Beyond ITSM Reviews – What to Look for When Shopping for an IT Service Management Software Solution

Beyond the Reviews – What to Look for When Shopping for an ITSM Software SolutionCompanies shopping for IT Service Management (ITSM) software will visit all of the normal review platforms – from G2, to Gartner to SoftwareReviews, there is no shortage of reviews and insights. Then the fun begins, you go out shopping – and the lines start to blur, so let’s take a look at some of the more salient points to consider when shopping for an ITSM platform.

  1. Does it combine ITSM and Project Management together? This is an important point. Many times technicians are assigned to both tickets and project work – having these managed in two different systems can be problematic. There is never just a single view of all work. Managers also cannot appropriately manage resources which means that often technicians are over or under-allocated. This is why it is so important that you have one place for both – a ticket can be converted to a project, a project can have tickets that are attached and everyone can see it all in one place.
  2. Is the service portal WCAG 2.0 AA compliant? Ensuring your portal is accessible makes a lot of sense and in many cases, it is legally required. Not only does increased web accessibility help you better service your end-users, but it also is increasingly legally enforced. Depending upon your organization and end-users, failure to comply could lead to lawsuits and other legal implications for entities that don’t take the necessary steps to meet current accessibility requirements. The big thing to look for here is out of the box compliance – a hidden cost can exist when the portal requires updates each time the system is updated. It is important to ask questions around the accessibility – how is it deployed? How is it managed during updates?
  3. Does it manage the full life-cycle? IT Service Management encompasses a spectrum of functions – from ticketing and incident, problem management to asset discovery & management to change management and configuration management – it is important that all of these functions are operating together. Being able to take the ITIL framework and embedding it into the platform workflow and automation is also important – whether you are just dipping your toe in that pool or you are ready to plunge in the deep end, you need to be sure that you can grow into the framework over time – without being pushed.
  4. Look at Total Cost of Ownership: What does it really take to run an ITSM platform? Take a close look at how it is configured – will it require coding or scripting? What does it take to administer? What if another department outside of IT wants to use it – like Human Resources? How easy is it to spin up another service request application for HR? Can they create their own workflows and configuration or will that take more IT resources?
  5. Can it be leveraged across the enterprise? Service Management is not just for IT anymore – it is now leveraged in Human Resources, Procurement, Facilities, Marketing, and many other groups. It is important that you have flexibility – so that you can deploy one platform across the enterprise – you can deploy this with one portal – one-stop – or for different sites or agencies, you can maintain one platform and then you can give a unique landing page for each group – yet funnel all requests to one platform.

When looking at reviews – look for how you will be supported? Are implementation services delivered by the vendor or is this outsourced? How are releases applied? Are there extra costs on this? Is there a strong customer community and do you have the ability to give iterative feedback and participate in advisory meetings?

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