IT service management (ITSM) encompasses all elements of managing information technology services, including planning, designing, building, implementing, deployment, improvement and support for both internal and external stakeholders with a goal to consistently improve services to best meet business objectives.
ITSM ensures the right technology, processes, and people are in place for the organization to realize its long term objectives. ITSM improves the quality and speed of service delivery and maximizes customer satisfaction. Some businesses leverage ITSM software not just for the management and support of their IT systems but also to broker and manage a wide range of processes and services across the enterprise.
ITSM uses a process based approach, with many ITSM implementations leveraging the ITIL best practice framework to manage IT services along their lifecycle. For this purpose, ITIL 3 defines 26 processes in 5 lifecycle stages.
Service strategy: Assesses their customer needs and determines which services the IT organization will offer, and what capabilities may need to be developed.
Service design: Identifies service requirements and devises new service offerings as well as changes and improvements to existing ones.
Service transition: Coordinates the build and deployment of IT services.
Service operation: Authenticates that IT services are delivered effectively and efficiently, including the fulfilling of user requests, resolving service failures, fixing problems, and carrying out routine operational tasks.
Continual service improvement: (CSI) process uses methods from quality management in order to learn from past successes and failures. The ITIL CSI lifecycle stage aims to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes and services
In ITIL 4, these 26 processes have been replaced by 34 practices, divided into general, service management and technical management practices. Many of these practices are the processes known from ITIL 3, for example, knowledge, incident, and change management. Also see: https://wiki.en.it-processmaps.com/index.php/Main_Page
Frameworks provide practical guidance to ITSM through a formalized structure of pre-defined standards, processes, or best practices. Frameworks also provide the opportunity to monitor for continual improvement of services offered, delivered and supported.
An ITSM framework supports the entire spectrum of IT services ranging from networks and applications, to databases and non-IT business functions. It defines standard operations, techniques, and supporting services while delivering efficiency and value gain for IT operations. Frameworks support organizations to define their ITSM strategy and the implementation of that strategy.
ITSM vs ITIL
The terms ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and ITSM are regularly used interchangeably. The confusion is understandable because the two terms are closely related. ITIL is a set of best practices widely used for the execution of ITSM. It is a framework developed by the UK government in the 1980s in response to the rapidly growing use of information technology.
ITSM is a broader discipline that encompasses IT service delivery. ITIL details best practices for the execution of ITSM. ITSM is the ‘what’ while ITIL is the ‘how’. For example, ITSM will require IT teams tackle system incidents. ITIL on the other hand will recommend how to approach addressing the incidents including incident categorization, escalation, and resolution.
Popular ITSM frameworks and standards
An organization has the option of adopting one or more ITSM frameworks. In large corporations with multiple locations, divisions, and subsidiaries, it may be necessary to deploy more than one framework in order to fulfil diverse IT service delivery requirements. Some of the most widely used ITSM frameworks are:
ITSM software are the tools that help organizations realize their ITSM strategy more efficiently. They regulate how IT services are delivered in an organization depending on people, process, vendors, budget, and outcomes.
ITSM software can automate ITSM processes, workflows and tasks. It improves the experiences for users both those consuming, or responsible for, the delivery of the services. ITSM software can include preconfigured roles, workflows, reports, and templates that simplify the implementation of processes based on the chosen framework.
In order to connect your IT services with a business the ITSM software needs to integrate with the software of other business functions to gain deep, complete insights into their operations and services
ITSM Software vs. Helpdesk/ticketing systems
While it’s a common assumption that ITSM software is nothing more than a sophisticated help-desk or service desk tool or ticketing system, ITSM software has a much broader scope that includes the service desk function.
Help desk ticketing systems focus on organizing and categorizing incidents, requests, or questions: An IT user encounters a technology problem and raises the issue with the help desk, a ticket is then created and assigned, the issue is investigated and resolved, and the ticket is closed.
ITSM software beyond ticketing, typically includes IT service modelling, license management, incident management, knowledge management, problem management, project management, asset management tools, and built-in reporting. Effective ITSM software supports the organization, information, technology, employees, customers, partners, suppliers, and processes with giving IT the ability to better manage IT functions.
Key considerations when choosing ITSM Software
All ITSM software isn’t created equal. Choosing the one that’s most suitable for your organization requires careful evaluation. These three aspects matter most.
ITSM tools have over the years evolved into not just systems for the efficient management of IT but an avenue for enterprise-wide process and technological innovation. There’s a growing demand for enterprise service management solutions that addresses the requirements of the entire organization.
With the right ITSM software, you can automate and digitize tasks across the organization. So in addition to IT processes, enterprise-ready ITSM software could support non-IT services.
How can OpenText ITSM Software help you?
ITSM is about service delivery, continuous improvement and customer care. Define the goals and metrics that best measure your enterprise services’ performance and identify the areas requiring improvement.
Understanding and implementing the principles and processes of ITSM is just the beginning. For sustainable service management success, you must adopt ITSM software that can best enable the management and ongoing improvement of your IT services.
OpenText™ Service Management Automation X (SMAX) is machine learning based ITSM software to meet all your service desk and IT service management needs.