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May 31, 2018

The Pros and Cons of IT Service Management

Using many types of IT related services has become near mandatory in companies belonging to various sectors. Thousands of mid to large sized companies are using such IT services in their daily operations including marketing, sales, customer relationship handling and promotional needs. To manage such a diverse range of IT related services, these entities often resort to ITSM. ITSM or IT Service Management denotes a strategic approach for planning, managing, delivering and improving IT services usage in organizations. Such IT Service Management frameworks are aimed at ensuring correct processes, technologies and users are in place to let the entity meet its business goals. 

IT services can include a lot of technologies used at the workplace. The term covers things like cloud services, computer peripherals, apps and software installed in devices, networking, printing tasks etc. These are services provided by the IT team. For a majority of people ITSM is equivalent to IT Support. However, in reality, ITSM goes much beyond resolving daily IT service issues. The IT team handling ITSM is responsible for management of all IT services. They may actually use ITSM framework or software for comprehensive management. 

Some of the popular and widely used ITSM frameworks are Microsoft Operations Framework, The COBIT framework, TOGAF and Six Sigma – the later being a framework developed by Motorola.

Advantages of using ITSM software/ framework

Listed below are many benefits of using an ITSM software/framework in an organization:

  • Standardization and Integration- As it is, ITSM is meant for letting you standardize IT procedures in all departments of an organization. So, when you use software or a framework developed to support such functions- achieving the objective of streamlining and standardizing IT services becomes easier. Using ITSM tools eventually helps the company staff do their tasks better. The synchronization between various departments in the company is also improved. 
  • Enhanced ROI- Deploying ITSM framework or software can help enhance the ROI of a business. Using such solutions in the company ensures the staff gets the means to extract the most out of IT services and apps. As a result, productivity and output gets enhanced. Some ITSM solutions are suites of software and these can be used to accomplish various tasks.
  • Better efficiency– No matter how good the employees are in your organization, they will eventually perform better if they get the right tools. A well equipped ITSM tool will enable them to find information faster, sort out reports flawlessly and stay updated. Such tools also serve as excellent Workflow management software- which benefit the overall work procedures in the company. Errors get minimized and work efficacy gets a boost in long run. The sync between various teams in the company also gets improved eventually. Employees can focus better on projects and pending tasks rather than bothering about workflow related woes.
  • Easier visualization– Sometimes, you may want to get a better look at workflow processes in the company. However, when an effective ITSM tool is there, you do not need to scribble everything on paper for such needs. This helps you as well as other employees in various teams to visualize nuances of workflow in a comprehensible way. This can also be helpful in troubleshooting if anything goes awry. In fact, ITSM software can be utilized to execute cost-benefit analyses better. 
  • Cost reduction– The greatest benefit of using ITSM tools is the fact that they help your company save money. When such a framework is used, employees benefit in multiple ways and their efficiency shoots up. Tasks are performed in less time and output is enhanced. This eventually helps in reduction of running costs. With an ITSM setup in place, employees need to spend less time in finding issues throttling productivity- which also helps in cost savings. The money saved can be used for things like promotional activities and advertising.
  • Asset management– By using a suitable ITSM tool, the asset management in the organization can be improved. Hardware assets like workstations, printers, servers and software assets like paid software and firewalls can be monitored 24×7 and tracking their usage can be improved as well.  Any changes made to IT assets or any damages caused to these can be reported instantly. This can help in enhancing longevity and performance of such IT assets.
  • Reduced conflict among teams-Without an ITSM solution in place, organizations may suffer clashes between departments from time to time. When things do not go as planned or some snags develop in the workflow, departments may end up blaming each other for the problem. However, with an ITSM tool deployed, finding the exact root of such snags is simple. This effectively reduces the risk of conflicts among teams and helps prevent problems. 
  • Better employee performance assessment-When your company has an effective ITSM framework in place, it becomes easier to assess employee performances and efficacy. When the overall workflow is monitored by the framework- it becomes easy to figure out if specific departments or employees are not performing at optimum level. This enables the company to discover errant employees and improve workflow.

The Drawbacks of ITSM software/ framework

While using an ITSM tool can be beneficial for any organization, there are a few drawbacks too. You should analyze these before picking such a tool:

  • Integration issues– Not all ITSM frameworks are compatible or can be integrated with all IT Related services/software used in an organization. Some such frameworks may not support specific operating systems, web based services or cloud platforms. If your organization relies on using specific software or web services, checking compatibility with an ITSM tool will be necessary.
  • Scalability issues– There are some ITSM platforms that do not offer good scalability. This can be more of an issue with big organizations and those companies on a rapid expansion spree. This can also prove to be counterproductive in long run. 

Things to check

The advantages of using ITSM tools outweigh the drawbacks. However, you should analyze the listed aspects below to ensure you select the right ITSM tool and minimize any drawbacks as much as possible.

  • Support– After deploying an ITSM framework in your company, support may be required. Whether the service is web based or standalone software based-without robust support from the manufacturer/provider you may face trouble. So, ensure the provider offers multi level support after you buy the license. Ideally, companies offering such frameworks offer email, live chat and telephonic support to customers.
  • Multilingual support– The ITSM framework should be multilingual. This will be beneficial for the end users. 
  • Trial/simulation mode– Deploying an ITSM framework in the entire organization may not exactly be a cakewalk. Depending on the type of workflow and employee strength, the deployment can be quite tedious at times.  So, it is better that you choose an ITSM service/ tool that can be used in trial mode. This will let you check whether it is suited for your company needs or not. Some such tools can also be run in a simulation mode which is beneficial for first time adopters.

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Vaishali is a enthusiastic digital marketer and an occasional content writer who is always fascinated about the search engine technology. She has developed a keen interest on ITSM and ITIL and often voices about it.

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