Great IT service management (ITSM) is easy to perceive where it exists, but unfortunately, there is no set formula for any organization on how to get there.
We try to help our clients approach great IT service management (ITSM) as a journey, and not a destination. And that journey becomes easier once you start to understand the path you are on, i.e., your organization’s vision and goals, your specific IT infrastructure and needs, and, most importantly, how the living, breathing organism of your IT infrastructure is shaping up within your company. Great IT is a combination of having a dedicated IT team, involved IT end-users, and great IT service management (ITSM) solutions that work together to deliver results that surpass expectations in excellent IT service management.
Over the years, we have found that there are some reliable ways to improve your company’s IT service management. From our experience, here are seven to consider:
Roadmap your IT service management strategy from the beginning
What are your company’s exact ITSM needs? Pare this down to its essentials, and the rest of your ITSM strategy will fall in place easily.
Do you need a helpdesk for employees when they run into technical problems (hardware or software)? Do you need a centralized asset management platform? Tracking your IT assets right from the beginning with a purchase order till decommissioning and recycling can help your organization not just save money in the long run, but also act more responsibly towards the environment and society.
Driving good value from ITSM depends on strategizing and making the right calls early on in your company’s journey. Subsequent value addition can be done through trying to constantly improve different aspects of your infrastructure, from mobility to security to a network upgrade. Don’t try to emulate the strategies of other successful organizations, as both your problems and solutions will be unique to your organization.
Solve ITSM problems using technology tools available to you
We definitely don’t recommend adopting the latest and greatest in technology offerings when it comes to addressing your ITSM pain points, but there is also little need to reinvent the wheel.
Technology is evolving to the point where most day-to-day technical hitches your employees may face can be converted to a series of fairly simple self-checkout technical processes without the need for human intervention at all. It’s only when technology is incapable of self-administering a solution that your second-tier of human technical support needs to chime in. This frees up their bandwidth to focus on more complex macro level IT problems. You should try to encourage this trend as much as possible through handy FAQs and proactive service announcements, so employees get used to the self-checkout mode as much as possible and save you some valuable IT resources and time.
Build a searchable knowledge base to avoid reinventing the wheel
If your organization has been up and running for some time, it is likely you will encounter problems that repeat. Someone, somewhere within your organization might have already grappled with the problem facing you now and may have already figured a way around it.
Don’t let this effort and know-how go to waste. Document the problems and solutions as they arise and archive them in a user-friendly and neatly indexed, searchable database. That way, when you face similar problems in the future, you don’t have to make up a solution from scratch, but can choose to build on solutions your team members have already worked on before. This reduces duplication of effort; over time, the database can be built up to be an incredible knowledge asset for your organization.
Track and measure progress
Whatever gets tracked, gets improved. Tracking ITSM effectively gives you an in-depth look into the strengths and weaknesses of your ITSM processes. Perhaps your IT team managed to crack a persistent process issue within a record timeframe or developed a great compendium of knowledge when it comes to common technical issues – it’s hard to keep track of these developments without an effective tracking mechanism. Over years, you will start to notice a relative stability in your ITSM processes; while you will continue to always fine tune and evolve, this stability will serve as an indicator of the health of your ITSM processes.
Consider fresh approaches and methods
Agile methods and DevOps have contributed a lot in boosting IT performance and bringing business and technical together to work as a single cohesive unit. Such fresh approaches and methods contribute hugely in cutting through the noise and leads to simpler, easily implementable solutions that makes lives easier for everyone involved. Your local Managed IT Services Provider should also be able to help you out with this.
An objective third eye always helps
Avoid developing tunnel vision when it comes to macro-level business problems that can be solved through ITSM. An experienced and objective third party can help immensely in avoiding this and opening up blind spots of potential improvement in ITSM processes. This can also help you objectively analyze the impact of changes on other teams and the business as a whole.
Avoid emulating other successes
Your organization’s ITSM best practices are going to look different from that of your fellow business in the same field or geographical area. And that’s a good thing.
That generally serves as an indicator that you have spent time and effort to really understand your organization inside out, and taken the time to align your ITSM processes with your true business visions and goals. Your best ITSM practices will evolve continually and continue to deliver results. And through close monitoring, you retain the ability to stop at any time and change tactics should there be any need to.
Brent Whitfield is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions LLC. DCG provides specialist advice and managed IT service Los Angeles area businesses need to remain competitive and productive while being sensitive to limited IT budgets.
Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business. He also leads SMBTN – Los Angeles, a MSP peer group that focuses on continuing education for MSP’s and IT professionals. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP mentor.