What to Look for When Shopping for New ITSM Software

When it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM), it’s important to consider both the tool you want to invest in and the practice/framework you want your organization to follow. We hear some customers voice they don’t want to feel pressured into a strict ITIL framework; while others want a solution that allows them to adhere to a strict ITIL framework. What you need is a codeless, out-of-the-box ITSM solution that does both. 

You might think, “Does a tool with that flexibility exist?” It does, and here’s what you need to look for to find it. 

Uncomplicated, Codeless Configurability

When most people think of an out-of-the-box solution, they think of one that is rigid and limited in flexibility.

That doesn’t have to be the case with the right ITSM tool.

When evaluating vendors and tools, look for a configurable solution – one that allows you to grow into your ITIL framework or to jump into it on day 1.

The key is to find a solution that is easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate – no deep technical expertise is necessary. 

Key ITSM Features to Look For

For you to succeed with an out-of-the-box ITSM tool, you need to make sure it has the following features and functionalities: 

  • 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 own 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.

When most people think of a codeless, out-of-the-box solution, they think of one that is rigid and limited in flexibility - that doesn’t have to be the case with the right ITSM tool.

Questions to Ask

To properly identify a flexible, easy-to-use tool we recommend asking these questions: 

  1. Are you able to create custom ticket types and workflows? 
  2. Can you set up incidents and problems separately? 
  3. Can you tailor the user portal to your brand and the specific data you want? 
  4. Can users create a custom desktop? 
  5. How easy is it to create reports and dashboards? 
  6. Are you able to import and export data? 
  7. Does it offer ITSM with Project Portfolio Management on one platform? 

And don’t forget, the best out-of-the-box ITSM tool is one that supports your desired approach, without any coding or scripting necessary.

Will the Solution Further Drain Your Resources?

It is important to look at the platform as a core element of your overall strategy – will we be able to grow with the platform? Can it support Enterprise Service Management? Can we easily roll out new applications without coding? Can areas such as HR, marketing and facilities become connected and self-sufficient with the platform – without IT resources? 

Administration, workflow configuration and automation building should not require coding or scripting. 

Does Your ITSM Tool Have the Integration and Automation Capabilities You Need?

When you combine your ITSM tool with a tool that also includes an integration and automation layer through iPaaS (integration platform as a service) you can supercharge your service delivery.

What does that mean?

Simply put, you can pull together systems across your tech stack into a single platform and use iPaaS, as part of your ITSM platform, to automate mundane tasks that might be bogging down your service desk – tasks like onboarding, offboarding, password resets, name changes, etc.

By adding iPaaS to your ITSM you can simplify both simple and complex tasks – saving you both time and resources.

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.

How to Start the Search for New ITSM Software

Like their colleagues at other organizations, the IT infrastructure team for Legacy Supply Chain Services must wear many hats. Responsible for supporting nearly 1,000 employees across 22 locations in North America with a staff of eleven people, the team is constantly on the go.

It’s a familiar scenario found in companies across industries. IT teams need to work efficiently to support their business. To do that, they need the right tools and processes in place.

“Our previous tool worked great, but it was very limiting when it came to scaling our IT services and growing what we wanted to do,” Keyon Farrier, service desk manager, said. “We really needed an ITSM tool that was an extension of our current IT infrastructure team. We wanted a system that could be self-sufficient and really act like an added member of our team.”

Farrier said they began their search for a better, more structured tool using the services of Info-Tech, a technology consulting and research firm.

“We started our search with Info-Tech looking at just change management tool to add to our existing ITSM tool at the time, then realized we also wanted to find a tool that could help us automate processes,” he said. “Info-Tech provided us with some great options, so we started the vetting process and found that TeamDynamix really fit our needs – not just for change management and automation, but for everything.”

Based on the lessons that Farrier and his colleagues learned from their experience, here are three key strategies that can help organizations of all types improve how they deliver and manage IT services.

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 employees,” Farrier advised—the people who are on the front lines of doing the IT work. “Get their input into the challenges they’re facing, and then come up with a plan that can help alleviate those challenges.”

