IT Service Management (ITSM)

What is IT Service Management?

IT Service Management (often abbreviated as ITSM) is an approach that describes how IT is managed and delivered in an organization. The concept of ITSM assumes that all IT is provided as a service. The goal of IT Service Management is to find the most efficient combination of people, processes and technology that will best help an organization or business meet its needs.

How does IT Service Management work?

IT Service Management (ITSM) brings together policies and processes to implement and manage high-quality IT services in the enterprise. It helps to meet the requirements of the company. By defining and controlling IT services, service quality increases. Thus, ITSM provides the best possible support between the IT department and the business processes.

IT Service Management is based on the ITIL framework. It thus relies on tried-and-tested standards to design services and processes efficiently. This framework is primarily used to model processes. The special feature: ITSM adapts to your processes, not vice-versa. As a rule, existing processes are optimised through the introduction of IT Service Management. And this is done by all areas of the company.

ITSM helps to align IT goals with the company’s objectives and customer benefits. A central point of IT Service Management is the continuous improvement of structures and processes.

Advantages of an IT Service Management

The introduction of IT Service Management in your company gives you many advantages. Above all, it ensures the smooth running of processes and the quality and availability of IT services.

A detailed view of the ITSM benefits:

  • IT services and the associated processes become transparent.
  • The availability of services is greatly increased.
  • Clearly defined processes ensure the performance and availability of (automated) IT services.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities. Everyone in the company knows who is responsible for which tasks. This creates efficiency.
  • The IT department becomes more deeply involved in the company. It knows what is needed and why.
  • Standardised processes improve collaboration between departments. This leads to greater efficiency and thus to increased productivity.
  • Faults are detected and rectified much more quickly. This saves costs and sustainably increases customer satisfaction.
  • The introduction of an ITSM is an indispensable step with a view to ISO 20000 & ISO 27001 certification.
  • By defining IT services, you are able to compare them and, if necessary, replace them with more cost-effective components. This makes it possible to achieve an audit of the IT services and a reduction of costs.
  • Through the continuous improvement of services and processes, the company becomes significantly more efficient. It gains an advantage over the competition.

With efficient IT Service Management, IT services are kept available, efficient and increase the satisfaction of your customers and employees.

ITSM for a competitive advantage with real value creation.

The portfolio of IT services is growing steadily. New requirements are being placed on IT departments, which must realise and fulfill them at a rapid pace. The components (e.g. contracts, people, systems, service providers, etc.) that make up the implemented services in the end are unknown. Through ITSM, you actively deal with the services offered.

By using monitoring and discovery tools, faults are detected more quickly. Recovery times become shorter. Business-critical processes are kept up and running. With an efficient ITSM, the elimination of a malfunction is started before it can be noticed by the users.

Faster and better than the competition. A goal that is often mentioned when customer satisfaction is to be increased. With IT Service Management, you improve both the internal and external communication. You summarise information and reduce processing times for requests through standardised processes.

By combining efficient tools, you can implement IT Service Management quickly and easily.

Deckblatt ITSM - Eine Einführung in die Welt des IT Service Management

An introduction to the world of IT Service Management

You’ve heard of ITSM, but don’t know what it actually means? Then this whitepaper is exactly what you need. In this first of three parts in the ITSM series, we’ll show you what ITSM is all about and demonstrate the benefits it brings. You’ll learn the prerequisites for introducing IT Service Management and which steps are necessary.

Tools for IT Service Management

When selecting an ITSM tool, we would like to emphasise one rule: ITSM cannot be implemented by using a single software. You will quickly realise: Uniting different systems has more advantages than using a single solution. Why?

You will find systems on the market that combine all the necessary components. The advantage is clear: you maintain one solution and have one point of contact when you need support. The decisive disadvantage: you have to rely on a single manufacturer.

If there are problems in one of the components, the entire system is affected. And if one of the components doesn’t meet your requirements, in the worst case you’ll be forced to replace the entire system. The demands on IT are changing rapidly. It is advantageous to ensure maximum flexibility.

