Information technology (IT) and its role in business are continuously evolving as IT becomes more aligned with operations and customer service. In this customer-oriented environment, IT Service Management (ITSM) has become a rewarding career option for IT professionals.
IT Service Management encompasses the alignment of business and IT services, with a focus on delivering the best services to users, whether they’re internal or external customers. Rather than emphasizing the development of IT services and solutions, ITSM is built on the processes and practices that can best deliver them.
How Does ITSM Relate to ITIL?
Based on providing value to the customer, as well as on the customer relationship, ITSM relies on the Information Technology Infrastructure LibraryTM (ITIL®) for definition of its primary functions, such as service design, strategy, and operation, as well as continuous improvement.
- IT executives often use ITIL guidelines to align the delivery of IT with the organization’s goals and needs, and to implement an ITSM strategy.
- ITIL is focused internally, on IT itself, while ITSM has a broader, more external focus on business.
- ITSM combines the framework of ITIL with the people, procedures, processes, technology and information required to satisfy business needs and objectives.
ITSM General Methodology
Management of IT services through ITSM relies on a process-based set of best practices, including the following:
- Change Management –Change management reduces the risk of customer impact during necessary changes, through risk impact assessments, testing and back-out plans, and adequate communication.
- Incident Management –Whenever service is disrupted or reduced, it’s considered an incident. Incident management aims to maintain quality and restore normal operations as quickly as possible, with zero reduction in services, if possible.
- Capacity Management –Consists of proper planning and strategic resource management to allow the organization to meet future requirements.
IT Service Management Best Practices
Whether a company has already implemented a framework such as ITIL to improve ITSM programs, or is just beginning the process, the following guidelines can lead to greater success.
- Focus on training: IT managers should review training procedures for existing programs and implement them for new programs. Staff can benefit from workshops, while management might consider attending user-group meetings or ITSM forums.
- Assess processes: Improvement begins by knowing where you stand. Analyzing existing IT processes is important, and must occur before aligning them with the ITIL framework.
- Create a plan: Implementing ITSM will require a series of projects, under a broader plan. Detailed project plans, which specify individual objectives, timelines, required resources (human and capital) and budgets will help keep everything focused and on track.
- Start with incident management:Incident management is often a good starting point, because it is a critical area of ITIL that can bring quick results.
- Be in it for the long haul: ITSM is not a one-time process; rather, it is a cultural shift and life-long journey for an organization.
- Call in a consultant: If implementing ITIL does not produce benefits within three to six months, consider bringing in an expert for assistance. Consultants can analyze tool selection, training and project management, and recommend changes to achieve organizational goals.
Enhancing Career Options with ITSM Training
Using ITSM to align IT with business can enhance IT’s value to any organization. Gaining the specialized knowledge required to implement ITIL can enhance your value, too – whether you’re seeking new opportunities or planning a different career path. As employers increasingly rely on data to drive business success, they will be looking for candidates with the skills to improve the quality of their IT service projects.
Explore ITSM certificate training programs to see how to add these skills to your resume.