Having an effective IT Service Management System (ITSM) enables organisations to deliver and control the services they offer to customers. Intelligent CIO spoke to Mark Ackerman, Regional Director, MESAT and EE, ServiceNow, to discuss the policies that should be implemented.
1) What ITSM practices do you think organisations should adopt?
Based on our real-world experience helping our customers align IT services and business priorities here is what we would recommend:
- Service portfolio management
- Establish service portfolio policies that govern the management of the full life cycle of each service, from inception to retirement
- Ensure that the scope of each service is clearly defined and documented in the service catalogue and, where possible, provide full disclosure by also describing what is ‘out of scope’ for the service
- Ensure that each service offering has an associated pricing model, unit price and cost
- Project portfolio management
- Establish project portfolio polices that prioritise project goals and success metrics at the outset as well as throughout the full project lifecycle
- Take a holistic approach to defining, prioritising and evaluating strategic initiatives that integrates key business metrics such as cost, ROI, profitability, customer satisfaction, business availability, risk and compliance
- Demand response
- Establish pre-defined evaluation criteria for assessing all requests
- Automatically route qualified and approved demand requests as defects, enhancements, or projects
- Resource management
- Ensure resource planning accounts for all relevant factors affecting resource availability, such as vacations, holidays, shift premiums, maintenance and support
- Project management
- Baseline current performance so you can track progress over time
- Establish an implementation roadmap
- When implementing an agile methodology:
- Target projects no longer than 12 weeks
- Provide frequent incremental reports to continually demonstrate progress and value
- Do not delay rollout to achieve perfection
- Implement a single system of record that includes agile activity tracking
- Resist product customisations
- Do not underestimate the need for organizational change management to:
- Communicate vision
- Assess organizational readiness
- Secure executive sponsorship
- Ensure accountability
Once best practices have been implemented, to ensure IT and the business are fully aligned, it is important to measure a broad spectrum of KPIs designed to track how services support business strategy, the business value of high-level IT initiatives and the business value of individual projects. These KPIs will help you understand how well your IT services are aligned with business objectives:
2) What are the benefits of having good ITSM?
A strong ITSM solution will enable organisations to:
- Elevate the service experience – By automating support for common requests with virtual agents, organisations can provide consistently great service and allow staff to work on more meaningful tasks
- Improve IT productivity – Using Machine Learning to automate routine tasks increases employee and agent productivity
- Achieve new insights – Full visibility with built-in dashboards and analytics provides real-time, actionable information to continually improve services
- Consolidate IT services – Using built-in best practices enables organisations to rapidly consolidate inefficient tools to a single system of action in the cloud
3) Can you go into detail about what you provide in terms of ITSM?
ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) provides a modern service management solution in the cloud. Our single system of action allows organisations to consolidate tools, transform the way services are delivered and improve customer experience.
- Virtual Assistant – Virtual Agent provides instant resolution to repetitive IT service tasks and requests with self-service responses delivered via an automated, conversational chatbot. Customers receive consistently great service 24/7, and IT staff are freed to work on more meaningful tasks, allowing for greater scalability and smarter resource spend
- Agent Intelligence – Agent Intelligence uses Machine Learning to automatically categorise and route issues to increase agent efficiency to lower time to resolution. By automatically categorising incidents based on the requester’s description, Agent Intelligence is able to ‘learn’ from historical request patterns, allowing it to become increasingly accurate in its predictive recommendations
- Performance Analytics – Performance Analytics puts the power of data in the hands of the stakeholders and subject matter experts – workers, owners, and executives – who are responsible for successful service delivery. With Performance Analytics, you can use data visualisations to anticipate trends, prioritise resources and drive alignment with business goals
- Continual Improvement Management – Continual Improvement Management (CIM) aligns data, people and business goals for managing and measuring the strategic roadmap for IT improvements. With a structured framework and workflow, CIM enables cross-team collaboration and ensures all improvements are efficiently reviewed and prioritised
- Incident Management and Problem Management – Restore service after an unplanned interruption by investigating the root cause of an incident or escalating it to a major incident to quickly resolve critical service disruptions. Leverage trend analysis and periodic service configuration reviews to minimise and prevent future issues
- Change Management – Control IT change processes to minimise the risks and costs associated with rapid unplanned changes. Automate the planning and scheduling of CAB meetings with CAB Workbench and set expectations for planned changes. Increase user satisfaction and decrease unwarranted ticket requests with automated change notifications
- Configuration Management Database (CMDB) – Consolidate disparate IT management systems into a single system of action, allowing IT to see exactly what assets are in your IT environment, what services they are related to, and how they’re functioning at all times. See the relationship between the CIs and services to proactively manage the impact of changes on your services. Monitor the quality of your CMDB data with the CMDB Health Dashboard
- Asset Management – Track the financial, contractual and inventory details of hardware, devices and virtual assets from purchase through disposal. Mitigate risk by knowing how every system is configured, what it costs, who has access to it, and what’s installed on it. Get a complete, connected view of your assets, allowing you to identify and resolve issues faster
- Request Management and Knowledge Management – Give end users a modern, omni-channel way to interact with IT and other shared services groups at any time through any device – enable self-help, request items or services, and collaborate with others. Capture and package knowledge from across the organisation and make it readily available for shared or private use by IT and employees
- Service Level Management – Set business expectations and gain visibility into your IT team’s service commitments and performance. Proactively manage SLAs with the color-coded visual SLA Timeline that allows managers to see individual SLA progress and events triggering stage changes. Prioritise tasks, check statuses, reassign ownership and escalate issues when needed, allowing you to always provide your best service for what matters most to your organisation.
- Reports and Dashboards – Combine the power of the Now Platform with a single data model to generate and distribute important information on demand and in real time. Choose from predefined or customised reports and create eye-catching, role-based dashboards in a flash.
- Benchmarks – Benchmarks uses anonymised customer data to bring you the industry’s largest and most up to date benchmarks. This allows you to compare your service management performance to the industry averages of your peers. Now, you can analyse and optimise your own performance against the best in the industry