.
Data migration as part of the ITSM implementation journey
Importing data into new systems is an inevitable part of ITSM adoption. And data migration often comes with its own set of challenges, such as: E.g. unproven technology, insufficient preparation, unsuitable software and lack of expertise and planning. Make sure your data transfers correctly and your new platform is easy to use.
Introducing or changing your ITSM tool is a complex process that requires thorough preparation. There are many people involved, all of whom need to be informed, educated and trained throughout the ITSM implementation journey.
To make ITSM implementation smooth, give yourself enough time to prepare. From defining your ITSM goals to implementing the best practices, make sure you cover all your bases before you begin.
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