In looking for an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform that would help the team accomplish their goals, Farrier engaged his support staff in the search process, as “they’re the ones who deal with the system daily,” he explained. “They might sometimes be the forgotten folks, the ones who stay behind their laptop handling tickets. Yet, they’re the ones who know what it will take to make the system better.”

2. Do your research.

As mentioned previously, Farrier and his team enlisted the help of industry partners such as Info-Tech Research Group to help narrow down their search and find the right ITSM tool for their business needs. While Info-Tech offered several vendors for evaluation, they ultimately chose TeamDynamix based on the guidance they received.

“We found TeamDynamix because it was listed as a Leader in Info-Tech’s quadrant for ITSM,” Farrier noted.

TeamDynamix has also been recognized as an ‘Honorable Mention’ in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for ITSM.

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, “we try to lean on some of our vendors and partners for help” in implementing new software, Farrier said.

As part of their implementation process, Farrier and his team found they needed to reevaluate and revise key processes when configuring the platform – especially around creating a better self-service portal experience.  Here is where the ITSM software provider can also differ.  It was important for the team at Legacy to find a software partner that also offered process consulting and implementation services.

By spending a little more time on the planning, the company was better positioned for the actual migration.  With the plan in place, the implementation itself can go faster. “It put us in a better position to succeed,” Farrier observed.

Why Organizations Pick TeamDynamix for Service Management, Integration and Automation Needs

Frank Fear, CIO at Covenant Healthcare, said his organization made the move to TeamDynamix for ITSM and PPM because they needed a better way to manage tickets and projects within IT. What attracted Fear to TeamDynamix was the ability to have everything on a single platform, without requiring additional resources to manage the tool.

“I have my own CIO dashboard and in one look I can see any negative survey that’s come in the last 24 hours, then pivot over and look at any project that has a status of red that needs my attention, then pivot over and look at what’s going live in the next 30 days, then pivot over and see what critical tickets have come in from the help desk that maybe affect our entire organization,” Fear said. “That’s the wow. I think it’s the pieces coming together in a single pane for me, as a leader, to be able to manage and support our organization.”

Another “wow” for Fear is that they don’t need a dedicated full-time employee to manage and maintain the TeamDynamix platform, “TeamDynamix, we felt, had all of the advanced functionality the other products had but didn’t require the need for a full FTE to manage and support the product,” he said.

Shaner Hotel Group loves TeamDynamix’s self-service and automation capabilities. Because the ITSM tool is web-based, employees can initiate service requests from their phone or another mobile device. That’s an important benefit for an organization where many employees aren’t sitting at a desk all day.

“With limited help desk employees, we’re trying to cut down on the number of phone calls we get requesting support,” Vice President and Chief Information Officer Steve Shala said. “We’re trying to push everybody online instead.”

When service requests come in through the online portal, they’re routed automatically to the appropriate team member for a response. Because help desk staff are answering fewer phone calls, they can respond to service requests faster and more effectively as they come in through the portal.

In addition, TeamDynamix allows organizations to set up automated workflows for handling critical tasks. This moves processes along more efficiently and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, which is especially helpful for managing multistep processes.

For instance, fulfilling requests for new user accounts can be complicated, because it involves getting input and approvals from many people. New employees might need access to many different IT systems depending on their roles with the company, such as networked security cameras or purchasing software. IT staff must work with multiple departments to get the right approvals.

The customizable workflows within TeamDynamix automatically trigger messages to the appropriate people asking for their approval at each step in the process, so there are no delays and no steps are overlooked. “This might be the platform’s nicest feature,” Shala said.

To read more about how TeamDynamix customers are finding success with ITSM, ESM, PPM and iPaaS check out our customer spotlights.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated with new information.


TeamDynamix Ranked #1 in ITSM​

ITSM platforms are quickly evolving, download this report to understand key drivers for top of quadrant vendors. Use this guide to help you during your selection process. Download the Info-Tech 2022 ITSM Quadrant and Customer Viewpoint report to gain a better understanding of key vendor strengths and emerging market requirements.

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