IT Service Management—if done well—promises to lower costs and improve customer satisfaction, security, and reliability. Not surprisingly, these are tall orders to fill, especially considering the near-constantly changing landscape of the IT world. IT (and, in relation to this particular article from FCW, IT within federal agencies) depends on IT Service Management as a way of achieving these lofty goals through standardized and automated processes. Through standardization and automation, IT management is able to achieve a more consistent result that can be, in theory, further optimized to a point of desired gains and results.
As the article by John Moore goes on to state, federal agencies have two options when it comes to ITSM: in-house or cloud deployment. The same options can be said for anyone attempting to implement a rigorous ITSM solution, as well. In the past vendors offered to implement ITSM solutions in-house using proprietary software solutions, but as the cloud has grown, so has the availability of Sofware-as-a-Service (SaaS) options on the cloud.
The article goes on, explaining how federal interest in ITSM has been growing due to an increased observation and desire for data center consolidation as well as optimization in processes. The current economic environment has spurred a renewed interest in reducing cost and overhead due to over-articulated processes and frameworks. ITSM works to reduce the over-abundance of steps and procedures needed to complete work through identification, explanation, and optimization.
Much the same could be said for private IT as well: public companies and civilian IT is no less affected by economic conditions, and as such ITSM is on the rise in regards to both interest and implementation. The federal government may have voters to answer to, but private companies have investors and shareholders in much the same way.
Another reason ITSM is on the rise in both federal and private companies comes from the over-customization of legacy systems, as described in the article:
Furthermore, legacy systems might have gotten bogged down in extensive customization, said Larry Schink, senior managing partner at CorTechs, an IT services company with an ITSM practice area. Those custom features drive up maintenance costs, while a new system offers the opportunity to set things right.
“They need to back out of customization and look at products that can be modified easily, without hard-coding customization into the product itself,” Schink said.
The article then moves to discussing how help-desk software has become a mainstay of IT automation, moving from just customer support to also becoming a service desk, supplying a more expansive amount of help to the enterprise, and how an IT group should implement ITSM while implementing ITIL. Implementing both at the same time helps create a “cultural migration” according to Tim Halton, chief of customer access and support at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. By implementing both at the same time, teams going through the change are able to develop and understanding and lexicon together, allowing both ITSM and ITIL to play off of each other for greater success.