If you implement a solution from individual systems, you gain independence and flexibility. If a solution does not meet your requirements, you replace it. The rest of your ITSM tool continues to run unaffected. Each individual application is optimally aligned to its area, since each manufacturer has invested its entire know-how in this system. 

Each solution unfolds its full potential. You have professional tools at your disposal, which together represent a setup that is fit for the future. ITSM cannot be realized with a single solution, but is made up of various tools that are leaders in their respective disciplines.

The CMDB

This is the core of the entire ITSM tool. It contains all the information about the assets: technical data, services, people, documents and much more. All information is linked to further information by dependencies and relationships. All other components of the ITSM solution access or update the data in the CMDB. Information from the CMDB can also be transferred to third-party systems.

IT and Service Monitoring

Systematic monitoring of important networks and systems in real time is essential. If you detect faults and failures immediately through powerful monitoring, you can react quickly and ensure the availability of systems and services. Ideally, you fix a fault before users even notice it.

Network discovery

Network discovery is the tool of choice for providing the initial data for IT documentation. All the components connected to the network are automatically detected. Important information such as installed software, serial numbers and IP addresses is provided immediately. The manual effort required for documentation is eliminated to a large extent. Later, during operation, you will appreciate the fact that you do not have to manually maintain information about software and licences used.

The Service Desk

Wouldn’t it be great if a customer support employee automatically had all the information about a process at their fingertips? This is the advantage you enjoy when you connect a CMDB to the Service Desk. All the information about an Asset is automatically read from the CMDB and stored in the ticket. In addition, there are details about previous communication, emails, incident reports and much more. No queries, no delays. This is a service that customers both expect and appreciate.

Do you have one of these systems in use?

Deckblatt ITSM - 6 Schritte zur Einführung eines IT Service Management

6 Steps to Introducing IT Service Management

IT Service Management is to be introduced in your company. You don’t know yet how to approach the project and what is needed for it? Then this whitepaper will give you the most important hints and tips. In this second part of our ITSM series, we explain how to get through the project and select the right solutions.

ITSM in practice: A new server

The strength of the individual components of an ITSM tool lies in their integration. We will use a practical example to show you how the individual ITSM components work together. We will look at a section of a server lifecycle.

With i-doit, you can map the entire IMAC process chain. Managing the lifecycle of a server is significantly simplified by the possibilities offered by data integration. This allows you to shorten communication paths, enter data only once and optimise all IT operations.

Step 1: Basic documentation

When you order a new server, it is included in the IT documentation. This is primarily for capacity management purposes. You check whether follow-up orders for space, rack space, cabling, UPS, etc. may be necessary. You already document definable values (IP address, rack space). You do not need to consider deeper technical details at this stage. This is what network discovery is for later in the lifecycle.

Step 2: Delivery has taken place

This provides you with further information. You document this immediately. Delivery bill, supplier, invoice, warranty start and duration are data that you cannot collect automatically. However, you will need it. So include this data manually in the IT documentation as soon as possible. Remember the serial number. Use this to perform a mapping, which will be used by network discovery afterwards.

Step 3: Discovery provides the necessary details

You have installed the new server in the rack and put it into operation. Now it’s time for network discovery. During the next run of your discovery tool, the server is automatically found and its data is read out. Now information such as memory, hard disk capacity, operating system and patch level automatically flow into the documentation.

There is an enormous amount of detailed data in your network. With Discovery, you can transfer large parts of it into the CMDB. This greatly simplifies IT documentation.

Step 4: Monitoring in operational use

Maybe your new server serves as storage for important documents. Or you have assigned it the task of an email server. In any case, its task is so important that a failure would be critical. You need to be able to detect a failure as quickly as possible.

Now the monitoring can show its strengths. Data on the new server comes from the CMDB. As a result, your monitoring solution “knows” how to address the server. The monitoring tool continuously checks whether the server is accessible. The data obtained is added to the server in the CMDB.

Step 5: The Service Desk

The monitoring cannot reach the new server. This critical error is immediately reported by the system. You will see the error message immediately on the dashboard of your CMDB. However, more is happening in the background.

