In today’s ever-evolving ITSM landscape, your business needs tools that can keep up with the changing times and technologies. The pressure of improving customer experience through digital service channels and keeping pace with competitors’ service offerings have had business leaders spending a disproportionate amount of time adding or integrating channels.
ITSM software simplifies the tasks and workflows connected to the management and delivery of quality IT services. IT service desks and IT service delivery functions use these tools for generic ticket-handling and for resolving issues. But ITSM tools can do much more than that. The modern ITSM software isn’t just used for ticket handling or tracking requests anymore. With emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML), virtual agents, and more being incorporated into ITSM, its potential has grown by leaps and bounds.
ITSM may be the perfect solution for your current service desk challenges. But with so many big names in the ITSM world, it can become cumbersome to navigate your way and find the right match for your specific business requirements. Here’s what you need to know before choosing ITSM software.
Features you need to consider in ITSM software
One of the most important features your ITSM software must have is a service desk that provides a point of contact to ensure your customers receive resolutions to their requests or queries, which may range from general inquiries to full-blown emergencies. Service desk supports customers with incident resolution or service request management. It also simplifies communication and collaboration between IT and other departments by preventing and resolving anomalies and helping you create, assign, track, and resolve tickets. Other important function that a Service Desk must have are managing departmental knowledge, offering self-service options to customers who are looking to quickly resolve issues, and providing metrics on the team and the tool’s efficiency.
Data is key to moving ahead in today’s business world. But since business data is generated in large amounts, users often find it overwhelming to manually monitor, track, and analyze information from this huge amount of data. Advanced IT analytics collates, analyzes, and presents real-time data in a ready-to-consume format through dashboards, which helps monitor metrics more efficiently, identify gaps, monitor periods of peak business activity, track changes in the market, plan resources carefully, and much more. Analytics provide insights into the availability and performance of IT services to help you understand whether it's meeting your business objectives.
Change and Incident Management
IT infrastructure undergoes a lot of change. These changes must be tracked and recorded to avoid mishaps. The change management module of your ITSM software must provide detailed risk analysis to highlight potential issues in advance. It follows standard processes to ensure that every part of every change, including planning, risk assessment, and tracking implementations are effectively managed. By tracking the change process, this module helps you stay on top of all change requests. Organizations can collect crucial information about the type of change requested right at the beginning and then decide if the change needs to be implemented by having users submit a Request For Change (RFC) through the service desk tool. With a strong approval mechanism in place, this module ensures that the changes receive all the essential permissions before they are executed.
While some incidents in IT aren’t too critical, others can lead to complete system failure. To avoid such incidents and to take timely steps when an incident is about to happen, incident management procedures should be in place. This will help identify priorities, detect, and communicate necessary actions to the IT teams to resolve incidents. The incident management module should be able to categorize and identify an incident once it is logged. Based on the urgency and the nature of the incident, it should send appropriate alerts to the concerned team and escalate based on the categorization. As the concerned teams diagnose and resolve the incident, the incident management module notifies relevant staff, customers, or authorities.
Keeping track of service assets is crucial for your business which can be efficiently done using Asset Management. Your ITSM software should have automation features and asset tracking capabilities for assets within and outside the workplace. The ITSM technology you intend to use should help you make data-driven decisions across all IT assets and networks. Factors like remote support and automated configuration management are heavily dependent on how well the solution tracks incidents and devices in real-time.
The condition of hardware and software assets changes quickly in complex IT infrastructure settings. Configurations should fulfill the requirements of diverse users and follow structural policies. Businesses need to maintain accurate and up-to-date information of all configuration items in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to manage changes in real-time. The best ITSM tools enhance the network workflow using CMDB capabilities to track IT assets and their dependencies across multi-cloud environments. Your tool should be able to automate these processes to reduce risks associated with IT changes such as downtime and higher costs.
Top 5 ITSM software you can consider for your business
Now that you’re aware of the features you’re looking for in ITSM software, here’s a list of the top 5 ITSM tools that companies all over the world have adopted and benefited from.
1. ServiceNow ITSM
ServiceNow ITSM is considered one of the best ITSM software across industries. The cloud-based Now platform supports a full suite of ITSM capabilities including service mapping, discovery, cloud management, operational intelligence, orchestration, and more. You can use the platform to automate incident, problem, change, configuration, and request management with an ITIL-based solution that is codeless and pre-configured.
ServiceNow Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) uses big data and machine learning to optimize business operations. It not only reduces event noise by eliminating redundancy but also uses relevant past data, metrics, and rich insights to guide you to the causal conditions and root cause of issues, eliminating the need to work across multiple tools. AIOps helps you execute tasks faster and more efficiently across systems and teams with ML algorithms. These algorithms are designed to prioritize alerts, provide remediation options that can be automatically composed, and present opportunities for automation across different IT teams.
