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Shopping for New ITSM Software? 3 Must-Have Features

Are you in the market for a new IT service management (ITSM) tool? When it comes to investing in ITSM for your organization there are a few things you should consider.

  1. Will my organization follow an ITIL framework for service management? Regardless of your answer here, a flexible (yet highly configurable) ITSM tool can help you align your best practices.
  2. Are my employees currently spending their time on repetitive, manual tasks? If the answer is yes, automation should be explored. No one wants to spend their time on toil. With automation as part of your ITSM strategy, you can save time and resources.
  3. Can we use this ITSM software across the organization, outside of just IT? Enterprise service management (ESM) is gaining in popularity as more companies are realizing the benefits of using service management outside of IT. Groups like marketing, finance, facilities and human resources can all benefit from ESM.

A Codeless Platform with Automation and Integration Capabilities

The ITSM software you pick for your organization should be easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate. Codeless ITSM platforms 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 portal and tickets.

You can also supercharge your ITSM with tools like iPaaS. Low-code/no-code automation tools like iPaaS are a great way to automate and integrate systems across an organization and reduce toil.

When TeamDynamix first released iPaaS, Western University of Health Sciences was one of the first organizations to purchase and use it.

iPaaS is an integration and automation platform that helps organizations bring together data from disparate systems and drive workflows for both simple and complex processes across multiple systems.

“We definitely jumped at the opportunity to get iPaaS,” David Mitchell, Enterprise Application Administrator, said. One of the key objectives for Mitchell and his team has been finding ways to save technicians time and make them more efficient – iPaaS lends itself nicely to that.

“We are looking at what can save our technicians time, what are we already doing that may be more efficient with iPaaS and what systems do we need to integrate with iPaaS,” he said. WesternU started by automating simple tasks with iPaaS, things like automatic VPN access for approved users, keeping assets up to date and reconciling data between Active Directory and Banner.

“A lot of these tasks aren’t tasks that are necessarily hard for anyone to do manually, it’s more that they are repetitive and time-consuming.” And for Mitchell and WesternU, that’s been one of the biggest draws for iPaaS.

By automating tasks, especially the repetitive ones, Mitchell said their technicians now have time to focus their attention on bigger issues. “We’ve been working in iPaaS since January and I feel like we’ve already come a long way and are saving time,” he said. “But there’s so much more we can do.”

For Mitchell, the codeless drag and drop functionality of iPaaS has really enabled him and his team to move quickly and creatively when it comes to building new workflows. “I’m not a programmer at all,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know the programming languages, I’m kind of illiterate when it comes to that, but I like to call iPaaS Lego programming because you just snap everything together and it works.”

Customizable Self-Service Portal with Searchable Knowledge Base

Another great way to save time and resources with your ITSM software is to make sure you have the ability to build out a searchable knowledge base and service portal so customers can resolve their own issues instead of calling your help desk or submitting a ticket. With the right knowledge base and portal in place, you can reduce the amount of time that IT staff must spend fielding calls, answering questions and routing requests – once again freeing them up to focus on more strategic work.

For the City of Buffalo, creating a self-service portal was a pivotal step in streamlining IT service for the city. Powered by TeamDynamix, the portal allows city employees to find answers to their IT questions online. This provides instant gratification for employees and eliminates the need for further assistance in many cases. 

If employees can’t resolve their own IT issues, they can submit a service request through the portal by choosing from an online service catalog. Their request is then routed automatically to an appropriate IT staff member for a response, based on the nature of the problem or request. 

Aided by the dynamic workflows built into the TeamDynamix platform, a small team of IT staff members create and maintain knowledge base articles for the city, ensuring that this information always remains relevant and up to date. 

“Before the service portal existed, employees would call or email the help desk to ask questions or request service,” Ignatz said. This tied up IT staff time in fielding questions, creating service tickets, and getting them into the hands of the correct team members. Having employees enter service requests directly through the portal ensures a faster resolution to their issue and frees up IT staff to work on other tasks instead. 

“It allows us to provide service quicker,” Ignatz observed. 

Full Support for ITIL and Easily Scalable Outside of IT

ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, and describes the processes, procedures, tasks and checklists that can be applied by an organization as part of an overall IT strategy; to improve customer delivery; or to maintain a certain level of competency organization-wide. 

Any ITSM software you invest in should allow you to be ITIL aligned as much, or as little, as needed depending on your organization’s IT maturity.

Many organizations implement ITIL to ensure they have a common vocabulary and methodology surrounding request fulfillment and incident response – both within IT and outside IT when using ESM.

Yancy Philips, IT Team Director for Indiana State University, wanted an ITSM tool that matched the school's growing IT maturity, and their old basic ticketing system that was used to manage the delivery of IT service wasn’t cutting it. “It served its purpose for many years, but as we started to adopt more ITIL best practices and worked to improve our service delivery, we knew we needed something more.”

To remedy this, they switched to TeamDynamix.

“People are thrilled with our service now,” Philips says.

Likewise, in an ever-connected world, state and local governments need to provide new services and keep up with changing needs while often balancing tight budgets. Implementing IT Service Management (ITSM) best practices enables organizations to standardize and optimize the way they respond to the ever-increasing demand while keeping operational costs low and customer satisfaction high.

Dusty Borchardt, Business Systems Manager for Oklahoma City, says that they adopted the ITIL framework more than 15 years ago. He explains that they’d had effective processes in place for a while, but they “haven’t had a decent toolset to manage them” until they utilized TeamDynamix’s ITSM platform. “TeamDynamix has brought simplicity to our operations,” Borchardt says. “This is the first IT Service Management platform we’ve implemented that everyone loves to use.”

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