Four IT Service Management practices that are making a difference
You may be spending more time thinking about, analyzing and maybe even worrying about the latest trends in business strategy and consumer preference and the impact they are having on the IT service you provide. Demands for IT professionals to provide faster, more cost-efficient, and more user-friendly results are often out in front of what your current processes can match. Check out these four IT Service Management (ITSM) practices.
Developing a robust institutional knowledge
As IT staff fluctuates and policies change over time it is vital to have a centralized way of tracking institutional knowledge. A popular trend is to move away from discrete databases to a federated Configuration Management Database (CMDB) that both connects different data users to each other and encourages reconciliation of different information into one shared resource. Using a federated CMDB can allow IT departments to transform knowledge possessed by individual subject-matter experts into an institution-wide library for employees to develop and learn from each other.
Some IT departments have gone further and developed a Service Management Office (SMO) to act as a central location of IT training and a site to develop a culture of consistency. With more companies realizing the merits of proper employee training, the SMO is a resource for IT departments to connect their service providers to shared resources: a helpdesk for helpdesk technicians.
Creating seamless automation of services
Not only does new business technology increase the frequency of incidents for IT departments, the continuing phenomenon of BYOD adds greater pressure on the helpdesk to service unsupported technology. To free up valuable IT resources, there is a significant push toward automating as many IT services as possible.
While automation has a reputation for making job functions redundant, it is no more about replacing the service provider than it is relieving unnecessary workload. Automation further reduces costs downstream and affords more time to service managers to evaluate and control change.
Improving customer satisfaction with catalogs
When structuring your end-user experience with service catalogs it can be helpful to consider outstanding experiences you have had as a customer. Think about which companies are known for delivering the best customer service. Customers want an experience that is pain-free, informative, and efficient. If at the end of a long transaction a customer comes to realize they must call or speak to someone in person to finalize their order, the inevitable result is frustration and, likely, lost customers.
By modeling an end-user experience with an eye to successful retail giants, for example, IT departments can mimic the same consumer cues that lead to greater satisfaction and perceived value of service. If an IT department lacks a service catalog, developing a detailed list will both provide customers with useful information on services they may have overlooked and provide the IT department a useful exercise in examining the extent of their knowledge and resource utilization.
Integrating with business goals demonstrates value to business
IT service managers are finding greater success developing a satisfactory customer service experience by sitting down with their business leaders and matching IT services to tangible business outcomes. By investigating the ways in which IT meet business goals, service managers now have in hand the tangible outcomes that their service affects. It becomes possible to move away from the traditional attitude that IT departments are cost centers that produce inconclusive benefits and move toward transparent connections to business processes that both improve operations and make new business operations possible.
Trend Takeaway: Integrate!
Whether you want your IT department to share its knowledge across the institution, improve your customer satisfaction with an IT Service Catalog, or connect with C-level business leaders, integrating ITIL principles into your IT department processes can result in faster completions, lower costs, and added value to your business.
If you would like to learn more about IT Service Management best practices join us for a seminar. Learn how to take what’s top of mind and turn it into your own best practices.