Home �   ITIL�  Index

Understanding and Maximizing Your ITSM Investment

May 22, 2009

David Mainville

Whether we like it or not the latest generations of business users are computer savvy and used to getting things on-demand. These folks, brought up on YouTube, FaceBook and Google have much higher expectations. So, when IT says it will take months to provision a service or make a change to an application they are tempted to go out on the Internet and find something they can use right away.

We can shrug and say "The business just doesn’t get it―they don’t understand the complexity we have to deal with,” or we can use the discipline of ITSM to find ways to better communicate with the business, improve cycle-times and reduce cost. When we lose sight of the SERVICE in ITSM we are just putting our companies, our co-workers and our own livelihoods at risk.

Nuts and Bolts

So, how does an organization go about maximizing its investment in ITSM?

Realize that ITSM is not something new, but it’s something you already do. The important thing is taking what you do and making it better. In order to accomplish that you need to understand your services, you need to track your performance and you need to take corrective action.

Don’t waste your time trying to justify ITSM―that’s like justifying breathing. Take it on faith that the discipline of ITSM is a given. Focus on communicating with your clients, on having clear and measurable services, on making your supporting processes actionable and on making your people accountable.

Get everyone on the bus and point that bus in a single direction. You can’t have your organization driving different ways to get to the same point. Agree on a plan for improving services, implement processes to support the services and measure the outcomes. Don’t be afraid to tell someone they need to get on a different bus. For that you need leadership.

Educate and automate. Communicate the value of improving services, communicate how the processes will provide value and automate the processes wherever possible so that people are guided through the steps. Leave nothing to chance.

Lastly, don’t fall into the trap that a tool will solve all your problems. There are no silver bullets. The value will come from developing a culture of service and the discipline of measurement and continual service improvement.

I’ll wrap up this article by asking you to do one thing for me: look at your own personal experiences and think of a service provider that consistently provides you with an outstanding service experience. Now think of one who provides the opposite. The difference between organization A and B is the degree to which they practice the discipline of ITSM. Now which organization do you want to be?

David Mainville is CEO and co-founder of Consulting-Portal, an ITSM consulting and ITIL training company focused on helping Fortune 500 and mid-size companies assess, design and implement robust IT Service Management processes. Consulting-Portal also offers a full curriculum of ITSM education including: ITIL, ISO and CobiT.