IT managers are like circus jugglers … who juggle sharp knives … that are on fire … while riding a unicycle … on a tightrope … chased by rabid wolves … at night. You get the idea. You have a lot to do, a lot of problems to solve, a lot of regulations to adhere to, a lot of people to please and a lot of their mistakes to fix.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was established to bring order to the processes you encounter every day, but sometimes it seems to add unnecessary steps and involve multiple systems that complicate the problems you manage.
A single platform that includes your help desk software, change management, CMDB, SLA/SLM, and more, empowers you to manage the entire life cycle of all of your problems. This way, you can:
- Resolve incidents as they arise
- Analyze causes and commission corrective work to prevent repeat incidents
- Find permanent solutions to problems
- Minimize unnecessary service disruptions
- Diminish the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented
- Proactively identify and solve potential issues before they occur
By combining these services into a single platform, problems become manageable, clutter is removed, and order is restored (you may still have to juggle, but your fiery razors will be replaced by benign Nerf balls). You maintain your service levels, meet your SLAs and increase the efficiency and productivity of your department.
For example, if multiple tickets are received reporting an Internet connectivity issue in the office, you have a problem. Using ITIL service management practices, you can immediately apply a predefined process to quickly assess the issue, analyze its cause, fix the problem at its root, prevent further disruptions, ensure business continuity and impress your boss. (Sit, rabid wolf.)
In just a few clicks, you can group all related reported incidents under one problem. You don’t have to deal separately with Joe from Sales, Frank the Developer and Stacie the Receptionist — you just have to resolve the Internet connection issue.
You can then use the ITIL workflow to conduct an effective cause analysis. Once you identify the root cause of the problem, you can evaluate the resources (manpower, equipment, time, costs) required to solve the problem. Then, you will be guided to determine possible risks (complexity, urgency, downtime, impact, etc.) involved in solving the problem. The system will calculate the ROI and added value of resolving the problem. Then you close it and evaluate.
Because all of the steps are managed in a single platform, you are better able to assign tasks, link assets and analyze historical logs of all activities and problems. You can automatically send notifications of problem statuses to key administrators and service request owners. After you close the problem, you can build a known error database, maintain information about appropriate workarounds, update FAQs, and be spared dealing with the same issue again next week.
Proactively, you can identify performance bottlenecks before they occur, detect trends to avoid problems and measure and provide data on percentage of problems resolved within SLA targets, average cost of handling problems and major problem reviews.
Having all aspects of your service management processes in one ITIL-compatible platform will not eliminate your problems (good thing, or else it would also eliminate your job), but it will eliminate the replication, clutter, inefficiency and bureaucracy involved in managing many incidents.
Oded Moshe is VP Products at SysAid Technologies, providing IT Service Management solutions deployed at over 100,000 companies around the world. SysAid integrates all essential IT tools into one service desk. Oded has 15 years’ experience in product and IT management positions. Prior to SysAid, he was IT manager at Eden Springs (Europe), where he led implementation of IT strategy and systems and standardization of IT management processes in 18 European markets. Follow Oded on Google+.