The Shocking Truth About ITSM Toolsets
All you troubles are over, right?
Sadly, when they reach this stage, most organisation realise the frustrating truth. There’s SO much still to do.
The Hard Reality
Most organisations believe a new ITSM toolset will solve all their problems. Their data will be clean, they’ll have full control of their infrastructure, and they’ll shift left from call centre to the reduced overheads of self-service.
But here’s the thing. This assumption is fundamentally wrong. Not only that, in most cases it’s a triumph of hope over experience.
You see, most of the time organisations aren’t looking to implement their first ever ITSM toolset. Typically they already have a toolset in place, but are disappointed with the results they’re seeing.
So they pay out large sums for implementation consultancy, and hope the new toolset will solve their problems.
But, just like last time… it doesn’t. Here’s why.
The Usual Suspects
The single biggest issue with ITSM toolsets is simple. One size does not fit all.
Take Incident Management.
Almost every ITSM toolset includes Incident Management functionality. Typically, they can log, classify, investigate, update, assign, resolve, and close calls. Sometimes they do more, sometimes less.
But what they never do is integrate seamlessly with the organisation’s processes. The toolset provides “out of the box” incident management functionality, but not a logical end-to-end process. Each organisation does things differently, so there’s no way for vendors to provide solutions that work perfectly out of the box, and you’ll need to tailor or configure the solution to meet your exact requirements.
Service catalogues are another good example. The majority of ITSM toolsets are designed to work from a central service catalogue. Unfortunately, most organisations either don’t have a service catalogue, or it’s a work in progress. To get around this, their toolsets must be configured to bypass the need for a service catalogue.
Immediately, then, we have a bespoke ITSM toolset implementation on our hands. And because there’s no service catalogue, the toolset is usually limited to incident and change rather than broader ITSM functionality.
But, you may ask, don’t ITSM toolsets include service catalogues?
Well, yes. But they’re generalised, out of the box service catalogues, and a far cry from ideal.
The harsh reality is this. In most cases organisations procure a toolset, spend two years trying to make it work, then decide the toolset is at fault and needs replacing. This cycle continues unabated, and very little is achieved.
A Realistic Outlook
Knowing this, then, what can you do to improve your results?
Well, breaking the cycle does require change… but not of your toolset. Making real progress requires a fundamental change in the way you approach ITIL.
First, it’s true that no toolset will match your organisation’s precise needs. But in reality, that isn’t a bad thing.
Very few organisations are in perfect ITIL shape (or even close). So if a toolset did precisely match your needs it would prevent you from ever improving your processes for fear of breaking something.
And consider this. In our experience, most of the time an organisation’s existing toolset can do everything they need… but they aren’t seeing that benefit because their ITIL processes are far from ideal. Instead of configuring their toolset to reflect their processes, organisations often end up shoe horning their processes to fit with the out-of-the-box functions of their toolset.
And because their ITIL processes are lacking, introducing a new toolset will almost never solve the problem.
Consider a client of ours: a Northern-based NHS trust, who approached us for help selecting a new ITSM toolset. Immediately we were able to demonstrate that, with a number of minor tweaks, their existing toolset could do everything they needed.
What was really required was a review of their ITIL processes, not their ITSM toolset.
As part of our ITSM assessment package, we worked with them to develop a new service catalogue and ITIL processes. We helped them upgrade to the latest toolset version, and demonstrated how they could implement new functionality without spending thousands on a new toolset.
They’re still using the toolset, and with a few additional tweaks to fit with their revamped ITIL processes they’re enjoying improved automation and user experience.
And this isn’t a lone case. In our experience, almost every organisation that wants a new ITSM toolset could get what they need from their existing toolset. They simply need to allocate the time and resources necessary to overhaul their ITIL processes… not their ITSM toolset.
If you’re looking to improve your organisation’s ITIL game, we’d love to help. But whether you come to us or not, there’s no getting away from the need for a project road map.
Most organisations identify the functionality they need, and then go about looking for a toolset that matches. We already know this is the wrong approach.
Most ITIL toolsets include the same (or at least similar) functionality. Knowing this, it should be clear that drastic improvement can only come from within.
Is your service catalogue a work in progress? Time to make it a priority.
Do your processes not quite gel with your ITSM toolset? Time to develop logical, documented processes that do.
Sure, this type of project will take some time, and require some resources. But weighed against the tens of thousands you’ll save by not procuring a new toolset, these investments are far from reckless.
So if you’d like to optimise your ITIL service catalogue and processes, we’d love to help. Our expert consultants have worked with every major toolset, and helped countless organisations get the ITSM functionality they’ve been hoping for.
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