Three Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your IT Service Management Tool

We’ve all experienced the frustration of using a system or tool that no longer meets our needs. You know the drill – trying to work around its limitations, adapting your work to fit its flaws until you can finally make the switch to something better. Or maybe you’re part of a company that’s resistant to change. It’s not an uncommon scenario, especially in IT departments where outdated legacy systems seem too embedded to replace with a modern IT Service Management (ITSM) tool.

When you factor in tight budgets and limited IT resources, it’s understandable why many choose to stick with a system that no longer aligns with their business goals. But the truth is, by doing so, you might unknowingly be costing your organization precious money and resources.

So when is it time to call it quits and make the switch? Here are 3 signs it’s time to upgrade your ITSM tool.

1. Your ITSM Tool Drains Resources and is Difficult to Maintain

MarketLab, a Michigan-based medical supply company, recently switched to TeamDynamix after outgrowing its previous ticketing system – Microsoft Sharepoint.

“It might have worked at some point, but it became unmanageable once we reached a certain level in terms of complexities and fluidity,” Enterprise Systems Engineer Brendan Lesinski said.

Because SharePoint wasn’t designed specifically for IT ticketing, IT staff were spending too much time making changes to the various forms they used to collect information on IT incidents and problems. In addition, those changes would often break reports the team relied on, causing additional work to be done to remedy any errors.

And since it was much simpler for company employees to email the IT department to request service instead of logging into SharePoint and filling out a form, most employees opted for this route instead—which meant the IT department had no way of tracking those requests and often had to go back and forth to get all the information needed to create the ticket themselves before addressing the employees’ issues.

MarketLab switched to TeamDynamix ITSM about a year ago, and Lesinski said the new system is “universally loved.”

“We wanted a tool that could be used as a service portal for potentially anything, as well as project management,” he said. “We found a lot of the other tools we were looking at were very hyper-focused on just ticketing or just project management, which is fine, but we wanted a tool that could do it all and be easily managed by people in facilities or our HR department while still giving us complete control of how married together those experiences are. We liked that the flexibility was there [in TeamDynamix] and we could manage the tool in a way that works best for us.” 

Immediately, IT staff saved a great deal of time with the new system. The platform’s low-code, no-code design makes it very easy to make changes, such as adding new fields to forms. “What used to be a 45-minute effort now takes two minutes in TeamDynamix,” Lesinski said.

In addition, the system’s built-in automation has transformed MarketLab’s delivery of IT services. For instance, service tickets can be generated from email requests automatically. Lesinski calls this auto-creation feature “brilliant,” adding: “It has resulted in significantly less lost work.”

2. Reporting and Dashboards are Difficult to Use or Non-existent

Moving to TeamDynamix for IT Service Management has allowed tech staff at Great Eastern Resort to reclaim lost time and eliminate the frustrations that came with their previous system.

Great Eastern Resort manages multiple properties in Virginia. Each of the resort’s services uses its own type of software. The restaurants use a point-of-sale system designed specifically for food service, for instance—while the hotels use a separate system for checking in guests including Massanutten Resort in the mountains of Virginia. This all-season resort features vacation accommodations, an indoor and outdoor water park, golf courses, a spa, several dining establishments and a variety of seasonal activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hiking and mountain biking. Each of these core offerings sits on its own tech stack – each requiring support.  All of this adds up to a busy IT team in need of the right IT Service Management software.

The company’s old ticketing system was a time drain. Because it was hosted internally, technicians in the field didn’t have easy visibility into open tickets—and updating the old system took a great deal of effort. The system also required lots of manual updating, there was no automation and lackluster reporting.

“We had to get someone from our data team to build out reports for us, and that was a hassle and took time,” says IT Infrastructure and Support Manager Brandon McNeely.

The simple yet robust reporting capabilities within TeamDynamix allow McNeely and his team to track key performance indicators (KPIs) more easily. Instead of asking the data team to create reports, they can generate reports for themselves in seconds—complete with easy-to-digest graphics. They now have much better visibility into the IT team’s workload, as well as where the most common issues lie.

This enhanced visibility has been key, “It helps us determine where to focus our time and resources,” McNeely says. “For example, we can see which applications generate the most support tickets, so we know where to focus our training more effectively.”

The ability to generate reports with powerful, easy-to-understand graphics also helps McNeely and his team advocate for additional resources where necessary.

“We recently got approval to hire a field installer,“ he says, “because I was able to show our upper management the percentage of tickets our team gets where they have to run out and hook something up. When we were asked for metrics before implementing TeamDynamix, we didn’t have that information.”

Moving forward, McNeely’s team hopes to use the data they get from TeamDynamix to identify and solve the root cause of problems they spend an inordinate amount of time fixing. “Being able to track those trends is extremely valuable,” Johnson observes.

“The impact that TeamDynamix is having on Great Eastern Resort is tremendous,” adds McNeely, “and it’s creating more value for the organization.” IT staff are saving time and working more strategically, and they’re able to support the needs of employees more effectively. This, in turn, allows employees to provide better service to guests at the company’s resorts.

