4 Key Points To Consider While Buying An ITSM Tool


Choosing an appropriate ITSM tool consumes a lot of time as various high-quality ITSM solutions are available in the market. 

Not just that, selecting the right vendor for the tool can be challenging too. Thus, before choosing an ITSM platform, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the organization's requirements and the tool's core functionality.

ITSM (IT Service Management) is essential to any organization's day-to-day operations. The primary purpose of an IT service management tool is to manage the service desk and deal with requests, services, and issues. 

With the rapid development of ITSM services, it is now possible to streamline all IT operations with a single IT service management solution. Thus, a company must select the most effective IT service management tool.

A reliable Service Management solution is crucial for the smooth operation of any business that offers services to its customers. The solution benefits every aspect of the organization, including customer engagement, process enhancement, and efficient incident resolution.

The best ITSM tool would vary depending on people's requirements. as IT continues to recover and change in this new world after the pandemic. So it's not entirely an IT decision but one that has far-reaching consequences for the business as a whole.

Before moving ahead, let's discuss key features to keep in mind when searching for an ITSM Solution.

  • Find out where your ITSM processes fall short: Start by figuring out how good your organization is at service management. Where is it now, and how would your ideal ITSM look? How does your current ITSM stop you from getting the business results you want?

  • Check out the solutions that are out there: Know the real technology needs for an ITSM strategy to work well. It requires a solid understanding of the actual technological requirements.

  • Prepare your technology needs for the future: As much as possible, make sure your technology investments are ready for the future. As your business grows, your business and IT needs for ITSM tools will change. Modern ITSM frameworks, for instance, use automation and self-service features.

This article will walk you through the key points to help you choose the best ITSM tools for your business.

Points To Consider While Choosing An ITSM Tool

ITSM services are constantly growing and developing at a breakneck speed, much like your firm's requirements. Therefore, you must make sure you choose the best ITSM tool available in the market.

Most ITSM tools deliver against the core parts of the frequently requested ITSM capabilities. Hence, many tool providers have adopted ITIL as a roadmap for the design of their products. 

Some requirements will be easy to understand, like the basic features of tools needed to support the incident management process. However, other things won't be, especially things that have to do with the ITSM tool as a whole rather than with specific procedures. 

For instance, a tool that is easy to use every day might be challenging to set up and change. On the other hand, a potential tool might meet all the ITSM requirements but need to meet the mandatory governance criteria.

Your primary criteria for buying will be your requirements, which will include both functional requirements (what it can do) and non-functional requirements (i.e., how it will operate). You should put your organization's requirements in order of importance and make some of them mandatory while others can be in the backseat.

In this way, you can assess each service provider and evaluate each IT service management solution on its merits.

Here is a more elaborated list to follow when looking for a new ITSM tool to ensure you make the right choice. 

1. Asset discovery, control & management capabilities

Although most of an ITAM solution's features are about finding and managing assets, their integration with ITSM tools gives complete visibility and control over the IT environment.

This integration allows you to easily manage changes, configurations, provisioning, deployment, licensing accesses, and incidents. Besides, it provides valuable insights and helps you make better decisions based on your IT assets' data. This integration would automate the configuration and provide better IT support from a distance by keeping track of all IT assets in real-time.

When evaluating an ITSM tool, look for tools or subsets that include the following basics:

  • Service portfolio

  • Find assets and keep track of licenses

  • Deployment management

  • To help manage processes, workflow engines are used

  • Configuration management

  • Self-service or self-help for the end user

  • Remote control

  • Reporting tools, dashboards, scorecards, and other features for quick monitoring

2. User-friendly self-service portal

Advanced ITSM technologies have user-friendly self-service and support desk portals that are made to help end users by giving them the control and tools they need to solve problems without assistance from IT departments. 

For example, using self-service portals to ask for new hardware or software is not viable. Users also want to access their own settings, profiles, and information. The future of self-service ITSM will ensure that end users get these features without compromising on security or policy compliance.

Your ITSM platform should have an out-of-the-box self-service portal with a knowledge base that's easy to configure and can be customized with your organization's branding without any coding or scripting.

In cases where the portal or the KB isn't solving the client's issue, there should be an option to raise a ticket, which is re-directed to the concerned IT person.

ITSM tool must include knowledge management widgets and links to accommodate extensive collaboration across departments to enhance the ITSM process. Here are some of the significant knowledge base capabilities that an ideal ITSM comes with:

  • Federated knowledge base 

  • Usage reports 

  • Document versioning and translation

  • Analytics dashboard

  • Templates 

  • Smart and customized search

These capabilities lead to effortless self-service and painless knowledge creation and management processes for the IT community.

You should be able to track when things are published and how they are used. The knowledge base also needs to have a way for people to give feedback. This could be in the form of comments or brand-new information, which would go through an iterative review process. We call this "Knowledge-Centered Service" (KCS). 

3. Supports customizations & integrations with existing IT stack

Organizations grow and sustain with transformations and come across several unpredictable changes. When looking at your ITSM tool setup, list different management tools you already have, and ensure that the expenses are utilized most fruitfully.

With cloud service providers and SIAM (service integration and management) on the rise, ITSM tools that can integrate quickly have become necessary. It is a must for it to own features that can help it integrate with third-party IT systems like Discovery agents. 

