A Complete Guide to ITSM - Everything You Need to Know

February 23, 2021

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Vikas Kapoor

Practice Head - ServiceNow

IT Service Management (ITSM) refers to a range of activities and processes to design, create, deliver, and support IT services in an organization. But what IT services are referred to here? Anything starting from the laptop you use at work, the apps on it, the printer to the option on your system to reset the password are all services provided by your IT teams or IT services.

ITSM is commonly perceived as just ‘IT support’ by most users, but it goes way beyond resolving day-to-day issues. Your IT team is responsible for the end-to-end management of these services using ITSM solutions or platforms designed to help IT departments manage the vast amount of information and resources in an organization.

Types of ITSM tools

The range of ITSM tools is vast, concerning both what they can do and the quality of their capabilities. Most IT teams can instantly enhance their ITSM with three tools: service desks, helpdesks, and server and application monitors

Service desks

Service Desks are crucial communication centers, which act as a single point of contact between a business and its customers or employees. Service desks are designed to streamline communication—both internally and externally.

Helpdesks

Helpdesks are also similar to service desks. They help enterprises resolve customer issues by automating complaint resolution practices. An ideal helpdesk software will work around a business’s ticket management processes and can greatly improve the rate at which incidents are resolved, both for customers and employees.

Application and server monitors

They have been created to monitor and manage the performance of application dependencies, transaction times, and overall user experiences.

Why enterprises need ITSM?

With the help of ITSM, your business can modernize your service delivery and enhance efficiency at optimized costs. An ideal ITSM solution keeps track of your organization, people, information, technology, partners, suppliers, practice, and processes to help your IT department manage these resources and information efficiently. While ITSM solutions aren’t new, the technological developments in cloud, Agile, DevOps, and AI are compelling many organizations to review their IT systems and determine how to evolve with the rapidly shifting IT environment.

The common benefits of ITSM include:

  • Cross-departmental collaboration
  • Knowledge-sharing among IT teams and improving continuously
  • Responding quickly to major disruptions and avoiding future incidents
  • Bringing IT and development teams on a single platform through streamlined project management approaches
  • Better customer service with options for self-service and faster processes
  • Streamlined request coordination
  • Increased visibility and understanding of IT services
  • Better quality of service at lesser costs

Choosing the right ITSM software for your business needs

Now that you’re aware of why your business needs ITSM, it’s crucial to understand which software works best for your business. To start, you must first identify which ITSM tool is a must-have for your business. ou should clearly distinguish between must-have features to get the most out of your investment against merely desirable features. You may find a tool with a lot of capabilities, but you’ll probably not use them all because your business doesn’t require them.

While choosing ITSM tools that best fit your business needs, it is also important to consider your current and future integration needs. With the popularity of cloud service providers and the service integration and management (SIAM) approach, you might also have to integrate with third-party IT systems. Your ITSM software needs to easily integrate with all these systems.

Another important element to include while deciding on your ITSM software is your IT team. Let your team know about your need for an ITSM tool so they can also understand how it will impact their day-to-day work and make themselves familiar with the basic concepts.

ITSM tool purchase is a significant investment for your business. You mustn’t rush into it. You must consider several factors like consistency in the ITSM processes, type of customer service experience, automation capabilities, integration with third-party solutions, application outside IT, ease of configuration and defining workflows, availability of real-time data through dashboards, metrics, and more, and lastly, support for the migration of data from existing tools to the new ITSM solution.

Why choose ServiceNow as your ITSM platform?

Many reasons make ServiceNow a better ITSM platform than others in the industry. ServiceNow offers a variety of ITSM products that can enhance your business functions like incident management, change and release management, asset management, customer service management, knowledge management, and more.

ServiceNow ITSM helps consolidate your disparate processes using the Now platform. Its smart performance analytics provides insights that help you take quick action in times of need and eliminate redundant processes for maximum efficiency. It provides a powerful platform for seamless integrations and scales with the evolving needs of your organization. ServiceNow provides you complete visibility over all your operations and prompts efficient decision-making.

Customer Service Management

ServiceNow CSM goes beyond the traditional customer service protocols so you can serve your customers better. There are a few things to consider before choosing your Customer Service Management/helpdesk software. The foremost is choosing the right software for your industry. You need an intuitive system like ServiceNow that simplifies your processes by quickly building, testing, and publishing applications and automating service management processes through ITSM. In a business world powered by AI and ML, automation is a crucial feature that your business just can’t afford to miss.

Another important point to keep in mind is the amount of flexibility the system offers. You need an ITSM solution that can withstand the pressures of enterprise IT, scalability, and changing customer requirements.

Since your customer expectations and demands are not likely to remain the same over the years, you need to invest in a platform that grows as your enterprise evolves and needs change. A platform like ServiceNow provides all these features that are essential for bringing agility and business continuity to customer service.

