An IT service management (ITSM) solution guarantees that IT processes and services are combined with the business goals of an organization, thus helping it thrive.
To select a suitable ITSM solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. We’ve talked to several industry professionals to get their insight on the topic.
Simon Geddes, Senior Director of Product Management, Ivanti
With accelerated digital transformation happening across the enterprise, IT teams have an opportunity to lead and govern the adoption of ITSM best practices for every function and line of business. The right ITSM solution can form the foundation of a governance model that ensures a consistent, high-quality employee experience — regardless of who is providing the service.
Many businesses have found that solutions focusing on the reduction of tickets through automation optimizes the employee experience, resulting in productivity gains. Capturing the requirements of stakeholders is a critical step in determining which ITSM vendor and solution can scale to help each team realize a return on the investment.
Evaluate software features and capabilities and assess their importance, relevance, and effectiveness by ranking them in these categories: unused, nice to have, important and mission critical. Only vendors that meet your highest requirements should make the cut.
Building a business case for your service management goals is a large undertaking — so stay close to the core use cases and features that matter most to your organization’s growth. Avoid being distracted by bells and whistles you may never have the resources to adopt. When done right, well-defined use cases should help you defend your choice of solutions and make the selection process effective for all parties.
Michael W. Hechler, SVP, SunView Software
When selecting an ITSM solution, you should always start with your current business requirements. Leverage the knowledge of your IT staff and ask, “Why do we need an ITSM solution?” “What features and functions are most important to our IT department right now?” “Is there a possibility that our requirements may expand to other departments?”
Scope creep is always a challenge because you want the most features for your budget. However, organizational maturity plays a crucial role in the success of your ITSM implementation. You need to gain a clear understanding of how much “change” your organization can endure and how quickly it can handle the digital transformation.
Organizational training also plays a big role before, during, and after the rollout. Whether you decide to pick an internal department (like HR) to lead your change management or pay your vendor for training, that cost must be considered as part of your total cost of ownership.
Finally, you need to understand that implementing an ITSM solution is not like installing Microsoft Office 365. A good ITSM solution allows integration with popular business applications through the RESTful API, which often requires professional services help. Selecting an ITSM solution involves more than just buying a software package—it’s about building a long-term partnership with a trusted vendor.
Christopher Kuhn, COO, OTRS
Features are important, but it’s easy to figure out if software meets those needs. With your shortlist in hand, the question becomes two-fold: Will this solution help me add value today, quickly? And, will it scale to meet my needs into the future? Look for:
Flexibility. Can I avoid silos and easily exchange cases among various teams, adding and removing as needed? Are there simple ways to integrate with other tools? Do I have fast oversight – dashboards, reporting or customized views – allowing me to keep on top of what’s most pressing today?
ITIL and processes. Does the vendor understand ITIL? From service catalog to incident management, does the solution smoothly support ITIL implementation? Can I easily adapt both ITIL and other business processes over time?
Security and compliance. Where are the data centers, and how are these managed? With what regulations does the vendor comply? How have they addressed vulnerabilities and handled past incidents? Were Privacy by Design principles used during development? Are 2FA and encrypted communication standard?
Expertise. Is the vendor an established business that can support us long-term? Do they offer SLAs, training, documentation, consulting? Are they a true ITSM solution partner or simply selling software?
Chris Pope, VP Innovation, ServiceNow
With disparate data, processes, and excessive amounts of time and money spent on firefighting, businesses are often left with limited resources to create employee experiences. Innovative ITSM solutions will deliver resilient services that increase productivity and create amazing experiences, wherever employees are working.
ITSM consolidates tools to a single cloud solution, automating and optimizing service operations to revolutionize IT, predict and prevent issues, drive productivity, and speed innovation with maximum process efficiency and lower costs.
Solutions with AI can empower employees to self-solve issues and get information they need from any device, enabling them to reach resolutions quickly and providing more meaningful work for IT support employees. Intelligent automation can use machine learning and AI-powered chatbots to make work more efficient. With support for common requests automated, employees can focus on innovating instead of continuously reacting to issues – a particularly important feature for security teams in the current increased cyber threat landscape.
Organizations face more demanding workforce logistics, including supporting remote work. ITSM solutions can provide real-time visibility of performance, and metrics to prove IT’s value to the company.
Scalability is another important factor; leaders should look for solutions with capabilities that scale with their business. Optimal ITSM solutions will continually innovate and enhance capabilities in line with customer maturity, giving organizations the technology they require to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
Greg Rich, CEO, Vivantio
When selecting an ITSM solution there are some key things to keep in mind. The system must be flexible and support and compliment your business process. It must be able to be configured to match your business needs as opposed to having to constrain your processes to fit the tool. The solution should also be based on industry best practices such as ITIL.
The relationship with the vendor is as crucial as the tool itself. The solution must allow the configuration of the solution by the business and not to be beholden to the vendor. The vendor and the solution must enable the business to elevate its service to its end users or customers without the need of costly customization and development that is not in the reach of the service teams themselves.
Also, IT does not sit in a silo. Integrations with other systems are vital. Even if the ITSM tool is solely used within the IT team, having the ability to integrate with other line of business systems will provide a holistic view of the business, customers or end users and will allow the service team to support its end users much more efficiently. Above all, the ITSM solution should create true value to end users or customers.