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Implementing ITSM: Four Common Challenges

Published on 18 February 16
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Improved delivery models, cloud capabilities and sophisticated software are driving significant growth in the IT service management (ITSM) market. According to Technavio, the industry should see a CAGR of 8 percent or better over the next 4 years. Though big investment isn't the same as effective implementation, and many businesses struggle to realize the potential of service management tools after deployment. Here's a look at four of the most common challenges encountered with ITSM.


Effective Automation

As noted by The Register, one common problem is a lack of true automation. While many companies understand the need for self-service IT portals that empower users and help take the burden off local admins, there's a disconnect when it comes to implementation. Too often, portals are little more than re-skinned information capture points with little to no automation driving the next step in the service delivery process. The result? Frustrated users and IT professionals alike. The solution? Be prepared to invest in native, back-end automation or outsource ITSM to a reputable provider that can customize the service delivery experience.

Dedicated Design

The goal of ITSM is to streamline the service delivery process. However, what if your existing process is cumbersome and clunky? Layering automation and self-service onto this process merely shifts the problem rather than solving it. Effective design, therefore, is a critical aspect of service delivery; it's essential to take a hard look at existing service pipelines and processes to determine where improvements are necessary before rolling out a new ITSM solution.

Consider the rise of mobile devices, for example — attempting to shoehorn in a desktop-based process will have limited success, at best. Better option? Build a mobile platform from the ground up or leverage existing mobile tools that allow users to access basic IT services without the help of local tech professionals.

Cross-Silo Integration

According to Information Age, one new area of impact for ITSM is outside the IT department. The advent of sophisticated cloud platforms has spurred the development of management solutions that include workflows, user experience improvements, request approvals and security notices. Think of it as an extension of the effort to mainstream IT spend and make it part of an overall line of business (LoB) strategy. ITSM must now do more than simply serve up IT — and emerging tools support this aim.

The challenge? Ensuring service consistency. All departments must have equal access to automated systems; and self-service functions and portals must be interoperable across silo boundaries. While it's possible to design this type of service in-house, leveraging an already-built solution with local IT is often more cost-effective.

Transparent Costs

Speaking of costs, ITSM must also be able to clearly articulate both the price of service management and the specific results of implementation. With IT no longer defined as mere cost center, all technology spend needs to drive ROI. The challenge here is delivering clear, on-demand metrics to support both current spending and future service management investment. As result, the need for customizable reports and data collection cannot be overstated — IT professionals must be able to show, as required, how employees are using the system and how ITSM is reducing IT service time and improving the bottom line.

Want better ITSM? Go after automation, improve design, integrate freely and deliver visible costs.


Improved delivery models, cloud capabilities and sophisticated software are driving significant growth in the IT service management (ITSM) market. According to Technavio, the industry should see a CAGR of 8 percent or better over the next 4 years. Though big investment isn't the same as effective implementation, and many businesses struggle to realize the potential of service management tools after deployment. Here's a look at four of the most common challenges encountered with ITSM.

Effective Automation





As noted by The Register, one common problem is a lack of true automation. While many companies understand the need for self-service IT portals that empower users and help take the burden off local admins, there's a disconnect when it comes to implementation. Too often, portals are little more than re-skinned information capture points with little to no automation driving the next step in the service delivery process. The result? Frustrated users and IT professionals alike. The solution? Be prepared to invest in native, back-end automation or outsource ITSM to a reputable provider that can customize the service delivery experience.





Dedicated Design





The goal of ITSM is to streamline the service delivery process. However, what if your existing process is cumbersome and clunky? Layering automation and self-service onto this process merely shifts the problem rather than solving it. Effective design, therefore, is a critical aspect of service delivery; it's essential to take a hard look at existing service pipelines and processes to determine where improvements are necessary before rolling out a new ITSM solution.

Consider the rise of mobile devices, for example — attempting to shoehorn in a desktop-based process will have limited success, at best. Better option? Build a mobile platform from the ground up or leverage existing mobile tools that allow users to access basic IT services without the help of local tech professionals.





Cross-Silo Integration





According to Information Age, one new area of impact for ITSM is outside the IT department. The advent of sophisticated cloud platforms has spurred the development of management solutions that include workflows, user experience improvements, request approvals and security notices. Think of it as an extension of the effort to mainstream IT spend and make it part of an overall line of business (LoB) strategy. ITSM must now do more than simply serve up IT — and emerging tools support this aim.

The challenge? Ensuring service consistency. All departments must have equal access to automated systems; and self-service functions and portals must be interoperable across silo boundaries. While it's possible to design this type of service in-house, leveraging an already-built solution with local IT is often more cost-effective.





Transparent Costs





Speaking of costs, ITSM must also be able to clearly articulate both the price of service management and the specific results of implementation. With IT no longer defined as mere cost center, all technology spend needs to drive ROI. The challenge here is delivering clear, on-demand metrics to support both current spending and future service management investment. As result, the need for customizable reports and data collection cannot be overstated — IT professionals must be able to show, as required, how employees are using the system and how ITSM is reducing IT service time and improving the bottom line.

Want better ITSM? Go after automation, improve design, integrate freely and deliver visible costs.

This blog is listed under Project & Service Management Community

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