IT service management, or “ITSM,” refers to all the activities carried out, planned, delivered, operated, and controlled by an organization to provide IT services to stakeholders. Under the ITSM model, the IT department is often thought of as a service desk. In short, ITSM provides value to the customer in the form of IT services that align with the business objectives of the company.
ITSM aims for the right mix of people, processes, and technologies to create value. ITSM ensures that IT services are implemented, managed, and delivered in ways that meet the needs of the organization while providing added value for employees, customers, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the IT organization. As such, ITSM is focused on the following goals:
Service over systems: Unlike other IT management practices that focus on hardware, networks, and systems, ITSM aims to improve IT customer service in line with business objectives consistently. The focus is on how services, not systems, can be delivered to meet stakeholder needs. Companies use ITSM to provide value to customers, or rather, to the departments that manage the technology. ITSM provides management standards to ensure a high value of service.
Alignment with business objectives: ITSM improves the IT services an organization offers to its end users by aligning IT processes and services with business objectives. In other words, ITSM provides a structured approach to service management, allowing organizations to standardize the delivery of services based on budget, resources, and results.
The end-user experience: The customer experience is a crucial differentiator for brands and organizations, and an effective ITSM strategy should aim to deliver the most significant benefit to all stakeholders involved.
Today, organizations in healthcare, the government, technology, and other sectors use ITSM to standardize IT services and create value for end-users according to their different industry-specific IT needs. ITSM has also led to the development of several IT management frameworks that can apply to both centralized and decentralized systems, the most comprehensive and widely used being the ITIL framework.
ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library and refers to a specific framework for ITSM that was developed in the UK in the 1980s. ITIL prescribes a set of specific methods, practices, and processes for managing the organization’s IT operations and services.
ITIL’s focus is on ensuring that IT services can keep pace with business needs. The ITIL framework covers all aspects of IT infrastructure, from the foundation itself to its management and services.
Like ITSM in general, ITIL implementation helps organizations of all sizes around the world to maximize and optimize enterprise value using information technology for the benefit of their customers.
ITIL is based on principles that focus on value creation and continuous improvement, which can take a variety of forms. In fact, since its inception in the 1980s, several versions of the ITIL framework have been developed, each one improving on the previous to describe a balanced and holistic approach to service management. The most recent version – the ITIL 4.0 framework – includes an updated set of principles, policies, and best practices for service management.
The ITSM landscape is always changing, and emerging trends continue to shape the ongoing discussion around IT service management.
When it comes to ITSM, there is no single-size-fit–all approach. An ITSM or ITIL approach does not have to represent an administrative burden but instead should be used flexibly to meet the unique needs of a given organization. Again, the goal of ITSM is to apply service management principles in a way that improves the entire organization.
It’s easy to confuse the term IT service management with enterprise service management, or ESM. ESM is simply an extension of the ITSM principles to entire organizations, beyond the IT department and its services.
ITSM has transformed the way IT departments present themselves, i.e., no longer as providers of systems but as service providers working to ensure that the rest of the organization can meet customer needs as efficiently as possible. Reliable IT management tools should deliver powerful reports that can help identify trends, eliminate bottlenecks, and improve the quality of services provided.
Specifically, organizations should look for a fast, intuitive ITSM tool that integrates with third-party platforms and facilitates:
TeamDynamix provides ITSM tools for organizations across industries, including healthcare, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and the public sector. Learn more about our solutions today.
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