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3 Common ITSM Misconceptions

With so many options available when it comes to IT Service Management (ITSM) software, it can be hard to figure out which vendor makes the most sense for your business or organization. Do you go with a big vendor that can be complex, needs a team to run it and can cost a lot year over year? Or do you go with a more simplistic tool that does just the basics, but lacks some of the other functionality you might need as you grow or scale your ITSM services? Is there an ITSM tool that falls somewhere in the middle with everything you need at the right price? There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there, and certainly no shortage of reviews to sort through.

Here are three common misconceptions you should consider when shopping for new ITSM software.

Your ITSM Tool Must Be Complex to be Effective

Many times, organizations will take on an ITSM tool that’s too large and too complex for their organization’s needs. They are sold on a brand name and features and functionalities that, in fact, they don’t necessarily need or will practically use once the ITSM tool is in place. This often results in them paying for licensing fees or modules they don’t need. In fact, sometimes organizations will report they have as many as 8 dedicated resources administering their ITSM tool; often consuming technical experts to create forms, workflows, integrations and scripts.

This was the case at the University of Michigan, and why it recently made the switch to TeamDynamix for ITSM. Unhappy with its former ITSM tool, the university’s ITS team selected TeamDynamix because it believes the ITSM platform can help them identify problems and repeated requests, automate workflows, and help users find their own answers to questions whenever possible. They also wanted to invest in a future vision that would allow them to embrace true enterprise service with this new software.

In addition, the enterprise site licensing model for TeamDynamix allows the university to have more people resolving service tickets, resulting in improved problem resolution and an improved experience for students, faculty, and staff. This was put into practice amid the shift to remote learning when the pandemic emerged, helping ITS respond to a sharp spike in service requests.

No matter the vendor you select, the ITSM software you pick for your organization should be easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate.

Codeless ITSM platforms, like TeamDynamix, are a great place to start. Not only do they have the flexibility you need, but they also often have a lower total cost of ownership as you don’t need a full team to manage the software. In fact, with a codeless system, you can empower employees across the organization to manage their own portals and tickets.

Building Out a Proper Knowledge Base is a Waste of Time

A user-friendly, searchable knowledge base can be the single most valuable tool your organization has. Not only can you use a knowledge base internally to help employees answer any questions they may have about your business or organization, or how to do things within their departments – but you can create a knowledge base as part of an external self-service portal that you can direct customers to in order to deflect calls and emails that would otherwise come to your help desk.

By utilizing a self-service portal with a knowledge base, you can save both time and money. Here are some other benefits of having a knowledge base:

  1. Help to continually lower inbound call volume: When users can go to the knowledge base to help them figure out how to solve a problem, that means they don’t have to call the help desk or put in a ticket. This translates to time saved for IT professionals who can now spend their hours doing more complex tasks.
  2. Increase customer satisfaction: Being able to utilize self-service means customers don’t need to wait around for the attention of someone who can address and solve their problem, and no wait almost always means happier customers!
  3. Provide customers with the answers they need when they need them: Immediacy holds immense value. Being able to receive a solution just moments after a problem arises is essential for customers who work in fast-paced environments.
  4. Crowdsourcing knowledge helps maintain accurate content: Although some people might think they’re a know-it-all, no one person can be an expert on everything within an organization. Cumulating the knowledge of various people helps increase the accuracy of the content in these articles.

By using a methodology like Knowledge-Centered Service® (KCS) to build your knowledge base you can quickly cut down on the amount of time your IT team spends on resolving tickets.

At the University of South Dakota (USD) they built our their knowledge base using KCS and quickly saw an 18% reduction in time logged to service tickets. After just six months, their portal had grown exponentially with more than 31,000 users, 262,000 page views and 5,000 knowledge articles being included in the knowledge base.

ITSM Software that Includes Project Management with Automation and Integration isn’t Worth the Investment

Often, departments work in silos and have their own tech stacks. And while this can work for many specific types of software, there are instances where this can become a hindrance for business or organization – especially when resource optimization and project planning happen across departments.

In these cases, investing in an ITSM tool that includes Project Portfolio Management (PPM) along with enterprise integration and automation makes sense. Whether you need all three, or a mix of two – a vendor that can give you the option to scale your needs as you grow into Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is key.

By bringing ITSM and PPM together on a single platform, you can better understand your resource capabilities and engage in true resource capacity planning.

With resource capacity planning you get a big-picture view of your entire IT organization, allowing you to balance workloads across projects and support; and to see the different types of work that need to be done at any given time.

For example, if you have three IT technicians that need to cover three functional areas of business – like service, projects and operations – you can engage in resource capacity planning and optimize each technician’s workload based on their skill set and their availability. As a result, the work can be completed more effectively and efficiently as each technician is focused on work that plays to their strengths. And because you have a full view of the work and the time it will take, you can avoid overcommitting or underutilizing your resources.

This approach is especially useful when you have limited resources, but an increase in demand for the support of remote learning and remote workforces.

When you add in iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with your ITSM/PPM platform you can automate both complex and simple tasks, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization.

Employees no longer need to spend time on the repetitive, mundane tasks they normally have to complete before working on bigger projects – things like system name changes, resetting passwords, or granting certain permissions to software. All of these, and more, can be automated with workflows using iPaaS.

If you chose a codeless platform for this, you get the added benefit of anyone being able to use these tools – not just IT. By allowing lines of business to create their own workflows you can free up your IT resources to work on larger projects and eliminate the logjam when it comes to integrations within your organization.

Here are a few other ways iPaaS can supercharge service delivery and reduce the IT drain on an organization:

  • Facilitate enterprise integration by using a single hub with pre-built connectors to systems that you use every day as well as a connector concierge for the creation of specific connectors. (Imagine being able to automatically change a username, add someone to a distribution group, or onboard an employee)
  • Expedite creation of automation and workflows with a visual flow builder (codeless) that is easy to use, own and operate; allowing you to reduce IT’s backlog of integration and workflow requests.
  • Optimize resources across IT to allow for improved output and a higher level of service delivery to your internal and external customers by removing redundant data entry and manual processing.
  • Reduce API risk with a single connectivity platform that will offer increased oversight and control.

Want to learn more about selecting the right ITSM software for your business? Download the ITSM selection guide from Info-Tech.