Every business relies on IT in some capacity, and whether you know it or not, you have implemented IT service management (ITSM). Let me give you a scenario; A new sales employee joins your company, what do they need to perform their job, and how do they get it? That process you follow, it’s a service delivered by the business. Is it one you’ve consciously developed to meet the business and employees needs? Have you optimised it, learnt from the failures to ensure said employee gets the best possible start in your business?
That, in essence, is ITSM. The act of creating processes, monitoring their performance and amending them all to meet the requirements of a company at best possible value. Don’t take my word for it, ITIL is a best practice framework for implementing an ITSM and is by far the most widely adopted, their concise definition of an ITSM is; “The implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business.”
Why is ITSM important?
ITSM ensures the appropriate mix of people, processes and technology are in place to provide value and meet the needs of the business. Consistency of the process is the cornerstone of ITSM. If the process is consistent, we can monitor and improve it to ensure the outcome best meets the business requirements.
Let’s expand on our example. We’re hiring two sales employees; Bob starts end of this month and Catherine midway through next. Our process for onboarding Sales employees is always delivered in two working days and is to create a user account; allocate a laptop; install both the MS Office Suite and Sage ACT!. Simple!
Bob’s manager raises a service request for an employee onboarding. We complete the process in two working days, and Bob picks his laptop up on his first day. The second day, when Bob now starts working on the road, he can’t access Sage ACT!, he calls our helpdesk, and the root cause of the issue is he didn’t have the VPN installed, it wasn’t on the list!
In a proper ITSM implementation, we alter the process of provisioning user accounts promptly, and when Catherine starts, we don’t repeat the same mistake. Clearly displayed value, time = money after all.
I want to highlight some of the benefits that creating, monitoring and amending the above process would translate to for a business.
1. Improvement of service quality
Unfortunately, no one is perfect. Everyone has learnt all they know from reacting to mistakes they made at one point or another. By following an ITSM process, we learn from the mistakes we make, not as an individual and not just on one account but as a company across the board. That drastically improves the quality of the service we put out and ensures our clients get value from the services they use.
2. Gain real-time insight
Let’s say we agree a time to delivery of two days for onboarding a new user. What are we agreeing to deliver in two days? Does that include procuring, building and allocating a device? Does that definition and timeframe meet the requirements of both IT and the business?
We must monitor the process and its outcomes to ensure value for the requestor. Setting expectations and delivering on them are vital to you meeting your business objectives. If these targets aren’t satisfied, and a new employee is unable to start, we all know the consequences in terms of cost and loss of face.
“Computers have a mind of their own”. What a gimmick! No, they don’t. We always hear this when things don’t work the way expected, and nine times out of ten it’s due to lack of standardisation. Take our example above, Bob’s laptop was deployed with ESET v7.2.2055.0, the very latest. Every other machine in the company is running 6.5.2107.1 (actively supported version, don’t worry). He starts having issues with ESET slowing down his machine, and IT spend 3 hours troubleshooting his laptop before fixing the problem. Since when did Bob become the test group? Standardisation means Bob gets the same as everyone else, and when it’s time to move to ESET v7.2 as a company, it’s planned and delivered as a service to minimise the fallout.
Every organisation is different, and the technology they utilise is unique, their competitive advantage if you will. Good IT service management is the key to unlocking hidden value, meeting business objectives and ultimately succeeding.
Should your company wish to derive higher value from your IT services, we are a Bath-based IT company that is ready to respond to your business requirements!
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About the Author
Drag lives and breathes technology – has done since his career began over 20 years ago. There’s still nothing better than getting his hands dirty. A great communicator, especially when it comes to Liverpool FC and why they’ll win the Premier League!
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