Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Over the last few years, ITSM has come a long way. From providing delayed and generic employee and customer support to automated and personalized assistance, the ITSM needs of organizations have changed significantly.
This makes it essential to evaluate your company’s needs before implementing (or upgrading) an ITSM solution. Many of your business processes depend on the kind of support you provide to your employees and the level of automation within your ITSM tools.
However, before evaluating the ITSM needs of your organization, let us briefly understand the concept of ITSM and its importance.
What is ITSM?
ITSM stands for IT Service Management. It includes a set of processes that revolve around providing IT support to your employees or customers and evaluating the same. ITSM involves designing, creating, and delivering IT support to the users and measuring the effectiveness of the same.
The key concept behind ITSM is that IT should be provided as a service to customers and employees to help them get their work done and resolve their issues. ITSM generally involves the users making requests, asking questions or raining issues to the IT team of an organization with the help of support tickets. The support agents assess these tickets, and relevant support is provided to the users.
People often confuse ITSM with essential IT support. However, it is crucial to understand that the scope of ITSM is beyond that of IT support. It considers all workplace technologies, including laptops, desktops, servers and business-related software platforms.
Over time, ITSM has been evolving and transforming how support is provided to users. IT teams are constantly learning and growing with every technological advancement and new trend in the market. It is, therefore, always advisable to implement an ITSM solution that is in sync with the latest technological trends.
Related: Conversational AI and the IT Service Desk
Tips to evaluate your ITSM needs
It is never advisable to hurry when it comes to implementing an ITSM solution within your organization. Whether you are setting up an IT service desk for your employees, customers or both, it is crucial to consider a range of factors before going ahead with the implementation.
Here are some of the significant tips to keep in mind to evaluate the ITSM needs of your organization:
Undertake ITSM Maturity Assessment
Before you go ahead with compiling the key features and functions you are looking for in your ITSM solution, it is always advisable to undertake an ITSM maturity assessment. Several maturity assessment models help you make the right decisions. These models contain a questionnaire related to the attributes, demographics, interfaces and outputs of your ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) functions and processes.
One of the most commonly used methods of assessing ITSM maturity is the Process Maturity Model. Also known as the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), this model evaluates how modern your IT processes are in their lifecycles and assigns them different levels from one to five.
Here are the five levels of process maturity according to the model:
Level 1: Initial
This level indicates that your organization acknowledges an issue that needs to be dealt with, but no process has been detailed yet. Here, the IT team deals with incidents as they occur on a case-by-case basis without sufficient guidelines about how to go about with the concerned process.
Level 2: Repeatable
This level indicates that a process has been assigned so that different professionals have a general guide that is to be followed by carrying out similar procedures. Here, the effectiveness of these procedures is defined by the knowledge and skills of every individual.
Level 3: Defined
This level indicates that a standardized and well-documented process is in place that is communicated to the team via training. Here, all resources are pre-allocated for getting the tasks done, and these tasks are executed with a fair amount of success.
Level 4: Managed
This level indicates that your processes are well-defined and in a constant state of management (and improvement). Here, all the metrics have been tracked to observe the effect of the change in processes on your organization’s overall performance. At this level, advanced and automated tools are used to monitor compliance and improve the performance’s consistency.
Level 5: Optimized
The final level of the process maturity model indicates that all your tasks are coordinated and managed with robust automation tools that help you gain valuable insights and facilitate data governance. Here, quality data is created and exported for business processes and external management.
Related: How to Use Tech to Revamp the Customer Service Experience
Determine The ITSM Processes You Want To Support
ITSM solutions help you undertake and automate several processes. It is always essential to determine the processes you are willing to support to evaluate your organization’s needs.
Here are some of the critical processes that an IT service desk would help you undertake effectively:
IT service continuity management
Information security management
Service asset and configuration management
Release and deployment management
Service catalogue management
Service portfolio management
Service level management
Strategy management for IT services
Once you are done with the maturity assessment and have determined the IT processes you are willing to support, it is advisable to ascertain how your ITSM tool would fit into the more extensive portfolio of your IT management tools. In the case of most IT organizations, companies have several domain-specific IT management tools. Moreover, in highly siloed organizations, every IT domain manages its ITSM tools.
As your ITSM solution is something that all domains will use at some point in time, it is important to understand its capability of undertaking third-party integrations. Organizations often make the mistake of assuming that the best way to attain cross-portfolio integration is to acquire all the tools from the same vendor. To have the best of every platform, an organization must implement ITSM tools that can seamlessly integrate with third-party applications.
What should you look for in an ITSM tool?
A Google search would provide you with dozens of ITSM tools and solutions for your organization within a second. However, it is important to select a tool that has all the features required by your organization. Gone are the days when companies implemented traditional ITSM tools to provide support to their employees and customers. In 2021, it is always advisable to go with tools that are automated.
Modern IT service desks are built with AI and machine learning technologies to leverage your IT processes. Here are some of the features that you should look for in an ITSM tool while assessing your organization’s needs.
1. Conversational AI
Conversational AI makes obtaining IT support simple and effective for the users. It involves using AI chatbots to provide the primary IT support (L1) to the users. ITSM tools with conversational AI allow users to interact with virtual assistants just like they would with a human being. This makes the provision of IT support smoother and more streamlined for your organization.
2. Automated ticketing system
It is always advisable to implement an ITSM solution that automates the ticketing system. Traditional tools often made it complicated for the users to create their support tickets and keep track of the same. Modern ITSM tools allow users to create tickets simply by chatting with the platform. Modern service desks automatically route the cases to the support agents, return with personalized solutions, and close the tickets once the issues are resolved.
3. Automation of repetitive IT processes
Traditional ITSM tools often made IT professionals spend a good amount of their time performing repetitive processes like changing and resetting passwords. It is, therefore, always advisable to look for tools that allow users to automate these processes.
A modern IT service desk allows users to process their requests simply by chatting with virtual assistants. A simple chat would connect their request to the back-end, confirm their identity, and process their requests within seconds. This would relieve your IT employees from spending their time and effort on carrying out repetitive processes instead of focusing on more pressing issues.
4. Streamlined change management
Always look for ITSM tools that allow you to streamline change management by optimizing your knowledge base. On implementing modern IT service desks, you can add all relevant details about new tools/processes to be introduced within the organization and have your employees answer all their questions with the help of AI chatbots. This helps you make change management more organized and effective.
Related: Automated HR Help Desk: A One-stop Solution for Support Services
These were some of the essential tips to evaluate the ITSM needs of your organization. Before you go ahead with the implementation, always ensure that the ITSM tool(s) you choose are in sync with the needs of your employees/customers and the goals you are willing to attain.