Asset Management with ServiceNow

One of the most tedious tasks for most enterprises is keeping track of assets. With the features such as automation and centralized asset tracking in ServiceNow IT Asset Management (ITAM), your teams can easily keep track of the assets. ServiceNow brings endless possibilities for improvement, efficiency, accountability, and visibility for your enterprise. ServiceNow makes achieving and maintaining the necessary level of IT asset data coverage and data accuracy as it keeps your IT teams informed about where an asset is in its lifecycle, what contracts need to be renewed, and what needs replacement.

ServiceNow Asset Management is important for your business because it offers the required support to make your asset management plan work and, in turn, get the maximum benefit out of your ITSM solutions.

Change and Release Management with ServiceNow

Change Management is an important part of your business as it helps reduce service impacts, mitigate risk, and cut costs. Change Management aims to make beneficial changes to the organization without disrupting or causing minimum disruption to the IT processes. Release Management seeks to protect the integrity of the live environment and make sure that the correct components of change are released.

Both Change and Release Management work together to deliver effective business change. ServiceNow Change and Release Management help you minimize failed changes and reduce cost per change with automatic conflict detection and risk assessment. It allows you to automate approvals for low‑risk changes to drive greater process efficiency. Apart from the standard workflows, ServiceNow’s Change Management solution also comes with a variety of analytics tools. For instance, with the performance analytics solution, you can visualize your business processes over time, identifying weaknesses and problem areas. Similarly, in-form analytics helps you with historical data to populate expected closure times inside the request form.

Knowledge Management with ServiceNow

ServiceNow ITSM doesn’t just improve your processes; it also helps you identify knowledge gaps, curate new content, and track usage, governance, and quality trends to improve your customer service. The platform consistently provides proven solutions to your customers and employees to enhance self-service.

With features like contextual search that cuts resolution time by suggesting answers matching the text customers and employees enter during case/incident creation and customized search that sort a list of search results based on multiple parameters, ServiceNow helps your team serve customers faster. It also allows you to refine your knowledge by monitoring knowledge base and article utilization, publishing timelines, article aging, user feedback, and knowledge gaps.

The tool also helps you create multiple versions of knowledge articles, track changes to updated articles, assign articles to content ownership groups, expand knowledge relevancy by allowing agents and employees to capture knowledge articles in context during work processes, such as a case or incident management, and display available knowledge through Service Portal to customers and other stakeholders.

Field Service Management with ServiceNow

Most enterprises face the daunting task of managing company assets that are not physically present in the work location. This is where Field Service Management becomes important.

Field Service Management, also known as field service automation, helps you sync your workplace with your distributed workforce. You can maintain a high-quality work standard and simple workflows regardless of location with this function. From detecting a field service need and scheduling of field technicians to product delivery and support, you can manage every aspect of field service with ServiceNow Field Service Management. It integrates your spreadsheets, email, and other management tools into a single system where you can quickly view progress, confirm inventory, resolve issues, and do much more.

Build, test, and publish applications

With little to no coding required, ServiceNow provides a less complex platform for your business applications. ServiceNow Application Portfolio Management (APM) is a single-source tool that gives a comprehensive view of your organization’s software applications and services while providing the metrics needed to determine the business benefits of each application. Based on these metrics, you can make data‑driven decisions on whether to invest, sustain, or replace your business applications.

By eliminating redundant and obsolete applications, the tool also helps you reduce overall IT costs while keeping up-to-date on underlying hardware and software technologies and simplifying your IT infrastructure.

Keep your operations secure and updated with ServiceNow

This is perhaps the most essential element and the one you should never compromise with. Enterprises need to maintain regulatory compliances to ensure better scaling of business processes to drive business efficiencies. ServiceNow’s Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) modules have been designed to strategically manage the regulatory requirements across your enterprise.

The GRC module ensures a centralized process for policies, standards, and internal control procedures following external regulations and best practices. You can identify, access, monitor, and respond to risks faster and prevent any potential damage. It also helps your organization with internal and external audits, vendor management, creation and execution of engagement, integration, and more. It provides options for real-time monitoring, automates risk management, manages compliance with set rules and standards, describes governance framework, and test compliance controls.

Implementing ITSM solution the right way

Selecting the right ITSM software and tool is a dreary task, which requires an in-depth analysis of your business needs and processes. Building a firm, needs-driven foundation for your IT Service Management will ensure that you choose the right tools and systems to achieve the goals of all your business functions, even the ones beyond IT.

At the pace at which digital business is evolving today, you require an implementation that aligns with the changing needs of the market. The ServiceNow platform is flexible enough to adapt itself to the unique needs of your business and customers. It automates manual processes, giving your team the time to work on more complex projects, and also enhances process consistency by reducing the potential for human error in repetitive, mundane tasks.

With a seamless ServiceNow implementation, you can achieve an organization-wide digital transformation. The right ServiceNow partner and the right ServiceNow implementation guide can make all the difference.

Move ahead with the dedicated and experienced team of NOUS Infosystems who understand your needs and will provide best-in-class expertise in standardized and scalable solutions.

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