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Building a Better it Service Management Organization

Jeff Battaglino, Vice President, IT Technical Services Manager, OceanFirst Bank [NASDAQ: OCFC]

How do you rate your IT Service Management organization? KPIs? Metrics? Customer Satisfaction Surveys? The correct answer should be “All of the above” and more. There are many moving parts to an effective IT Service Management area, and in today’s customer-centric world, more emphasis is placed on providing stellar IT service than ever before. The challenges to ;providing this high level of service is tops on the priority list of CIOs and IT Service Management executives all over the world.

Newcomers to the industry are inundated with terms like “Digital Transformation”, Artificial Intelligence”, and “IT Service Automation”. All valid and pertinent terms, each plays an important part in the evolution of ITSM, and where organizations are moving toward in the coming years. But first, let’s take a step backward and look at the basic building blocks of effective ITSM organizations. First and foremost, we should acknowledge ITIL, a set of guiding principles that drive IT Service Management. Notice I typed the word “Guiding”. This was intentional.

The first building block to an effective ITSM organization is a set of policies and procedures that are tailored around your organization as a whole. (Process) In many cases, all principles of ITIL are not perfect fits to all service groups. Managers know which ITIL principles to adopt and which not to, create better ITSM service areas. These policies and procedures need to be the basis of all support functions performed by the groups and should serve to shape the level of excellence that the group strives to provide.

Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, and ITSM Automation are all effective methods of reducing the human touch to IT Service Management and automating repetitive and tedious functions, reducing the chance for error

The next building block is putting together a team of individuals with the skillsets needed to execute the aforementioned policies and procedures. (People) Job descriptions should be tailored to each area of ITSM and should reflect the duties and responsibilities necessary to excel in those areas. Each position should have a path to upward mobility, both within and outside of the ITSM organization (Other areas of IT or other business units). These people are the key to your organizations’ success in the ITSM world.

Another building block is the selection of an ITSM application or suite to bring these policies and procedures to life. (Technology) There are many out there, and selecting the right application for your organization is a monumental task. Developing requirements for this product is the first step in the process. It is important to note here that your policies and procedures should dictate the functionality of your selected application, not the other way around. Many ITSM organizations make the mistake of adjusting or tailoring their procedures to meet the functionality of the application. The popular apps on the market today are based on ITIL principles and should be used as Out-of-the-box as possible, to make maintenance and upgrades easier, but try not to allow the application to dictate the way your organization does business.

These building blocks work together to build an effective ITSM organization that is scalable and able to adopt new and emerging technologies. Sitting atop these blocks is effective management that can enforce adherence to the policies and procedures mentioned. It should also be mentioned that these policies and procedures should have the full backing of executive management, so there can be no doubt to validity and enforcement.

Finally, let’s get back to those terms we introduced earlier. Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, and ITSM Automation are all effective methods of reducing the human touch to IT Service Management and automating repetitive and tedious functions, reducing the chance for error. These functions will inevitably play more important roles currently, and in the coming years. Before implementing these capabilities, assure that your primary building blocks are in place, and those KPIs, Metrics, and Customer Satisfaction Surveys will be stellar!

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