Running a business in today's digitalized world comes with many challenges, such as industry regulations, escalating costs as businesses grow and continuity planning. To effectively manage IT services and align them with business goals, organizations are turning to service management solutions to optimize their resources, budgets and cross-functional collaboration. 

By automating the management of IT services, businesses can save time, money and reduce the number of potential manual errors, while ensuring efficient and consistent delivery of IT services.  

With the right service management solution in place, organizations can leverage automation tools to maximize efficiency and improve resource utilization. 

The importance of IT service mapping 

The process of service mapping can be manual or automated with service-mapping tools which use data collected from network scans to link processes with objectives.  

Ultimately, the outcome of the process is the production of mapping diagrams to visualize all the dependencies between your physical and virtual computers, networks and storage assets. Documentation of all the dependencies is also extremely valuable for those industries that require auditing, such as banking.  

Rapid impact, risk and root cause analysis can be performed accurately due to the mapping diagrams showing IT infrastructure relationships, application dependencies, communication flows, ghost devices, network topology, cloud relationships and IT service management incidents and changes. These diagrams also give insight into how service delivery ties into customer satisfaction or cost reduction, as well as identifying areas where improvements can be made.  

A survey from Gartner found that nearly 80% of organizations believe that IT Service Mapping can help align IT services with business outcomes.​ 

- “A Guide to IT Service Mapping Aligned with Business Outcomes”, 2020​ 

Documentation of dependencies between different systems is also important for gaining a full picture of service delivery and for anticipating outages or other issues that could arise if one system affected another.  

Knowing these details allows organizations to act quickly and efficiently – without disrupting operations – when an issue arises, ultimately reducing the risks associated with unexpected downtime or security breaches. However, the critical success factor is a robust CMDB (Configuration Management Database) that's proactively and automatically updated on a continual basis.  

According to Gartner, 80% of CMDB initiatives fail mainly due to manual updates, limited resources, incomplete or untrustworthy data, complacency or lack of governance.​ 

- “Renovating your CMDB to Improve Business Outcomes”, 2019 

Develop a process to improve CMDB initiatives  

Automated IT service mapping helps administrators identify and resolve any issues within the CMDB more efficiently, leading to improved IT service performance and availability. The service map visualizations we’ve described above will allow your team to quickly identify and analyze relationships between various components within the CMDB.   

In addition to using automated discovery and service mapping tools, it’s important to establish a core process your initiative will follow, ensuring data is managed in a secure and consistent manner and that the initiative moves forward in a way that meets organizational goals. Your process should include the following steps (which can be used in any order): 

  • Assess
    Assessing the current situation, identifying shortfalls and developing a plan to address any gaps is vital in ensuring that your initiative is successful.  
  • Measure and improve 
    Ensure you have a touchpoint every 30/60/90 days to track progress and make any amendments. 
  • Design with automation in mind  
    It's critical to design your initiative around using automated automated data collection and/or processes to help ensure the likelihood of successfully meeting your progress goals.  
  • Establish governance  
    To ensure that all data is managed in a consistent and secure manner, you’ll need procedures, policies, and processes for data management and decision-making. 
  • Goals and metrics  
    The identification of goals and metrics will help track and measure success, informing stakeholders about how the initiative is progressing and making it easier to identify areas of improvement. Examples of metrics include: 
    • Configuration Item (CI) accuracy to determine accuracy of the CIs within the organization’s CMDB.  
    • User Adoption to measure the success rate of rolling out the system and getting employees to use it.
    • Incident Resolution to track the time it takes to resolve incidents over time. 

Overall, utilizing this five-step process can significantly improve CMDB initiatives. By meeting regularly with your team to track progress, automating processes, establishing governance procedures, identifying goals and metrics and assessing the current situation, you'll improve the likelihood an initiative will succeed.  

Finding the best service management solution 

IT service mapping and an accurate CMDB can provide an organized structure for service management, allowing for clear visibility of the services being delivered and the relationships between them. This provides a single source of truth for service management, and that’s key to empowering IT teams to be more efficient and proactive. 

In an era of Everywhere Work, organizations increasingly look to service management solutions to help improve resource utilization, optimize budgets and collaborate with teams. But how do you find the best solution for your organization?  

Evaluate available ITSM solutions 

The first step is to examine and assess various service management solutions and compare them against each other. Consider factors such as cost, features, usability, scalability and customer support when evaluating each option.  

It's also important to look at how well a service management solution can integrate with existing systems and processes to maximize its benefits, such as increased efficiency, lower costs, improved service delivery, decreased learning time by staff and increased customer satisfaction. Additionally, consider any customization options that may be available with various solutions. 

Utilize automation  

Once you’ve selected the right service management solution for your organization? It's time to take advantage of the considerable benefits it can offer.  

Automation tools can help streamline processes and reduce manual labor, while enhanced analytics capabilities make it easier to quickly and accurately identify potential issues or risks. Improved resource utilization means long-run cost savings for your business, while having access to real-time data helps ensure that IT services meet business objectives without fail. 


Want to learn more? See how The First Bank utilized Ivanti Neurons for Service Mapping to automate processes, reduce time and headcount assigned to manual tasks, optimize costs and enable continuity planning.