Midmarket CIO Briefing

IT Service Management: Best practices for improving IT efficiency

SearchCIO-Midmarket.com Staff

IT Service Management (ITSM) is becoming an integral part of IT shops. The process-based practice intended to align IT services with the needs of the company highlights customer benefits, with an emphasis on IT efficiency. For some companies, IT Service Management best practices bring about increased ROI, overall cost savings and improved IT processes.

Incorporating best practices like Six Sigma, guidelines from the International Organization for Standardization and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) frameworks, ITSM allows organizations to build strong internal structures for alignment, integration and IT efficiency. But what are the risks, if any, of incorporating these business processes? Case studies, tips, expert advice and informational resources are compiled in this briefing, providing IT executives in the midmarket with the information needed to make informed ITSM decisions.

For free advice and resources on more IT and business topics, visit our list of Midmarket CIO Briefings.

Table of contents

  Can ITSM improve IT efficiency and ROI, even in a recession?
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ITSM can often be a hard sell, even in a solid economy. Frameworks such as ITIL, the Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT) and Six Sigma have often been described as "nice to haves" and not IT necessities. But there are ways that midmarket IT executives can embrace ITSM's focus on organizing processes and workflow to reduce costs and increase customer service, even during a recession. Experts recommend you:

  • Identify up front what problem you are trying to solve with your ITSM implementation.
  • Look at processes over tools and technology.
  • Do it cheap, but keep it smart.
  • Choose your partners carefully.

Learn more about each of these recommendations in "How an ITSM implementation can help in a recession." Also:

  Is an ITIL certification a good idea?
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Continuing education and the pursuit of ITIL certifications can benefit both employees and employers during the economic downturn, in terms of building IT skills and improving IT operational efficiency.

Firms hire workers based on their skill sets. While many organizations understand the value of developing IT workers' skills, others discard employees when skills no longer align with a company's needs. In their responses to employee surveys, it's no wonder that respondents list stagnation as a top fear.

For those interested in developing business-oriented IT skills, ITIL certifications teach new approaches and offer the value of having an IT certification. Educational groups take great care to combine theory with practical application to help students not only pass certification exams but also internalize the theory and how to apply it.

Get more information in "ITIL certification builds IT workers' skills in economic downturn." Also:

  What should midmarket companies keep in mind when implementing ITIL?
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When considering ITIL, you have to ask yourself: Where's the return? If you can't answer that question, then don't do it, advises Larry Killingsworth, an IT consultant at Seattle-based consultancy Pultorak & Associates Ltd.

This is especially true for midmarket firms, where resources are limited. "If you can answer that, then go for it," he said. "To blindly follow because some guru said so is just foolish."

Learn more about implementing ITIL in the midmarket. Also:

  What are common ITIL implementation mistakes?
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ITIL is implemented in companies worldwide to change and improve processes within an organization. With ITIL, everything is changing -- organizational change as much as process change.

But change doesn't always come easy. Organizations often make mistakes within the first year of an ITIL implementation, and that's normal. Some common errors:

  • There is no vision.
  • Leaders think top-down commitment isn't necessary.
  • Leaders don't think they need a business case. They know why ITIL is important and why they're implementing it.

Learn more in "10 ITIL implementation best mistakes and fixes." Also:

  More resources
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This was first published in March 2009

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