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3 Key Milestones on the Path to ITSM Maturity

05/11/2015 by: The SunView Team

Becoming a mature IT organization happens gradually over the course of years of careful planning, development and strategic investment. IT service management strategies are the core component of a sophisticated IT department, as ITSM functionality will often dictate how the organization operates and improves its ability to handle complex management tasks. The pathway to becoming a mature IT organization is a long and winding road, and there are a few milestones that most organizations will reach when trying to establish more robust capabilities. Three of the most important milestones are:

1. Developing Superb Ticketing Functionality
This is the first step toward a truly mature IT organization. Many organizations start out with email- or Sharepoint-based IT help desk systems and get by with such solutions for a while. It may be possible to get away with the limited functionality of such systems when organizations do not have complex IT setups, but an email- or Sharepoint-based system can lead to support requests slipping through the cracks while also making it difficult to prioritize different tasks.

Making a move away from a homegrown system and investing in a dedicated help desk with advanced ticketing capabilities is the first major milestone toward maturity. Such a system opens the door to value creation by improving operational efficiency in many ways, particularly by establishing a process framework that optimizes operations and lets you maximize the capabilities of your staff members.

2. Establishing Change Management
Organizations can get by for a long time with good ticketing as the primary foundation of their IT service desk team. Ticketing creates the foundation for efficiency, but complexity can escalate as a company grows over time. However, this growth leads to more IT complexity, and that creates an environment in which making changes to configuration becomes more complicated. This is the stage of operational growth when change management solutions become necessary.

Evolving beyond core ticketing functions to process modules focused on improving change efficiency, precision and stability is a huge step forward for businesses. Handling changes optimally delivers value by getting new solutions, updates and patches into production quickly. At the same time, change management reduces the risk of downtime, creates an audit trail and makes it easier to coordinate operations across multiple locations. This huge jump in functionality makes change management a huge milestone as organizations strive for IT maturity.

3. Implementing Problem Management
Ticketing systems and change management focus on empowering users to work as effectively as possible on a day-to-day basis. The concept here is simple - the IT service desk operates to create stability and return everything to normal functionality if anything goes wrong. To this end, most organizations start on the pathway to maturity with solutions that help them respond to user and business demands efficiently. Over time, however, more mature IT organizations will need to start moving beyond resolving issues and start solving the underlying problems that cause those issues to come up in the first place.

Problem management represents the final key milestone to maturity because it offers organizations an opportunity to efficiently identify the reasons why different issues occur while also letting engineers analyze this data to solve those core problems with the IT configuration. Instead of focusing on helping IT resolve issues and get things running again, problem management emphasizes eliminating underlying issues. In turn, this can reduce the number of repetitive incidents users are facing and lets your support team work on developing even more robust, value creation projects.

In the end, a mature IT organization needs to do more than just keeping the organization running smoothly. It needs to create value within the enterprise. Moving through these three milestones of ITSM development can help companies travel down this path.

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