ServiceNow Incident Management has features like mobile self-service and virtual agents that connect customers quickly. It leverages machine learning to route incidents automatically and uses workflows to resolve issues quickly.
ServiceNow Asset Management provides accurate data about your IT assets and keeps your IT teams informed about where an asset is in its lifecycle, what contracts need to be renewed, and what needs replacement.
ServiceNow comes with an integrated application that helps you create accurate reports and analyze business performance.
ServiceNow Change and Release Management help you lessen the number of unsuccessful changes and reduce cost per change with features like automatic conflict detection and risk assessment.
The Customer Service Management feature automates service management processes and provides a flexible platform that brings agility and business continuity to customer services. Apart from these features, ServiceNow also offers Knowledge Management, Field Service Management, and much more.
Also, read about What makes ServiceNow a better ITSM software than others in the industry?
2. Atlassian Jira Service Desk
Jira Service Desk is considered the best ITSM tool for DevOps. It can be used as a standalone ITSM tool or as a part of the Atlassian suite for DevOps, which includes Jira Software, Bitbucket, Confluence, Opsgenie, and Statuspage. It can be deployed as a SaaS, a self-managed single server option, or by Atlassian's self-managed enterprise version.
Jira integrates easily with several CMDB management apps and takes a lean approach to Change Management without compromising compliance or increased risk to the organization.
Jira Asset Management is provided through integrations from Oomnitza, Device42, and Riada.
Its analytics comes with real-time reporting options to track trends and performance.
It also comes with a self-service web portal and lets you receive, track, manage, and resolve requests.
Jira’s Incident Management solution is called Opsgenie and it alerts your DevOps teams well ahead so that they can plan for service disruptions and stay in control if incidents occur.
3. IBM ITSM
ITSM is a part of IBM’s middleware portfolio and provides end-to-end visibility, control, and automation to the IT staff helping them manage business applications and services on-premises and in the cloud. While IBM boasts of a huge portfolio of ITSM-related tools, it specializes in enterprise asset management and field service.
IBM ITSM provides full visibility and control of all CIs and their dependencies as part of Asset/Configuration Management.
On the service desk front, IBM ITSM provides automated service requests through end-user catalogs through which each request can be handled without human interaction.
IBM Incident Management consists of consolidating, reducing, and prioritizing the events and alarms that impact business services before they affect end-users.
IBM Change Management feature helps track the status of assets and changes in near real-time with the help of automation.
IBM integrates with IBM Watson AI to provide analytics capabilities.
4. BMC Helix
The ITSM suite of BMC Software has been designed following ITIL best practices. The BMC Helix Suite comes with modules for chatbots, digital workplace, discovery, ITSM, business workflows, and cloud-native microservices, powered by built-in AI and machine learning capabilities. Organizations have the option to deploy it on-premise, SaaS, multi-cloud, and hybrid. Its ITSM module can run on a choice of public clouds, including AWS, Azure, IBM, and BMC. While it’s a strong performer, BMC is still relatively new to the ITSM paradigm and lacks a few features.
Its Incident Management module creates and resolves incidents faster with intelligent, context-aware, and proactive incident matching.
It comes with simplified change request processes with a guided process on mobile and web, drag-and-drop change calendar, and automated and contextual collision detection and impact analysis.
BMC Helix supports a variety of service request workloads and has cognitive capabilities with which it can automate the classification, assignment, and routing of incidents.
For analytics, BMC Helix leverages its cognitive capabilities to perform tasks like automated classification, routing of incidents, and more.
BMC Helix offers class structure, federation, reconciliation and normalization, data and service models, and agentless application and dependency mapping for Asset and Configuration Management.
5. Cherwell Service Management
It is considered one of the best enterprise service management solutions. Cherwell Software’s ITSM tool takes a low/no-code approach and supports complex processes and extends beyond IT to other business and enterprise services. This ITSM tool can be used on-premise or as SaaS. It comes with easy customization options and third-party integrations.
With the ease of configuration and automation, Cherwell makes deployment of the Change Management process and the execution of the changes easy.
Cherwell meets the general, core, and integration criteria for 11 processes including Incident Management, as required by PinkVerify 2011 certification.
The CMDB software of Cherwell helps IT teams manage their infrastructure effectively.
Its service desk feature automates repetitive and complex tasks, reducing manual intervention and optimizing costs.
Analytics isn’t a strong suit of Cherwell though it extends ITSM to other functions such as HR, Security, and more.
The below is a quick feature specific comparison of ITSM software that we have discussed:
It’s important to remember that investing in a top-rated ITSM solution isn’t always the right step. You need to understand the requirements of your business to select the best tool for your company. It is unreasonable to invest heavily in complex ITSM tools when your company may require only basic ITSM features.
Still not sure which ITSM software is the best for your business? Talk to the experts at Nous Infosystems. Tell us your requirements and we’ll find the right ITSM match for you.