An IndustryVoices article
To keep IT operations management (ITOM) away from IT service management (ITSM) is like having wine without cheese. You won’t get the complete experience of delivering a good IT service to your end-users, just as you wouldn’t get the fuller flavor on the palate of a well-paired wine and cheese.
We’re no strangers to what ITSM and ITOM can do for your business. While ITSM helps with the timely delivery of services to keep your employees delighted, ITOM helps to optimally keep services up and running for responsive service management sans any disruptions.
But why am I making a case for bringing these two functions together, anyway? Hear me out:
- If there’s anything the pandemic has done for businesses across the globe, it’s the increased reliance on technology to deliver products and services to customers and enable employees to do their work regardless of where they do it and how they do it.
- In addition to that, organizations have also increased the complexity of their tech stack. While moving to the cloud, implementing automation, AI for customer service, and machine learning in marketing and product development have definitely made conducting business easy, these rapidly advancing employees and customer-facing digital services have created a highly complex IT landscape.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Before we get into the “why” of the ITSM x ITOM matrimony, let’s look more into such IT challenges businesses face today to understand the importance of ITSM and ITOM working together.
Common IT challenges
Enterprise business operations are all but inseparable from their IT infrastructure foundations. Let’s examine some current IT challenges in ITSM and ITOM:
- External dependencies slowing you down
- Lengthy implementation: Large initial implementations and multiple ongoing upgrades leave you playing catch-up to the business.
- Frequent upgrade cycles: With heavy customizations, minor workflow changes and feature upgrades often become large projects that can last months or years.
- Poor support system: With vendor support routed through expensive partners, ongoing support leaves you dependent on an external partner network.
- Poor employee service experiences
- Always under construction: Setting up modern, consumer-like experiences with legacy systems is a long-drawn-out process.
- Poor user experience: The usability of the service desk, bogged down by broken processes and tool complexity, makes it hard for end users to engage with the IT team.
- Product complexity frustration
- Feature overkill: Legacy systems are loaded with excessive features you’ll never use.
- Agent productivity: Built with heavy customizations, these features often break, leaving your agents to always firefight the situation and manage the product.
- Agent learning curve: The endless list of features creates mind-boggling complexity for your team and weighs you down.
So, what’s the fix? Enter the union of ITSM x ITOM.
Benefits of bringing ITSM and ITOM together
1. Remove silos
All modern organizations are powered by technology. And incidents – whether reported through the IT Service Desk or registered through monitoring tools – are likely to be interconnected. For IT teams to resolve issues quickly, context is essential. And that rapidity is made possible through the usage of a common solution across the IT Service Desk and IT Ops.
2. Support the modern workforce from anywhere
Employees have consumer-grade expectations for corporate applications and IT requests at the workplace. There is a visible need for instant response and quick access among employees to stay fueled and motivated to do their jobs well. And as for customers, they demand a high quality of service right from the moment they land on your website or enter your storefront. Shifting to a central point of reference for all IT management needs help businesses to keep up with the demands of both employees and customers.
3. Increase agent productivity and efficiency
Constantly switching screens to analyze notifications from different monitoring tools can be time-consuming and tiring for your teams. But organizations can reduce noise and risk by automating their digital operations with alert management powered by AI. This gives them a single-pane-of-glass view of their digital infrastructure to:
- Reduce alert noise and identify the most pressing issues
- Use AIOps to enrich the context and resolve incidents faster
- Preempt the creation of duplicate tickets
4. Empower and delight your end users
New global research from Freshworks shows that despite a pandemic-driven tech spend surge, nine in ten (91%) employees are still frustrated by workplace tech. It reveals that businesses globally face a potential workplace crisis due to inadequate technology, damaging employee productivity, mental health, and the inability to retain talent.
Long story short, addressing this business crisis is business-critical.
Bringing ITSM and ITOM together helps organizations create contextual and intelligent service delivery with the help of advanced AI and machine learning capabilities. It provides better context-based recommendations and improved employee experience while reducing service delivery costs. And speaking of empowering your end-users, you can also provide a seamless self-service experience by having your users simply raise a ticket from the portal and track progress or look up solutions and resolve the issue themselves to avoid delayed responses.
5. Streamline incident response on a unified platform
IT teams get a single source of reference with all associated events and metrics accessible on a single dashboard, irrespective of where and how that incident was first reported. Real-time updates and the ability to collaborate over communication channels of their choice, minus the chaos and confusion, enable them to collaboratively respond, rather than react, to critical incidents. Plus, automation capabilities help address predictable, repetitive, and low-value tasks to focus on problem-solving instead.
Business always-on + Happier employees + Delighted customers -> Made possible through
1. Higher efficiency: Made possible through
- Richer incident context: The incident acts as a repository of all relevant and updated information related to the incident to all stakeholders across the organization. This isn't possible in a setup that uses disparate tools for different teams.
- Easy collaboration: Collaboration is easy-peasy with multiple eyes viewing a common ticket, exchanging notes, or creating Slack channels on the fly. This isn't possible when using disparate tools because time and effort are spent conveying context and agreeing to a common point of view.
- Automation: Manual and repetitive tasks are automated through Workflow Automator and Alert Rules.
2. Greater value: Made possible through
- Ease of implementation: A single tool used across the organization. No hassles wrt integrations.
- Seamless updates: All updates are in stealth mode.
- Right-sized solution: All essential features packaged together
3. Better preparedness for the future: Made possible through
- Building the ground for AIOps
- Agility through Cloud
- Deeper insights are gained from data collected from across the organization, which helps make better business decisions.
During the pandemic, the rapid move to remote work models, including work-from-home and work-from-anywhere, forced many businesses to rethink how they deliver IT services to their modern workforce. Today IT service management and IT operations management must empower IT to do more with less, streamline service management, and improve employee productivity.
To get more insights into why ITSM is better with ITOM, download the Supercharging ITSM with ITOM for Dummies report.
Vishnu Parimi is Director - Product Management at Freshworks.