Written By: Contender Solutions
The IT department of an organization plays a crucial role in determining that organization’s long-term success. To protect the organization, IT needs to manage risk, increase resiliency, and anticipate (and proactively resolve) issues—all while controlling costs for hardware, software, and cloud solutions.
IT service management (ITSM) can provide an avenue for companies to achieve these goals and improve their competitiveness in an ever-evolving market. What are the benefits of ITSM? How can IT operations management and service management help organizations achieve operational excellence?
What Is ITSM?
ServiceNow defines ITSM as: “the planning, delivery, and support of IT services via a mix of people, processes, and technology.” In other words, ITSM encompasses everything your organization uses to deliver IT-based services to end users (both inside and outside of the organization).
ITSM can be organized using a variety of frameworks. For example, one of the most popular ITSM frameworks is the information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) framework—which is a trademark of AXELOS.
These frameworks help to create a standardized approach to IT service management so the benefits of ITSM can be maximized.
Other popular frameworks for ITSM include:
- Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT)
- Business Process Framework (eTOM)
- Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)
Each framework has its own quirks, benefits, and drawbacks. So, it’s important to research the differences before committing to one framework. Researching which frameworks other companies in your industry are using and how their operations were affected could prove useful.
8 Benefits of IT Service Management
Adopting an IT service management framework to create formal processes for managing IT operations carries several benefits that support the organization, including:
1. Streamline Operations Through Standardization
One major benefit of having a solid IT service management strategy in place is that it helps to streamline business workflows by standardizing practices and tools. Standardization of processes, tools, and policies across the organization makes it easier for different business units to communicate and collaborate. This, in turn, helps the business save time and labor on its operations—increasing business agility.
For example, this Florida International Airport was able to implement a standardized change form for all of its major departments. This allowed all departments to conform to new requirements for showing risks and impacts more easily. ITSM also helped to eliminate unnecessary changes, allowing airport employees to be more agile and better aligned to their organizational processes so they could steadily increase the facility’s bottom line.
2. Reduce Costs
Controlling costs is always a concern for businesses regardless of their size or industry. One of the benefits of ITSM tools is that they can help businesses create new efficiencies and eliminate redundancies to cut costs. This, in turn, improves a business’ resiliency and agility by allowing the organization to dedicate more resources to important objectives.
For example, one Fortune 500 globally-diversified industrial organization applied ServiceNow to replace an outdated custom legacy system as part of their new ITSM strategy. By leveraging software asset management, they were able to improve their license reconciliation to reduce costs and generate an ROI for their ITSM strategy within the first year of launching it.
3. Improve Scalability
Scalability is often a challenge for businesses. The ability to increase resources to meet demand or minimize consumption to control costs is often key for remaining competitive while avoiding impacts to service delivery. Cloud-based solutions are often incredibly helpful for improving scalability since it allows organizations to add or remove IT resources as needed.
However, it takes more than just a cloud solution to create true scalability. It’s also important for an organization to have scalable processes and procedures to leverage their IT assets as efficiently as possible.
For example, one local state government agency, when faced with the need to create a “golden record” to blueprint an onboarding process for bringing on other state agencies to its ITSM program, they turned to Contender for help. Contender established a demand capture process focused on scope, process definition, prioritization, and scalability. This helped make it easier to onboard additional agencies and make their IT processes more scalable in the long run.
4. Increase Efficiency
IT tools have long been key drivers for efficiency in all kinds of organizations. However, when an organization has a sprawling, unplanned list of IT assets and resources with no clear strategy for integrating them into business operations, there can be a great deal of confusion and inefficiency.
ITSM helps businesses:
- Rationalize their use of IT resources;
- Keep track of which resources are needed for specific processes; and
- Streamline their IT assets and workflows to create greater efficiency.
One local state government office was struggling to standardize its ITIL processes because it had no ability to track or follow up on changes. The resolution times for IT issues were long and their reporting systems were not sufficient to meet the office’s needs.
So, Contender helped the office implement ServiceNow to increase traceability and to standardize processes. With some out-of-the-box tools and Contender’s help, the office was able to improve its change management processes to save time and increase reliability.
Additionally, the office was able to streamline incident resolution to minimize the time spent on managing tools and improve efficiency across different departments.
5. Improve Visibility into Operations & Anticipate Issues
Visibility is a key factor for many business processes. Knowing who changed what, accessed specific files, and/or what resources are available is crucial for anticipating potential issues and meeting numerous compliance requirements.
One world-class academic and healthcare systems company was facing an issue where a poor user interface in their project portfolio management (PPM) system was impacting user adoption and visibility into their projects and resources.
By retiring their old PPM solution and implementing a more user-friendly system with better visibility, the client was able to better track IT enhancements and projects from ideation through to delivery with full transparency. This helped the client better anticipate potential issues and apply solutions before they could become major problems.
6. Enhance Business Resiliency
North Carolina health system non-profit organization was impacted hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. The health system, which consisted of eight hospitals and over 14,000 employees, was suddenly forced to move to a remote work model for many employees, contend with quarantine requirements for people exposed to the pandemic, and help their workers deal with extra hardships.
By adopting a new ITSM strategy, they were able to move their HR staff to a pure remote work solution. They were also able to introduce new automation to handle employee needs—increasing HR and staffing effectiveness. Removing employees from the office helped to limit the risk of COVID infections, improving business resiliency by reducing absenteeism due to health problems.
7. Increase Accountability for Individuals, Teams, and Business Units
Accountability is a major driving force for ensuring employee productivity. It can also be crucial for ensuring that business resources aren’t misused or misappropriated.
A major benefit of increasing visibility into IT assets and business processes is that it can help to increase employee accountability throughout the whole of the organization. For example, Rooms-to-Go, a major furniture company, was able to leverage ITSM to improve visibility and traceability for their imported products—simplifying their vendor management and improving their supply chain management.
The ability to track where shipments are in real time and trace individual shipments to specific vendors or internal teams helped the furniture company increase accountability and better control loss risks for its products.Improve
8. Improve Internal Communication and Collaboration
Communication and collaboration are key for efficient and effective business operations. Modern chat tools can be incredibly useful for helping facilitate communication, but they can also create bloat if there aren’t set processes for implementing or using them.
When staff or customers are required to track numerous communication channels for important updates or information, it becomes easy to miss critical updates.
One state research university wanted to improve its internal communication and collaboration tools, and then provide students improved chat capabilities as well. Contender Solutions helped implement advanced work assignment (AWA) chat capabilities for the organization—which they later used to create a template for rolling AWA out to other colleges and to expand the tool for other use cases.
This helped the college improve communication and collaboration for its internal teams and for its students.
The above are just a few examples of ITSM benefits and how organizations have realized them.
Do you need help perfecting your IT service management strategy to maximize your business’ resiliency, control costs, or streamline operations? Reach out to Contender Solutions today to get started!