ITSM or Information Technology Service Management refers to all managerial aspects of IT businesses. It include models for IT Planning, Support, Delivery, Security and Infrastructure, and other provisions for better customer service.
Customer satisfaction and business goals are at the core of ITSM success. The particulars laid under ITSM cover issues and expectations within organizations and meeting IT management deliverables.

All aspects of ITSM are process-based and tie common interests with various improvement methodologies and frameworks. The study is not related to the use of particular IT management products but focuses on delivering frameworks that make IT elated interactions and activities better oriented with the business goals and customer demands. In many cases, ITSM overlaps itself with IT portfolio management practices and business service management. One should understand that this is a complete “back office” managerial activity and is also referred to as operations architecture. Many experts suggest ITSM to be analogous to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

History of ITSM

The first use of ITSM methodologies can be drawn back to when IT businesses used vast mainframe environments. The technology got refined over the years and the functions attained high maturity levels. Some of the best examples of ITSM methods are change management, capacity planning, configuration management, disaster recovery, performance management, availability management and many others. The main difference between the old mainframe environments and today’s ITSM practices is that mainframes had a typically centralized system. However, ITSM can be applied to both centralized and distributed systems. Further mainframe technology was largely technology based and available as stand-alone practices, ITSM focuses on varied integrated services to satisfy business goals.

ITSM does focus on better management of technology but it more necessarily addresses the importance of aligning different IT services with business needs. Here are some attributes that have gone through a change from traditional IT to ITSM processes:

Traditional I/T ITSM Process
Technology Focus Process Focus
Fire Fighting Prevention
Reactive Proactive
Users Customers
Centralized, done in-house Distributed, sourced
Isolated, silos Integrated, enterprise-wide
One off, adhoc Repeatable, Accountable
Informal Processes Formal Best Practices
IT internal perspective Business perspective
Operational specific Service orientation

Other critical areas of ITSM include service objectives and technology infrastructure. 

What is ITSM based on?

ITSM is highly related to the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). ITIL is the official publication of the United Kingdom Cabinet Office, wherein it covers many related topics as distinct disciplines. The latest version of ITIL is its 2011 version which is a revision of the ITIL version 3 published in 2007. ITIL groups IT business processes into five categories including service design, service strategy, service operation, service transition and lastly CSI (continual service improvement).

For more information about ITIL, Watch below ITIL introduction video:

ITSM General Framework

While ITIL rings forth the necessary documents for better management decisions, ITSM helps with tools that enable deployment of the guidelines to unique business needs. The basic ITSM methodology constitutes:

IT Service Support

  • Change management – Standardized methods for effective management of business changes
  • Configuration management – Logical and physical aspects of IT infrastructure plus other IT services
  • Incident Management – Day to day functioning / controls that helps restore acceptable norms of IT practices
  • Release Management – Verification, testing and simultaneous release of IT environment changes
  • Problem Management – Diagnosis of incidents to proactively manage and eliminate errors
  • Service Desk – Facilitates a central interaction platform for the business and customers

IT Service Delivery

  • Availability Management: Optimization of IT infrastructure, support and services for sustained level of efficiency and minimal service outage
  • Capacity Management: Enabling organizations with tactical management practices and strategic planning
  • IT Service Continuity: Managing organizational capabilities for providing necessary inputs in cases of interruptions
  • Service Level Management: Improving and maintaining high service levels
  • Financial Management: Cost management and ensuring enough resources to meet organizational needs

The main aims of the ITSM principles are to:

  1. Determine current IT infrastructure, services and processes
  2. Come up with futuristic IT management practices
  3. Design a roadmap to elevate the business from “current state” to “desired state”
  4. Formulate steps for the roadmap

ITSM Implementation Framework

The ITSM Implementation framework follows a five step model that includes:

  • Assessment: Determining the current state of business IT infrastructure and coming up with desired metrics for improvement
  • Design: Coming up with a mature design
  • Planning: Develop plans that will structure the business evolution
  • Implementation: Deploying the new framework to achieve future growth
  • Support: Maintenance, management and improvement of IT plans across the whole enterprise

The important “perspectives” within this framework include:

  • People: Quality and quantity of expertise
  • Process: Organization specific IT practices, guidelines and procedures
  • Technology: Physical and logical technology infrastructure that includes hardware, software, applications, DBMS, communication networks and others
  • Organization: External and internal factors affecting IT. It includes understanding of “corporate culture”, organizational interface and organization direction
  • Integration: Integrating future plans in a business model and determining what and how services are provided and what would be the best implementation practices

What is ITSM Certification?

The ITSM Certification is governed by STQC, RCB (Registered Certifying Organization), ISO/IEC 20000-1. This standard is based upon the ITIL framework enabling the best practice guidelines that ensure the best alignment of IT services with the overall business process. Professionals with the ITSM Certification are trained with IT practices that help deliver appropriate business solutions over a wide variety of requirements.

Here is a video that takes you through overview of ITSM:

The certification validates key credentials including:

  1. Acquisition and retention of best resources and skill sets
  2. Aligning and integrating IT and business goals
  3. Improving success of project delivery
  4. Achieving Value for Money (VFM) and demonstrating best Returns on Investment (ROI)
  5. In-sourcing, outsourcing, and smart-sourcing
  6. Best practices for IT governance
  7. Managing business changes       

This means ITSM certified candidates are recognized experts in effective and efficient use of people, process, products, and partners, thus ensuring the growth of the business.

ITSM, also sometimes termed as service management thinking, is a systematic way of business operations, offerings, contracting and provisioning services to customers. ITSM frameworks and practices have long been regarded as the best tools to ensure business results and meeting customer expectations. ITSM is a recognized tool all over the world and top companies use the framework to meet the growing challenges of competition and technological innovation.

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