What is ITSM?
Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is a term for frameworks that encompass the processes, procedures, and guidelines that can be utilized to manage all customer-oriented IT-services in organizations of any type and size. From problem and incident management, knowledge-based management and sharing, to service portals and catalogues, risk detection and notification, and much more, utilizing ITSM helps manage the support and improvement of the current IT services offered. Additionally, ITSM helps enforce and support IT as a service rather than just a technology management department.
There are many available ITSM frameworks, such as ITILv4, ISO 20000, and more. Each offers a mature solution to manage the “run” portion of your technology budget.
Why Implement an ITSM Framework?
Your hospital or practice is utilizing more technology every day. Your healthcare organization is likely only growing in technical complexity with each new software integration, new pieces of equipment, or iPad you purchase. Making your landscape even more complex is the complicated layers of users who range from providers to patients, insurance companies, and billing departments. If the technology has an issue, needs updates, or simply isn’t utilized to its fullest potential, it can cause a domino effect by creating a bottleneck as services are hindered or stopped until an issue is resolved. Hence, within healthcare, there is an ever growing need to implement procedures, systems, practices, etc. that offer pathways to properly support and utilize IT services that are offered.
ITSM frameworks are designed to overcome these technological hurdles before they become problems by setting clear tracking mechanisms, protocols, and incident priorities for each service. Each framework recognizes that the best way to facilitate positive problem solving and avoidance is by supporting the IT services that are currently being offered. If your organization is focusing only on the development and growth of new technology, while neglecting how the technology, both new and aging, is managed and served, you’re missing a key component of the technology equation. Consider how investing in the improved service of your existing technology can create tangible benefits for your organization. This investment does not need to be hefty to reap the benefits because an ITSM framework helps facilitate and utilize the IT services that are currently offered by supporting the IT team with a more robust set of management tools with which they can engage the end users.
What are the Benefits?
There are two ways to look at the benefits of having a well implemented ITSM framework. There are benefits from the perspective of the IT team and the perspective of end users.
Benefits of ITSM for Technology Teams:
- Increased Productivity – From the perspective of the IT team, ITSM helps increase productivity and efficiency by more clearly defining roles and responsibilities for each team member. With everyone knowing their role, there is no confusion on who should handle which problem.
- Clear Communications – ITSM establishes clear paths of communication, priority, and execution for every service request available. Additionally, through various management tools in the framework, prioritizations can be preset to handle all incoming requests in the way that benefits the organization the most.
- Establishes a Service Catalogue – By helping customers use the services, this makes it easier for the IT team to engage and communicate back in a productive and efficient way. By taking advantage of the service catalogue, IT team members can begin to bucket and control the categorization of all their customer-facing services and those related requests. This allows for the implementation and standardization of terminology and pathways that are considered best practices.
- Increased Bandwidth – Leveraging an ITSM framework frees up bandwidth for the IT team. The extra time available within the team creates the flexibility to handle more requests, focus on the growth and development side of the current technology and services rather than just maintain them, and/or focus on other side projects. Because this is all done with existing headcount, it enables technology budgets to be stretched further for maximum advantage.
Benefits of ITSM for Non-Technology Teams:
- Clear & Simple Avenues for Coordination – Non-technology stakeholders benefit from the clear instructions and avenues of communication with IT services provided through ITSM frameworks. ITSM pulls back the curtain on the IT services from the end user perspective and makes clear what is available and how to properly engage with the provided services. Rather than blindly requesting help, engage the IT team and services through the established framework to notify and track your request as well as receive responses in a timely manner.
- Improved Resolution Times – Properly implemented ITSM frameworks will result in a quicker response time for customer requests which will offer the ability to respond to more submitted requests.
- Closer Partnership with Technology – With a growing confidence in the ability for the IT team to engage the customer, the end user will increase the utilization of these services adding to the value that they bring. The overall value and cost efficiency will go up.
Other Benefits From the Organization Include:
- More efficient use of IT budget and services
- Increased accountability on both IT team and end users
- Improved flexibility in request prioritization and planning
- Increased utilization of IT services
- Increased internal and external customer satisfaction
Overall, utilizing ITSM best practices through both process and tooling will help technology and business stakeholders to align to better manage and leverage technology.
Where to Begin?
When getting ready to implement ITSM processes, consider these three areas:
- Size and Environment of the Team – For whatever size team you have, resources are probably limited. Considering the team member types, roles, and responsibilities, how can you best support them in what they currently do?
- What’s the Target – Consider the problem that you are trying to target. Focusing on reducing the IT budget will look different than trying to create a more robust IT service network. (examples: Decrease cost, free up budget, reduce time to complete a ticket, resolve more tickets in the same amount of time)
- Select an ITSM Framework – All frameworks bring structure, reliability, visibility, and clearly defined processes, however, the ways in which they bring these about are different. Taking time to choose the right ITSM Framework for your team and targets is essential and should not be overlooked.
ITSM frameworks are immensely valuable and bring about great innovation and efficiency to an organization through greater support and utilization of their current IT services. Consider how you and your organization can effectively plan and implement an ITSM framework to improve your current state. Want to know more about the best ITSM tools on the market? We have compiled a list of the 2020 Top ITSM Solutions here.