A new ticket is created automatically. This process is triggered by monitoring. The data about the server comes from the CMDB and is added directly to the ticket. The ticket is then assigned directly to the responsible technician. The technician now has all the important information available at a glance.

Once the technician has quickly resolved the incident, it is important to document it. This is also done automatically with ITSM. The entire ticket with all the information is stored in the CMDB in the Asset. If the same incident occurs again, a technician can look at the completed ticket again. The solution path for fixing the fault is immediately available.

You can see how well the seamless collaboration between the individual components of an ITSM tool works. Information is made usable across systems. Communication between systems and the IT department is enabled and faults can be resolved more quickly and efficiently.

IT processes as they should be: simple and efficient.

Deckblatt ITSM - IT Service Management mit der i-doit CMDB

IT Service Management with i-doit CMDB

You have already dealt with the topic of ITSM. You may already have monitoring or a service desk in place as a stand-alone solution. And now you want to move on to a complete ITSM solution? We’ll show you how this is possible with i-doit CMDB, what you need to get there and which solutions can help you succeed.

The ITSM management disciplines

In its current version of 2019, ITIL speaks of practices. In earlier versions, this was referred to as processes. The incident management process thus becomes the incident management practice.

ITIL 4 defines a total of 34 ITSM practices, which are divided into general management practices, service management practices and technical management practices.

Here are the most important practices for ITSM at a glance:

Incident Management
Incident Management is concerned with the management and tracking of incidents. These are incidents that result in an interruption to normal operations. By recording and managing incidents, incidents are detected more quickly (automated). Recovery time is shortened and customer satisfaction increases.

Problem Management
While Incident Management reacts reactively to disruptions in operations, Problem Management also proactively identifies potential disruptions. It is responsible for finding permanent solutions to problems.

Change Management
Change Management is responsible for implementing new structures, systems and processes. Every change to the IT infrastructure, services and processes must be planned and co-ordinated.

Service Request Management
Requests from users for a tool, information or advice should be organised centrally. This keeps approval, processing and delivery times as short as possible.

Change Control
The creation of standards to ensure that upgrades, developments and releases run as smoothly as possible.

Release Management
Planning, testing and contingency plans to facilitate the further development and improvement of services. This prevents any negative impact on business operations.

IT Asset Management
Collection of processes that simplify the management of all IT assets (software and hardware).

Availability Management
Ensures that the availability of an IT service agreed with the user is guaranteed.

Capacity and Performance Management
Organises all the resources required to deliver IT services in a timely and cost-effective manner.

What has ITIL got to do with ITSM?

If you deal with the topic of ITSM, you will inevitably come across the term “ITIL”. This is the “IT Infrastructure Library”. This collection of best practices for IT Service Management was developed in Great Britain in the 1980s. Today, ITIL in its fourth version is the quasi-standard for the implementation of an ITSM.

The terms ITSM and ITIL are often confused, but they are two different things. ITIL is a method for implementing an ITSM. But not every ITSM is based on ITIL.

Frameworks support you in using the appropriate procedures, people and technologies. They provide a collection of values, processes and strategies for implementing IT Service Management. And in addition to ITIL, there are numerous other models for this purpose.

COBIT
Framework for IT management. It is intended to provide a link between IT-specific frameworks such as ITIL and models from other areas of the company. This applies to COSO for financial reporting, for example.

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)
Standards and processes for creating, implementing and managing efficient and economical IT services.

Six Sigma
System for process improvement and quality management. Focuses on describing, measuring, analysing, improving, and monitoring processes through statistical means.

ISO 20000
International standard for Service Management. It defines the minimum requirements for processes that must be established in order to provide and manage IT services in a defined quality.

TOGAF
Structured standard for companies to organise and regulate software technologies.

Some companies use multiple frameworks to implement ITSM. And still others manage without a framework.

How you get to your ITSM is up to you. The path you choose should fit your business and your methods. You should only pay attention to the goal: efficient processes for the success of your company.

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