IT Service Management

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IT Service Management

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021008

Publication Date: 1910

Report Type: TUTORIAL


Today’s corporate IT departments are not simply focused on managing network
hardware and software, but in providing services to employees and
customers. This change has brought with it processes and technologies,
which IT departments must learn and then figure out how to put into action
to align service with business initiatives. 

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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IT service management (ITSM) can be defined as the range of information
technology activities that are implemented, managed, and delivered to maintain
an organization’s needs. 

Network Management Systems Market Trends
Automated Patch Management Tutorial
Self Service Concepts & Technology Tutorial
Enterprise Collaboration Platforms Tutorial
ITIL for Enterprise IT Management Tutorial
BMC Software IT Service Management Product
CA Service Management Product
Hewlett-Packard IT Service Management (ITSM) Product

ITSM includes
network management processes such as patching software and monitoring the
uptime of servers and routers. But ITSM also includes other aspects, most
notably service desks, employee self-service, and collaboration. The
introduction of these new processes and technologies has made it
harder for a small group of vendors to offer the products that meet all
needs. As a result, the shift from network management to ITSM has somewhat
changed the market landscape. The leading providers of network management
systems – BMC Software, CA Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM –
now lead the ITSM market, but their positions are not as clear or as
strong as they once were. The market may again consolidate around a
handful of leaders that offer all-in-one suites, but at the moment an
enterprise that wishes to implement ITSM may have to use a few products
from different vendors.


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Companies have been thinking differently about
the role of IT departments. Instead of judging IT departments by how well
they manage hardware and software, many companies focus on how well their
technology teams are providing services to employees. This change in
philosophy is in part a reaction to the belief that IT departments had been
exerting too much influence on enterprises. With
IT service management (ITSM), the IT department serves employees and focuses
on helping them to do their jobs. In this new dynamic, employees have more
power – i.e. using personal devices on a corporate network. This new power balance forces IT departments to find ways to secure
data other than simply restricting what users can do.

The change in philosophy is also the result of an expanded corporate
technology infrastructure. In addition to the servers, desktops, switches,
and routers that composed the IT landscape for many years, enterprises
today use mobile technology, cloud services, big data, virtualization,
wireless networks, and IP-based phones and video surveillance systems.
Mobile technology and cloud services have in particular led to the
development of ITSM because they are not typically managed by an
enterprise’s IT department but are instead provided by a third-party.

Table 1 compares the distinguishing features of traditional network
management and ITSM. 

Table 1. Traditional Network Management vs. ITSM

Traditional Network Management

  • Focuses on servers, desktops, switches, and routers
  • Measures success in terms of network performance and device
  • Has the IT department choose all of the software and hardware
    that employees use
  • Exclusively uses enterprise software that is hosted on
    corporate servers
  • Includes traditional network technologies and newer technologies
    like mobile and cloud computing
  • Measures success in terms of employee satisfaction as well as
    network performance and device uptime
  • Often meets employee needs by using third-party cloud and
    mobile services, in addition to using enterprise software hosted
    on corporate servers
  • Offers employee self-service
  • Uses collaboration, social networking, and other contemporary
    ways that people interact

ITSM uses the following traditional network technologies:

  • Asset Management – The identification of the hardware
    and software used on a network. Many asset management tools can
    automatically detect facts about each asset such as the model name and
    version number.
  • Change Management – The management of services that must
    be modified, altered, or expanded. 
  • Project Management – By overseeing the lifecycle of of
    IT services, companies can avoid issues like legacy systems. 
  • Knowledge Management – This technology has ties to the others in
    that it helps the avoidance of duplicated work. 
  • Incident Management – Any time there is a performance issue or
    service is halted, the issue must be resolved, service restored, and
    remediation techniques used to avoid another impact. 
  • Problem Management – The method used to fix issues that pertain to
    service delivery and performance.1

ITSM also uses a variety of newer technologies that distinguish it from
traditional network management. These can be used and combined in
different ways. There is no single set of capabilities that defines ITSM,
but the following are common:

  • Help desk/service desk tools
  • Centralized ticket management
  • Self-help portals and knowledge centers for end users
  • License management
  • Metrics and analytics2 

The structure of ITSM is based in part on ITIL, which is a standard
framework for providing IT services. ITIL describes a structure for
supporting IT and delivering services, and it covers ITSM concepts such as
service desks. Some of the leading ITSM vendors integrate ITIL concepts
into the designs of their products.

