IT service management (ITSM) is the implementation, management, and delivery of IT services, policies, and procedures to end customers.
The core concept of ITSM is the belief that all information technologies should be delivered as a service rather than traditional IT support. For example, to acquire new hardware such as a laptop, in the ITSM model, an employee would submit their request through a portal, fill out a ticket with all pertinent information and then send it to the company help desk. The ticket would land in the IT team’s queue, where incoming requests are sorted and addressed according to importance.
Today, ITSM is transforming to include digital services with tools that incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cognitive computing for predictive rather than reactive capabilities.
In short, delivering some IT service or product means participating in ITSM.
ITSM software is designed to improve efficiency and productivity within an organization. Businesses depend on ITSM to manage all IT tasks and responsibilities throughout the entire lifecycle of technology used by an organization.
With a structured ITSM, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can align its IT strategy and approach with the organization’s goals and streamline the delivery of services based on budgets, resources, and results. This can reduce costs and mitigates risks by building a predictable IT organization, ultimately improving the customer experience.
• Improved productivity with defined roles and responsibilities
• Increased user satisfaction
• Enhanced performance monitoring
• Ability to scale processes
• Faster incident detection and response
• Enhanced collaboration across departments
Remote management and monitoring (RMM) software is the core of a MSP’s work. RMM enables IT service providers to maintain their clients’ IT infrastructure and systems in a remote delivery model, meaning an MSP can monitor client endpoints, systems and networks wherever they are. Typically, this is done by installing an agent on these devices and systems that provides status information back to the MSP. It is viewed as one of the most important tools in ITSM.
RMM software is core to an MSP business because it helps service providers keep labor costs low but operate efficiently.
RMM software monitors the health of systems by gathering data from remote endpoints and networks and then performing IT management tasks. The key is that RMM systems enable MSPs and IT professionals to receive alerts for potential issues in real time so they can address them before they become problems.
Routine IT tasks can also be automated with RMM tools, such as the installation of patches and the ability to generate and respond to service tickets.
ITSM software enables IT service providers to better meet business needs and take a more strategic approach to organizational changes and transformation.
Some considerations when selecting an ITSM tool:
• How easy is it to set up and use?
• Does it enable collaboration?
• Can it adapt to changing needs?
ITSM gives MSPs a more structured, process-centric, proactive approach to IT management, which is helpful when managing technology needs for multiple businesses. An MSP can simplify the implementation of ITSM when equipped with the right tools and best practices. First, MSPs should determine what the organization’s main objectives are, identify current pain points in the IT infrastructure and resources, and make note of any gaps.
It’s also important to understand the company’s vision for business growth and transformation and what IT resources are needed to achieve it. An MSP can then develop a plan of action by defining what concrete steps need to be taken.
A successful ITSM implementation requires involvement of business and IT stakeholders, so it is essential to educate and communicate the importance of having ITSM established processes.
ITSM implementation requires the planning of the critical success factors and tracking of specific metrics and KPIs. A mechanism should be developed for end users and other stakeholders to provide feedback.
ITSM and information technology infrastructure library (ITIL), are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are different. ITIL is a framework within the ITSM discipline that aims to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service levels.
The ITIL methodology is designed to guide organizations through ITSM implementation. The methodology includes the best ITSM practices, such as general processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists that any organization can use.
ITSM, is instead about the planning and management of IT services for a customer. There is a continual process of analyzing and improving processes, IT services, and infrastructure in ITSM.
Enterprise Service Management (ESM) takes ITSM principles and technologies to a higher level by implementing them across the enterprise. The goal is to improve performance, efficiency and service delivery.
The difference is that ITSM does not typically apply to organizational processes beyond IT, whereas ESM encourages a company to view everything as a resource or work with some type of status. This is significant because ESM illustrates to the entire organization how a service provider can help meet overall business goals with technology.
Nearly 90% of organizations are expanding the role of ITSM into ESM, which is a “logical, evolutionary extension of ITSM and as a revolutionary outgrowth of the digital transformation culture,” according to a 2020 report from Enterprise Management Associates. The report also found a steady rise in growth of ITSM fueled by factors including ESM.
In fact, for 57% of respondents, the future of ITSM includes substantial growth in terms of budget, headcount, influence and services offered, the EMA report said.
A growing trend for managing IT operations is artificial intelligence for IT operations, or AIOps.
AIOps combines AI with machine learning, analytics, and data science to flag and resolve IT operational issues. It is designed to tackle the increasing complexity of key tools and technologies.
One of its core mandates is to break down data silos by aggregating disparate data from IT service management and IT operations management. This provides the ability to identify root causes more quickly and it helps enable automation.
Atera RMM’s platform enables an MSP or IT practitioner to proactively flag issues before customers do.
It comes bundled with professional services automation (PSA) software and remote support capabilities. Key features include real-time monitoring and alerts, billing and reporting and integration with business process automation, help desk, customer service tools,business analytics and many more.
ITSM creates a structure within an organization. With a process-oriented approach to service management, service providers and IT teams can better manage all aspects of IT operations. Instead of being reactive, service providers and teams can be proactive in how they provide IT services, and solve issues before they negatively impact customers.
ITSM offers organizations the ability to implement the right tools while increasing their efficiency and scalability.