If your company has cloud services, the new tool must integrate easily and be armed enough to work with the extra security demanded by cloud computing. You can find such tools by learning about their in-built integrations. 

A fully equipped and mature tool integrates steadily into the network and other applications that help the organization operate in current times and the future.

If you're considering more than one ITSM tool for implementation, it must integrate with existing tools and business processes. Not taking care of it can lead to complications and a waste of funds.  

Investing in modern ITSM tools that prioritize privacy and security helps the organization remain prepared for the future. Unfortunately, the legacy ITSM tools use archaic browsers, which do not have the security standard required for integrating with cloud computing and are not cooperative with GDPR (general data protection regulation). 

Upgrading these old tools is less cost-effective than making a new purchase. Thus, choosing new tools is a wiser decision. In addition, the new generation software is hosted in the cloud itself. Thus, the maintenance is automated; hence, it is efficient and cost-effective. 

Sometimes, you may have to rely on legacy tools to meet your team's functionality requirements. But, on the other hand, you could also need more resources for ITSM implementation and end up working with low-cost software. 

This may be of help for the moment, but it limits future initiatives and leaves very little room for business evolution. 

Using a more flexible tool provides the potential to focus on each priority and balance processes, in return creating a more inviting atmosphere for future transformations.

There are standard versions of the tools, but the needs of each organization are different. Because of this, the tool often needs to be changed to fit the requirements. These changes can be made in two ways:

Configuration: The tool's functionality can be changed by changing the tool's parameters, but this doesn't change the software's architecture.

Customization: Redesigning parts of the tool to make them work as expected, usually by making changes to the code. This is expensive and will also be hard to handle in the future when the tool needs to be updated.

The software provider must confirm that the changes and customizations you perform with the tool also work with the new versions. If not, the tool's customized version could be updated.

The following are a few in-depth features to consider in the tool's functionality:

  • IT assets, such as software and software licenses, can be better managed with the help of asset management, which can be either integrated with or used in tandem with existing asset tracking systems.

  • Provides support for integrations with third-party solutions that your company depends on, such as authentication, asset management, remote management, and mobile device management.

  • The simplicity with which configuration and modifications can be made eliminates the need for costly outside programmers (fast setup with minimal overhead).

  • It should provide dashboards, data, and real-time and dynamic reports.

  • Help transfer data from the previous tools and programs to the newly implemented IT service management system.

This may seem obvious, but it's worth saying again: the ITSM tool you choose will be based on how easy it is to use, how flexible it is, and how powerful it is overall.

The better your service desk software, the happier your customers, the more comfortable your agents are, and the faster you can solve problems. You've already won half the battle if you have the right tool. 

The rest is up to you and your employees. The way to success is to give them a simple tool that shows them everything they need for success at a glance and to combine that tool with straightforward strategies.

4. Automation capabilities to streamline repetitive tasks

An efficient ITSM tool should automate as many repetitive tasks as possible. In addition, workflows for managing configuration changes, incidents and problems, knowledge, and other ITSM applications should be reliable and easy to use. 

By combining IT service operations and DevOps automation technologies, teams can get ITSM capabilities that they can use independently. 

Progressive companies are quickly adopting DevOps frameworks, but the working groups in the DevOps and QA departments tend to use different tools to track and manage their IT services. ITSM technologies that combine and unify these capabilities help cross-functional DevOps teams collaborate better and break down silos.

The tool should support the organization's different operations and the framework of best practices such as ITIL's incident, problem, and change management. Ticket assignments can also be made automatically based on expertise or speciality.

Configuration management

In IT infrastructure, the state of hardware and software assets changes quickly. Configurations must meet the needs of different users and follow the organization's rules. To handle real-time changes, the configuration management database (CMDB) must have accurate and up-to-date information about all configuration items. 

The best ITSM technologies add to the workflow of the ecosystem with CMDB features that keep track of IT assets and how they depend on other assets in multi-cloud environments. In addition, automating these processes makes IT changes like downtime and cost overruns less likely to happen.

ITSM tools that allow service assets and CMDB solutions can quickly identify the configuration changes and IT service requirements within many data sources and keep track of asset movement. This feature also allows you to view the overall health of the IT unit by creating an opportunity to envision and connect tangible and intangible assets and other items. 

With this feature, you can configure how applicants and services are supported, making the impact of changes more visible. Furthermore, DevOps becomes well-equipped to manage risks linked with their distribution and resolve issues immediately. 

Incident and problem management

One of the essential features that an ITSM tool should offer is efficient incident and problem management capabilities. This feature can provide proactive solutions and unified and automated incident management to resolve issues before affecting the end users. 

The advanced ITSM solutions even include machine learning to reduce clutter in event data and log metrics. In addition, it provides a permanent solution for problems by identifying their root cause and recognizing the patterns of behaviour that deviate from the process. 

With this feature, your DevOps can bond to create an ability to fix incidents at an unprecedented pace and can keep improving the ITSM lifecycle. Here is a list of what the critical incident management capabilities consist of

  • It creates streamlined communication between units 

  • It alerts and has on-call management

  • It can post-mortem analytics 

  • It prevents incident escalation. 

While searching for suitable ITSM tools, this article will help you with the list of top ITSM tools for your business.


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