Current View

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Currently, the leaders in the ITSM space are BMC Software and
ServiceNow. BMC offers several options, including Helix and Helix Remedyforce.
Helix is a platform built around roles, not modules and uses cognitive
automation capabilities to improve the overall user experience. Remedyforce is another ITSM solution built on the
Salesforce App Cloud. ServiceNow ITSM is a service management solution in the
cloud that enables businesses to improve customer experiences while
consolidating tools, automating workflows, and boosting IT productivity. 

Some trends that are taking over ITSM include: 

  • Employee management – Organizations often are challenged in finding
    appropriate talent for specific job positions. With so many emerging
    technologies – AI, for example – roles and skill sets for employees are
    constantly changing. Another case for employee management is the need to
    support each worker, giving him or her the proper tools and the personalized
    assistance each needs to successfully complete his or her job. 
  • Automation and AI – Artificial intelligence is a critical part of
    emerging and current technologies as it improves automation of tasks and
    processes. This enables less employee oversight on managing repetitive
  • Security – Massive scale breaches and ransomware attacks have
    helped encourage companies to boost their security spending and become more
    aware of the threats that negatively impact business. 
  • Cloud migration – As small and mid-sized businesses migrate to the
    cloud, the time it takes to do so can take months or years. Cloud security
    is a big factor since a private cloud is more vulnerable than an on-premise
  • Customer service experience – Of course, it’s obvious that
    high user expectations are paramount to any business. Failing to provide
    customers with the service and support that they expect can be harmful a
    business’s current posture and financial future.3


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Some experts say that the future of ITSM lies in combining it with DevOps.
While these two offerings have different approaches – DevOps is typically aimed
at the software delivery lifecycle – together, they can bring a balance. "DevOps
redefines IT agility and flexibility, and ITSM rules the processes to ensure
that they meet all the requirements for secure and successful deployment. Both
in harmony will increase efficiency and reduce the blame game within the
organization," said Sachin Agarwal, a Mantra Labs DevOps engineer and
solution architect.4

A study published in 2019 strongly suggested that the ITSM market will grow
significantly, and that its future lies largely in the cloud. The market for
cloud-based ITSM services is expected to reach $10.4 billion by 2024, up
from an estimated $4.4 billion in 2019.5 


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The ITSM approach was developed in part to ensure that business needs
determined technology decisions. Therefore, it is important for
organizations to avoid the trap of feeling compelled to follow every ITSM
trend without having a clear strategic reason for doing so. The ITSM
approach is flexible and capable of including a variety of technology
types. But none of these types is required for ITSM. It is more important
to be mindful of the key principals: Focusing on the needs of employees
and providing them with convenient access to technologies.

To focus on meeting the needs of employees while also meeting general
business goals, organizations must find a systematic way to determine
these needs. Meeting user needs is critical in ITSM, but identifying them
takes effort. A self-service system will enable users to submit requests,
and organizations can do a statistical analysis of these requests.
Organizations might also take more active steps, such as surveying all

The enforcement of policies is also different with ITSM. In
traditional network management, policies are often enforced by
restrictions. But with ITSM, employees are commonly given more
flexibility, such as by being able to use their personally owned mobile
devices. In this new environment, educating users about good practices can
be an alternative to restricting their behavior.


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1 "ITSM (IT Service Management). TechTarget. 
2 Matt Klassen. "6 Important Facts Every Business Needs to Know
about ITSM Tools." June 17, 2019. 
Krzsyztof Skoropada. "Top 5 ITSM Trends for 2019." Medium.
February 1, 2019. . 
4 "4 Ways to Marry ITSM and DevOps." Tech Beacon. July 26,
5 "Cloud ITSM Market Worth $10.4 Billion 2024." Markets and Markets.
September 25, 2019.

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