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What is IT Service Management? Using ITSM to Deliver Optimal Service Management

October 23, 2021

IT is multi-faceted, encompassing various technologies, departmental practices, and support. No matter what industry you’re in, your business needs robust IT service management to keep things on track. But what exactly does IT service management entail? What sort of tools help deliver excellent service, and, ultimately, how does it improve your organization as a whole? 

Read on to learn a breakdown of ITSM basics, its business benefits, and helpful software that improves IT performance. 

What is ITSM, and How is it Different from ITIL? 

You may have heard both ITSM and ITIL used synonymously, but they are actually distinct from one another and have different definitions.  

IT Service Management (ITSM): ITSM is a methodology that refers to handling IT technology, systems, and service for customers and internal teams. Essentially, you’re already engaging in IT service management if you are running or operating IT technology.  

The idea for ITSM evolved as technology grew more prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s. Originally, ITSM had a more limited scope, focusing primarily on managing a few internal hardware systems and networks. As time passed though, ITSM has grown to encompass more overall business goals, including customer service. This makes sense –– IT was once viewed as a necessary expense for businesses to help operations run. However, more recently, it’s become apparent how much value ITSM services offer, especially for customers. 

IT service management can be thought of as a general term for running your IT department, with tasks and objectives, such as: 

  • Taking steps to prevent system or technology downtime and avoid business disruptions. 
  • Employing a proactive strategy to keep customer technology tools running.  
  • Automating ticket processes and approvals to improve resolution times. 
  • Offering enhanced customer service.  

To deliver optimal ITSM services, and therefore, maximize your business value, it’s a good idea to lean on IT automation and ITSM technology.  

Infrastructure Technology Library (ITIL): While ITSM is an overall methodology, ITIL is a framework that exists within the umbrella of that methodology. Initially created by the British government in the 1980s, ITIL was a standardized set of best practices intended to improve IT management. Since then, ITIL has adapted with emerging technologies and business practices and is now one of the most widely used IT frameworks.  

ITIL 4, the most recent edition of ITIL, was released in 2019 by AXELOS. ITIL 4 is a significant update to ITIL, with new information for businesses who already use current technology, plus helpful recommendations for those undergoing a digital transformation. 

How ITSM Software Delivers Optimal Service Management 

To optimize your IT department’s performance, you’ll need to leverage the right ITSM technologyITSM software enhances every step of IT and the service process for customers, your IT team, and other internal stakeholders. Here are some things an ITSM solution will offer: 

  • Service Portal.  A service portal allows users to easily submit tickets, communicate with IT, and check their ticket status in one convenient dashboard. The best ITSM platforms offer custom branding, a personalized domain and, detailed forms.  
  • IT Automation: Automated workflows move tickets along quickly. With quality ITSM platforms, you can set up approvals, trigger automated workflows, and send updates to your users on the status of their tickets. Additionally, if you need to triage high-priority tickets or customers, you can designate VIP or priority status to specific tickets to solve the most sensitive tickets first. 
  • Helpdesk Efficiency: You can further enhance ITSM by making it easy for users to contact support or find answers. ITSM software will include a built-in forms designer so you can collect the necessary information to begin assisting the user. Some platforms empower users to find the answer to straightforward questions without submitting a formal ticket. Embed a self-support video within the form and leverage live chat for simple issues to reduce the IT team’s workload.  
  • User Education: The more access to knowledge your users have, the more informed they will be. If you want to offer superior ITSM services, provide readily available educational resources that users can access at any time. Use your ITSM solution to house a knowledge base and a content library that teaches your audience about relevant technology, systems, internal processes, and support. 

IT Service Management Improves Business  

ITSM is a necessity for every organization, no matter the type, industry, and business size. Whether IT is servicing internal teams, clients or simply overseeing technology systems, well-thought-out IT service management will positively impact every organization. 

Strong ITSM can offer benefits in several key areas. Firstly, if your customers need to reach your support representatives, you must have standard processes for communication, IT workflows, triage tickets, and self-support. 

ITSM also assists with keeping business operations on track. For example, if your company’s technology or other IT systems go down, it halts everything, and the business experiences downtime as the issues are fixed. Creating distinct maintenance processes and using IT automation will help avoid system failures and business disruption. 

Finally, ITSM software ensures your teams stay productive. If your IT team has the right service management strategy and the technology to streamline their work, they can solve technical issues quickly to keep productivity high. 

If you’re curious about how DeskDirector can help you improve IT service management and meet critical business objectives, sign up for a 14-day free trial. 

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