ITSM: Understanding the Framework and Why It’s Important
IT Service Management (ITSM) is a vital element of IT, but it's also sometimes misunderstood and unappreciated. The simple truth is that every business of any size continues to have a timeless business need for IT Service Management (ITSM) both today and well into the future. The business simply can’t perform consistently without a healthy ITSM capability.
However, there has been so much development of tools, technologies, and best practices around ITSM, that it can be confusing to distinguish the many discussions that involve ITSM.
In this discussion, we will look at the core of ITSM and the value it continues to deliver to the organization.
Understanding the framework of ITSM improves our clarity and appreciation for this vital element of both IT and the business as a whole. It will help us best leverage the unique value ITSM can deliver.
Here we will look at four elements for the framework of ITSM and how each can benefit the organization and why all of this is so vital to every organization.
It All Starts With Great Service
At the heart of ITSM lies the delivery of services. This includes the timeless need to fix a machine that is not working properly, answering the many questions that arise daily, providing support for new employee setup, delivering and configuring mobile devices for workers, managing passwords, and much, much more. It helps to think in terms of the many needs employees have in order to be productive, and that many of those needs bring us back to IT and to ITSM.
And the fact is, when the ITSM team is delivering great service, every employee can work more productively and, in turn, service customers better.
This connection is important to understand: the linkage of the ITSM organization to every employee and then to every customer. This linkage is vital to business today, and due to our dependency on technology, more critical than ever. We sometimes get distracted by the many interesting and extensive frameworks including ITIL, COBIT, ISO, DevOps and Agile, but make no mistake—these do not great ITSM make. Yes, the right framework can certainly help with structure and operating models, but the core of ITSM is and must always remain about delivering great service to real people.
Quality services enabled by ITSM is a great boost to IT and to the business.
The Hub of IT
The processes and principles of ITSM are unique in that they connect the assets of the IT infrastructure to the people of the organization. We can think of this as bringing the assets of IT to life through the services that are the heartbeat of the business.
These connections are often direct in that every person in the business will utilize assets in some form, including smart phones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers to perform their work every day. This connection between people and technology is now vital to every business and this dependency is only growing. These technologies are simply how we do our work every day.
Think for a moment about the dependency our employees have on smartphones, email, and internet access to name a few examples. These resources are fundamental to every business of any size, and in order for these systems to operate in a reliable manner, IT is working around the clock to ensure everything is working as expected.
Taking this a step further, the processes of ITSM are at the heart of the daily operations and health of each system. When everything is working correctly, everybody is happy and these systems are simply taken for granted. But if the organization loses internet access or the email server goes down, there is an immediate and significant impact to the business. If we look closely, we can see that some of the fundamentals of Agile are very closely related to this hub and spoke model for IT and ITSM.
The many connections of technologies to people and then to customers brings to our attention the tremendous value of ITSM and the role ITSM plays in keeping the business running.
Process Strategy and Operations
Behind every service that is delivered by ITSM, there is a business process, process strategy, and process model. Yes, we love our processes in IT and nowhere is that more clear than in the domain of ITSM.
Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Release Management and Configuration Management are just a few processes that lie at the core of ITSM and with each there is an important strategy that governs the process itself and then the process model and how it operates every day. Because most organizations today utilize an ITSM software application to support operations, it is important we have the process strategy and design right or we won’t be able to run ITSM processes successfully.
For every business process, there is a connection to an IT and ITSM process that then enables the business to operate effectively.
Why It all Matters
So, why does all of this matter and why should we care about ITSM? That is a great question and that brings us back to the fundamental connection of technology to services to our people.
The modern business has a remarkable and inescapable dependency on technology, and when technology is working for our people, anything is possible. But when technology is not deployed properly and for-purpose, everything becomes more difficult. In some cases, the business becomes paralyzed.
Virtually every element of business today relies on software and/or hardware to perform our daily tasks, and the good people of ITSM help ensure these tools and technologies are performing exactly as they should. Even better, the next ten years of ITSM will bring a new model for personalized service and a focus on bringing new innovations to the business that will help bring business performance to the next level.
In today’s market this is only possible through the strategic use of technology. The business and technology are now inseparable. This focus on real business results and the value we deliver to customers are quickly becoming the new focus of the ITSM organization—success with this new value focus will separate the new market leaders from all the others.
Great service, healthy processes, and reliable technologies are only the beginning. They are very much a springboard to the next decade of ITSM which will be focused on business results and delivering value to customers. This is only possible with a healthy ITSM framework—the key to the new generation of ITSM solutions and the new model for IT.
Keep the faith my friends.