“We’re really happy with what we’ve gotten out of TeamDynamix,” McNeely says, “and we’re looking forward to doing even more with the platform going forward.”

3. Your Current ITSM Tool Lacks Automated Workflow Capabilities

Before bringing on TeamDynamix, the City of Gainesville was fragmented – keeping track of incidents, service requests and IT account management separately. In addition, it couldn’t handle the management of multiple IT projects, so the city had to use an entirely different platform for Project Portfolio Management (PPM). 

“We had to look in four different places to see what employees were doing,” says Jean Clark, IT Manager for Enterprise Services. This lack of a holistic view made it difficult to manage IT resources effectively.

In switching to TeamDynamix, Gainesville now has one unified system for managing projects, incidents, service requests and IT accounts. “Having a single pane of glass allows us to prioritize our work better,” Clark observes.

What’s more, the automated workflows that IT leaders can set up within TeamDynamix help make IT staff more efficient. In return, city employees are getting better IT service and technicians are reducing the amount of time they are spending on manual tasks.

Part of the City of Gainesville, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), has used TeamDynamix’s integration and automation capabilities to solve a key IT support challenge that affected thousands of retirees.

The software that handles payroll for GRU employees is Workday, which is supported by Gainesville’s IT department along with the other applications used by the city. Retired GRU employees receive their pensions through Workday as well.

However, prior to TeamDynamix, if retirees weren’t getting their pension checks or had trouble with their Workday account, they couldn’t submit a service request using GRU’s online service portal. Because retirees are no longer city employees, they don’t have an Active Directory account, and they need an Active Directory account to submit tickets to IT support staff online.

GRU Business Systems Analyst Tristina Grywalski worked with the TeamDynamix implementation and process consulting teams to develop a simple solution to this problem using the platform’s flexible configuration options.

As a result of their efforts, GRU retirees no longer have to call IT support staff during normal business hours, wasting valuable time for retirees and support staff alike. Instead, they can use the online service portal just like current employees with an Active Directory account can, resulting in faster and better service.

In just the first two months of this capability alone, more than 150 retired GRU employees from all across the country had submitted service requests online. “The service team is very grateful for this solution,” Grywalski said, noting that it has allowed them to be more efficient in resolving people’s problems.

Three Keys to a Successful ITSM Refresh

If you’re ready to make the switch to a new ITSM tool, here are a few tips you can follow to make sure you’re set up for success:

1. Understand your pain points.

The first step when embarking on an ITSM tech refresh is to truly understand what’s holding you back.

Talk to your help desk, other IT employees and those that interact the most with your IT department. Get their input into the challenges they’re facing, and then come up with a plan that can help alleviate those challenges. You may find it beneficial to put together a checklist of key features and functionalities needed to address existing pain points within your organization. You can use this list to help you ID the ITSM vendors that best fit your needs before you even start the demo and evaluation process.

2. Do your research.

Look at reviews and talk to other state and local governments that use the tools you are considering. You can also use companies like Gartner or Info-Tech Research Group to help narrow down the search and find the right ITSM tool for your organization.

When researching ITSM vendors you’ll want to be sure they can provide the following features and functionalities out of the box:

  • Incident and problem tracking – When you run a service desk you need to have fast routing and the ability to group tickets for both incidents and problems. Doing so will allow you to properly communicate and be transparent throughout your organization. 
  • Service portal and knowledge base – Did you know a support call can as much as $22 (according to HDI), while self-service is just $2 per incident? It’s a recommended best practice to build out a solid knowledge base and service portal so customers can resolve their issues instead of taking up your IT help desk’s valuable time with requests like “How do I change my password?” 
  • Workflow automation – Your teams should be focusing their efforts on your organization’s highest priorities. By setting up automation for mundane, manual or error-prone activities they can do just that. 
  • Asset management and discovery – Make sure you can identify and track assets, plan for changes and respond to issues with an understanding of CI configuration history, blackout and maintenance windows and impact maps. 
  • Change management – The majority (nearly 80 percent!) of issues reported to IT are the result of poor change and release management. Make sure your tool allows you to properly organize and manage plans, execution and communication for new functionality and maintain the continuity of existing services.  
  • Dashboards and reports – Great ITSM dashboards and reports give you the key metrics needed to make confident decisions, helping you to identify issues before they become problems, support key meetings, profile trends and communicate the value IT provides to your entire organization.

3. Find a true partner to help you optimize processes.

Because IT staff often feel pulled in many directions and time is at a premium, you want to find an ITSM vendor that will partner with you through implementation and beyond. Target an ITSM vendor that offers in-house services with a comprehensive onboarding process.

Are you interested in hearing from more companies that have recently refreshed their ITSM tools to provide a better experience? Check out: Companies Share Tips for Automating IT Service Management, Solving IT Challenges

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