5 Ways to Improve IT Service Management

Organizations everywhere are facing challenges related to budget constraints, limited resources and increased demand for IT services. These bandwidth issues, rising requests and the ongoing use of disparate systems are resulting in gaps in service and end-user dissatisfaction. So how can you fix it? To start, you want to take a look at your IT Service Management (ITSM) software and make sure the systems you’re using for service management fit the needs of your evolving organization.

In many cases, the shift towards more digital workspaces over the last few years has meant aging technology and infrastructure are struggling to keep pace. One solution is to take an enterprise integration hub like iPaaS (integration platform as a service) and use it to help spur workflows and automation between your aging systems and new tech.

The One Platform Approach

In addition to iPaaS, many organizations are looking to move towards a single platform approach to service management. Meaning IT, Facilities, Marketing, HR, etc. can all utilize the same platform for their IT and enterprise service needs. Imagine that instead of entering requests into different systems, there’s a single portal that the entire organization can use to make an initial request – perhaps an onboarding request for example. And once the request has been submitted, the ITSM system will parse out the tasks and assign the appropriate ones to the various departments, such as requesting equipment from IT, clearance from security, badge processing from facilities and benefits onboarding from human resources.

With a one-platform approach, IT teams can also benefit. Communication and transparency around the rollout of new software and servers, for example, gets a boost with the one platform approach as departments outside of IT can have controlled visibility into the project using the same platform.

Make sure the systems you’re using for IT service management fit the needs of your evolving organization.

Why Integration and Automation Matters for IT Service Management

By using an IT service management tool that includes integration and automation, you can free up your resources by automating the everyday, mundane tasks they normally have to complete before working on bigger projects – things like system name changes, resetting passwords, or granting certain permissions to software. All of these, and more, can be automated with workflows using iPaaS with your ITSM.

By combining iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with ITSM and project portfolio management (PPM) on a single platform you can automate both complex and simple tasks, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization.

If you chose a codeless platform for this, you get the added benefit of anyone being able to use these tools – not just IT. By allowing lines of business to create their own workflows you can free up your IT resources to work on larger projects and eliminate the logjam when it comes to integrations within your organization.

Here are a few other ways iPaaS with ITSM can help reduce IT drain on an organization:

    • Facilitate enterprise integration by using a single hub with pre-built connectors to systems that you use every day as well as a connector concierge for the creation of specific connectors. (Imagine being able to automatically change a username, add someone to a distribution group, onboard an employee)
    • Expedite creation of automation and workflows with a visual flow builder (codeless) that is easy to use, own and operate; reduce IT backlog of integration and workflow requests.
    • Optimize resources across IT to allow for improved output and a higher level of service delivery to your internal and external customers by removing redundant data entry and manual processing.
    • Reduce API risk with a single connectivity platform that will offer increased oversight and control

5 Ways to Improve Service Management

In addition to the one platform approach and enterprise integration with iPaaS, there are a few other best practices you can follow to quickly improve your IT Service Management delivery.

  1. Establish a Comprehensive, User-Friendly Knowledge Base: A well-built knowledge base promotes self-service and allows people to easily access the information they need. When building out your knowledge base, think about how you will present, index and categorize information so users can easily find and use it. Crowdsource the knowledge (judiciously) from multiple departments to make the knowledge base as comprehensive as possible.
  2. Create a Centralized Portal for Universal Access: If you build out a single centralized portal that crosses over all areas such as IT, Facilities, HR and more, then end-users can use it as a centralized access point. Once in the hub, the knowledge base will be available to answer any self-service inquiries, and there will also be quick access to service requests – these could be basic IT requests such as “Wi-Fi is not working” or it could be to initiate a process such as onboarding a new employee or to make an inquiry such as requesting a conference room.  When evaluating ITSM software, be sure that you’re able to leverage the portal and platform for enterprise service management. Having the ability to use multiple portal frontends that funnel into one ESM platform is a key factor to success.
  3. Consolidate Service and Project Management: This allows organizations to obtain a unified, accurate view of what tasks need to be done and what projects are assigned to who. It also helps optimize resources, allocate workers’ time appropriately and improve project performance. When you can see all resources in one place, you can engage in resource capacity planning more effectively and end-users or technicians will be able to have a single dashboard that gives them a view to tickets, change requests and project work.
  4. Choose the Right Tool for the Job: Users can become frustrated when they are asked to follow methodologies that are unwieldy or unnecessary for a given task or project. To encourage broad adoption of a project management methodology, consider the scale and complexity of each project, and then choose the model that best serves the project. ITSM platforms should incorporate project portfolio management so that you can do things like turn a ticket into a card on the card wall or KANBAN area. You can also create a more complex waterfall project plan and create specific tickets within this plan to assign out tasks related to a bigger project. This is important because not every project step will be assigned to project team members.
  5. Make Project Management a Discipline: If you don’t have one already, create a Project Management Office (PMO), appoint a certified project management professional to lead it, and establish policies and procedures to help standardize and enforce best practices. In a survey of IT leaders, respondents reported that their PMO had contributed to a 23 percent drop in the number of failed projects, a 35 percent increase in the number of projects that were delivered under budget and a 20 percent improvement in productivity. You can’t argue with those results. Effective ITSM depends on resource capacity; if you are managing projects outside of the ITSM platform then you will never truly gain a view into resource bandwidth. This can cause frustration and delays for your end-users.

Want to see how other organizations are improving their service management? Check out these TeamDynamix customer stories:

This article was originally posted in March 2021 and has been updated with new information. 

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