IT Service Management | ITSM vs ITIL | ITIL Tools List

by Maya G

IT Service Management

IT Service Management (ITSM) is a branch of science in the IT industry, which focuses on the management and delivery of IT services to the customer, adhering to time, cost, scope, and quality parameters defined by the customer. We will also look in detail at the difference between the two ITSM vs. ITIL. 

IT Service Management (ITSM) is a practice that details procedures for providing and managing IT services effectively and efficiently, ensuring the provision of customer satisfaction to the customers.

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IT Service Management, ITSM Tools

IT Service Management is an important, foundational piece of the IT infrastructure to deliver IT services. Without good IT Service Management, an organization will waste time and resources performing redundant, ineffective, unnecessary tasks. Having ITSM practice in an organization will avoid loss of reputation (as a service provider) and loss of money as penalizations. With a well functioning IT Service Management, the organization can expect to deliver:

  • better customer satisfaction
  • more effective and efficient IT services
  • better quality in IT services

To set up a strong ITSM practice, an organization would require strong knowledge in ITSM, ITSM processes (which can be referred from ITIL, MOF, ISM, etc.), and ITSM tools, which must be aligned to the business requirements of the organization.

ITSM Best Practice Frameworks

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IT Service Management

In ITSM, many practices have incepted; some of the prominent are ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), MOF (Microsoft Operations Framework), ISM (Integrated Service Management), and recently a new digital service management approach is VeriSM.

Value to Business

  • Resolves IT issues quickly and will enable us to run business operations.
  • Provides the business with information to make the correct decisions concerning IT investments, technology, vendors, etc.
  • Manages IT services and runs the business operations without any breakdowns.
  • Minimizes risk of penalizations and non-compliance to the agreed contracts
  • Improves the quality of IT services to improve business performance
  • It helps improve the bottom line profitability of the business.

Value to IT

  • Provides defined, repeatable processes, procedures, metrics, roles, and responsibilities
  • Improves customer satisfaction to IT end-users
  • Proactively identifies, mitigates, and tries to avoid IT issues.

Practical understanding of ITSM

Imagine if a company called <Available > is managing and providing internet service to business/ residential customers.
Imagine if a company called <Use App> develops an application and provides application support services to another company.
Imagine if a company called <Data Manage> is managing a data center for another company.

Here, in all the above 3 instances, companies are involved in managing and delivering a service (i.e., Internet/ Application development and Support/ Managing a Datacenter), which means they are interested in ITSM.

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Let me explain more in detail with an example:
Available LLP company is an internet service provider in the US, and its goal is to be the best internet service provider in New Jersey.

To achieve its goal, it needs to provide good internet service that is reliable, available, good bandwidth (performance), security, etc.

To provide good internet service with reliability, availability, good bandwidth (performance), security, etc., the company Available LLP should have:

  • Good helpdesk staff to provide support on phone calls / and onsite; and network engineers who can configure the cables, routers, etc.
  • Sound cabling system (supplied by company A), routers & wifi routers (supplied by company B), gateways (supplied by company C), base station antenna (supplied by company D), etc. configured with backup plans and continuity plans.
  • There should be good technicians and engineers with defined processes and procedures to do regular maintenance to check proactively and reactively.
  • There should be defined roles who are accountable & responsible for doing specific tasks.

Performing all these tasks is doing IT Service Management in internet service provision.

Data Manage LLP company is Datacenter company in the US, and its goal is to be the best data center company in the US.
To provide data hosting service with reliability, availability, security, etc., the company Data Manage LLP should have :

  • Skilled resources and knowledge to manage DC equipment like racks, servers, application delivery controllers, cables, WAN optimizers, routers, switches, bridges, repeaters, SAN, NAS, etc.
    Stocked spare parts
  • Execution of timely backups, restoration, and archival of data as per the defined SLA’s.
  • Followed change management approvals before making any changes in the data center environment.
  • Defined governance structure, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Defined escalation procedures & operations procedures

Performing all these tasks is doing IT Service Management in Datacenter to store all the data in one place and disseminate as per the requests.

ITSM vs. ITIL: Difference

ITSM is a branch of science in IT to manage IT services. Managing the IT services involves various tasks like installation/ reinstallation/ modification of IT components (hardware/ software/ etc.)/ up-gradation/etc. The purpose of doing these tasks is to deliver the IT services without any interruption, ensuring customer satisfaction. ITIL is one such best practice framework (for ITSM), a collection of 26 processes and 4 functions providing guidelines for managing the lifecycle of IT incidents, problems, service requests, changes, release, etc. ITIL framework is classified into 5 process areas: Serviceegy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operations, and Continual Service Improvement. All the 26 processes and 4 functions are allocated their respective places in a lifecycle approach.
ITSM is a branch of science in IT, an approach for managing IT services, and no one owns it. ITIL framework is owned by Axelos, which the UK Government earlier held. ITIL can be adopted and adapted as per the requirements.
ITSM has no defined lifecycle. ITIL is a lifecycle-based approach.

ITSM Tools List

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ITSM Tools

Managing IT services in an organization will require people, processes, and the most important tools for managing IT services. Some of the generic tools used in ITSM are:

Monitoring tools: To monitor the IT infrastructure (servers, networks, routers, computers, storage, etc.) availability, capacity, performance, security issues, etc.

Service desk tools: To log and manage the lifecycle of service desk calls.
Backup and disaster recovery tools: To perform backup and recover data.

Self-service portal: To help the end-users to request/ order services or IT components, to find information, to resolve issues, etc. Self-help functionality acts as a front-end for end-users to be defined, offering distinct menus, screens, buttons, etc., providing a direct interface to request/ order services.

Configuration and build management tool: To identify, track, and assign unique numbers for software and hardware configurations.

Security management tools: To protect the integrity of the network, systems, and applications, guarding against intrusion and inappropriate access and usage.

Content management systems: To store all the content of the IT service provider in various repositories like knowledge base, known errors, service catalog, employee information, etc.
Email systems: To send, receive, backup, recover, etc., emails.

Project management tool: To manage the status of the projects in the IT organization.

Dashboard tools: To provide an overview of the overall IT service performance.
Remote Logging Tools: To enable the support staff and other escalation teams to conduct investigations to provide more efficient and practical support.

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