What Is ITSM? (Including Importance and Processes)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

IT service management (ITSM) refers to how IT teams in organisations run technology services. This includes planning and implementing work processes and services to improve the delivery of IT services. Learning about ITSM can enhance the efficiency and productivity of organisations. In this article, we define what ITSM is and discuss its importance, processes and tools to help organisations implement it in the workplace.

What is ITSM?

If you're interested in enhancing IT teams and implementing processes to support them, you might wonder what ITSM is. An organisation's IT team manages technology systems that affect overall productivity. They ensure systems and tools like laptops and software operate at optimal function. ITSM improves the quality and speed of service delivery and this can affect organisation stakeholders and consumers.

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Why is ITSM important?

ITSM promotes structure and organisation. It recognises the IT team as a type of service and integrates them with the rest of the business. This ensures that IT activities are in line with business objectives. It considers and involves IT activities in budget and resource planning. Organisations can achieve unity and pursue key goals across departments. They typically rely on technology to perform well and implementing ITSM can decrease costs and enhance the consumer experience. Here are the benefits of ITSM:

  • aligning organisational goals across departments and using metrics to determine success

  • supporting teamwork across departments

  • enforcing streamlined management processes to enhance efficiency

  • sharing information among IT teams to operate better

  • improving overall customer satisfaction

  • increasing response rates to incidents and decreasing incident occurrence rates

  • setting specific roles and duties to increase efficiency

  • enhancing the transparency of IT services across the organisation

  • maximising the IT team's service capabilities and availabilities

  • reducing IT management costs

  • increasing a company's competitive advantage in the industry

  • easing adoption of new IT processes and services

  • eliminating manual implementation of work processes

  • delegating IT responsibilities to other departments and reducing the team's workload

  • generating incident and resolution reports automatically for company-wide distribution

  • decreasing risks of IT disruptions

  • optimising budget and resources to manage IT services

  • removing duplicated and ineffective applications, software and services

Types of ITSM processes

Here are the ITSM processes that organisations can consider implementing:

Service request management

Service request management refers to the process of managing customer service requests. This includes the usability of applications and software updates. It determines overall customer service standards and satisfaction. IT teams decide how to respond to customer requests efficiently. Implementing this process can involve giving customers sufficient information and programming applications to be more user-friendly. IT teams can also automate processes to reduce the need for IT support.

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Knowledge management

This process involves creating and managing an organisation's knowledge. It emphasises the importance of making knowledge accessible across departments to help them meet company goals. This process also finds ways to efficiently use knowledge. Knowledge sharing can support workflows and projects. It keeps teams informed of changes and processes to perform their tasks.

IT asset management

IT asset management keeps track of an organisation's assets. It takes note of the type of assets an organisation has, its functions and its purpose. This process accounts for the efficient use of assets and ensures that the team regularly maintains and upgrades them when necessary. It's important to enhance cost efficiency since IT teams decide the value of assets and discard those that aren't in use.

Incident management

The incident management process is important to reduce the reaction times of IT teams when an incident arises. It delegates responsibilities and roles, sets up alert systems and resolves problems. The purpose is to fix systems and services and find ways to prevent reoccurrence. It's a detailed process of identifying the cause and effect of issues, assigning skilled personnel to resolve the issue and organising company-wide reviews to keep teams aware of what to do.

Problem management

The problem management process identifies the root cause of incidents and decides on the best method to eradicate them. It involves a detailed analysis of issues and the collection of data of past incidents. Data collection and analyses of system performance can help IT teams identify root causes and resolve incidents.

Change management

The change management process ensures the smooth integration of new work processes and systems across the organisation. It involves communicating and training team members about how to use new IT tools and services. It can also include educating them on incident management methods. Change management promotes transparency and accountability. Organisations can rely on different departments instead of the IT team and this can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of introducing new processes.

5 steps to implement ITSM

Here are the steps that organisations can take to implement ITSM in the workplace:

1. Identify the problem

Organisations can start by identifying the problem they want ITSM to solve. This helps them to decide on a process to implement. For example, if an organisation wants to introduce new systems and digitalise their operations, it can consider the change management process to ensure a smooth integration of new workflows into the organisation's culture. If it wants to reduce IT expenditure, IT asset management might be more effective in identifying obsolete assets and getting rid of them. Organisations can then reallocate money and resources to other systems that enhance productivity and efficiency.

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2. Choose a framework

An ITSM framework is important to guide organisations through the process. Conduct research on common frameworks like ITIL and DevOps. This can give organisations insight into how to improve the ITSM implementation process. ITIL helps organisations to integrate IT services with organisation needs. It also enables organisations to scale and transform their operations.

It promotes teamwork across departments and collects feedback from team members to improve the process. DevOps focuses on fostering collaboration between the IT and development teams. Organisations can use this framework to involve both teams in the software development process. This can enhance the efficiency of resolving issues and delegating tasks. It's also important for organisations to integrate the ITSM framework into the customer journey and experience.

3. Train IT teams

It's important that organisations value their IT teams' feedback and effort. Departments typically rely on IT teams to resolve tech issues and the team follows a structured management hierarchy. This gives them fewer opportunities to share their opinions on processes and software.

Organisations can consider implementing training programmes for them. This can ensure the smooth execution of the ITSM process. It can also better equip the team to handle new systems and support digitalisation efforts. Organisations can include the team in important discussions about new tools and technologies to understand their concerns and rely on their expert views before making the final decision.

4. Pick technology tools

Organisations use ITSM tools to deliver IT services. It can be a software or group of applications for a range of purposes. These tools can support processes like handling incidents and managing customer requests. They can also improve customer satisfaction if organisations use service tools to track service performance and contact customers to notify them about incidents. Choosing ITSM tools can influence an organisation's functions. It can be helpful to consider the necessary features and uses.

Identify the problem and how different ITSM tools can resolve it. Organisations can also decide on the processes they want to implement and determine which tools are suitable. They usually set expectations for ITSM tools based on present processes. For example, if an organisation uses many applications, finding a tool that can merge their uses can automate the process.

5. Review the process

The ITSM process supports an organisation's systems and workflow processes. It fosters company-wide collaboration and it's important to collect feedback on tools. Introducing new software and tools can reduce workload by automating processes. Organisations can communicate the purpose of ITSM processes and regularly ask for feedback to make adjustments.

Tips to choose ITSM software

Here are some guidelines to help organisations decide on ITSM software that suits their current applications and system operations:

  • Consider user experience: Choose software that's easy to use so that the staff can learn it quickly, leading to an increase in efficiency levels. Its purpose is to raise productivity levels and shift the team's focus to innovating new solutions.

  • Compute operational efficiency: Pick software that can reduce operational costs by automating service management processes.

  • Calculate the total cost of ownership: Choose software with the least costs. You can calculate the costs of training team members to use new software.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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