ITSM | Frequently asked questions
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1. Why is ITSM important?
IT service management (ITSM) is concerned with all the activities surrounding the planning, creation, implementation, support and management of IT services. In a nutshell this means that all information, components, processes, practices, policies and services created by or around IT are part of ITSM.
At its best, ITSM's role is to simplify, support, and manage all IT department services and data, in order to create value across the organization. The main reason for creating ITSM solutions or platforms is to help IT departments manage a large amount of information and resources.
The ideal ITSM solution takes into account the organization, people, information, technology, partners, vendors, practice and processes helping the IT department manage these resources and information. ITSM solutions are not something new, but advances such as the cloud, Agile, DevOps or artificial intelligence are forcing many organizations to review their IT systems, in order to adapt to this changing scenario within the IT field.
2. What is the difference between ticketing and ITSM?
Ticketing systems allow IT support to be better organize and categorize incidents and possibly questions or requests. These are lighter systems that are more interested in streamlining the process of:.
- A user has an issue
- The user informs the service desk (or help desk)
- The issue is assigned
- The issue is resolved
The primary goal of a ticketing system is to improve productivity and reduce the possibility of an incident getting overlooked.
ITSM Solutions are systems built to better serve the needs of the IT department and everyone who has an interaction with the service desk.
ITSM solutions will include some form of a ticketing system to allow users to make requests, report incidents, and ask questions, but they also contain much more. Some of the basic practices included in ITSM systems are:
- Change management - Used to create standards to allow for smooth upgrades, developments, and releases.
- Incident management - Used to identified, reported, categorize and remedy IT issues in an organization.
- IT Asset management - Used to record and track IT equipment and infrastructure to manage the lifecycles and total costs.
- Knowledge management - Used to collect and manage effective and useful information or knowledge across the organization.
- Problem Management - Used to reduce the impact of incidents through better categorization and management of workarounds and know errors.
- Project Management - Used to report and manage all of the organization's projects to ensure their successful delivery
- Service Desk - The point of interaction where tickets are sent, categorized, and resolved.
These practices could be considered the bare minimum for ITSM solutions, but they often incorporate many more areas based on the ITIL framework.
3. What is ITIL and why is it important?
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) has become the de facto standard in IT Service Management. ITIL helps organizations across industries offer their services in a quality-driven and economical way.
ITIL provides a robust framework for identifying, planning, delivering and supporting IT services that can be adapted and applied to all business and organizational environments. ITIL focuses on solving business issues rather than just improving IT capabilities.
4. What are configuration management and CMDB?
Configuration Management is about having a record of your systems, what’s happened to those items, and the details of the relationships between the items on your list. It is commonly used in IT, military, or commercial aviation scenarios. In IT, a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) could include details of servers, code modules, applications, etc., and how they are connected.
5. Which data belongs in CMDB
A CMDB contains all relevant information that organizations can later use when doing internal or external reporting. A simple example is whether the IT department should track the use of computer peripherals like mice and keyboards, who benefits from this information, and what use the organization has of knowing whether an employee works with a mouse or not. In real life, monetary limits often determine the relevance, but organizations often also set the guidelines quite arbitrarily, which can lead to unexpected problems going forward.
One of the first decisions in every CMDB project should be on which data to store in the CMDB and which not. This decision, however, should not be carved in stone, as that data set should be extendable at any time. In any case, the data stored in a CMDB should always contribute to the organization’s general gain of knowledge.
6. How to choose the right ITSM provider?
Choosing the right ITSM software and tool is a tedious task requiring a lot of analysis from different angles. Take the next steps into account when building a solid, needs-driven foundation for your IT Service Management:
1. User experience - The modern IT user expects their services to be available when, where, and how they want them. However, this isn't just about indulging fussy users - it's about making everybody more productive. With a flexible, always-on service platform with plenty of self-service capabilities you can run a smoother operation while allowing IT service staff to focus less on mundane tasks and more on strategic planning and direction.
2. Operational efficiency - Efficient IT service delivery is more than just fast response times. Do you know what your current service costs are, and how much you could save by improving your systems? Consider what the ideal processes for support requests and issue resolution would look like, and how those would enable your teams to be more efficient.
3. Total cost of ownership - When looking at the total cost of ownership for our ITSM systems, we often become too focused on the infrastructure costs, sunk costs on the installation, and ongoing costs for maintaining and delivering current services. We don't always consider the time, effort, and money required for dealing with changes in processes or technology. If the business can't easily innovate and deliver enhanced solutions, there can be substantial financial implications.
Take some time to also map out the requirements of HR, Legal, Finance, Customer Services, and any other central business functions. This will guide you towards the type of vendor you want to collaborate with, as you will be able to align their skills and abilities with your cultural and regional needs.
You can find ITSM comparison table here.