5 Steps to Going From a Service Desk to an ITSM Strategy

A fully featured ITSM strategy is, in many ways, the result of an IT service desk strategy that evolves to the point where your support teams have developed sophisticated, nuanced capabilities. Ultimately, an ITSM strategy takes your service desk team beyond supporting the business and into the realm of empowering the organization. But how does a company go from running an efficient service desk to having a support organization that drives innovation and value creation?

Even just a few years ago, this migration process would have required a huge IT service desk upgrade in which you would need to purchase a large software platform and go through an extended integration process that usually required collaboration with consultants. As IT service desk solutions have migrated to the cloud, you can simply add new modules as needed on a subscription basis, making it much easier to gradually add new modules and move from a solid IT service desk into a robust ITSM setup.

Cloud-based ITSM solutions simplify migration, and following these five steps to transitioning from a service desk to an IT setup can ensure you make the move in the most effective way possible:

1. Create a Clear Upgrade Roadmap
Creating a mature ITSM setup isn't going to happen by making piecemeal investments and hoping they come together. Instead, you need a clear, well-defined upgrade pathway that will enable you to make strategic, timely ITSM module investments that drive incremental operational improvements. Making a leap from a service desk to an ITSM setup is difficult, creating a gradual upgrade path and following it, on the other hand, can be fairly straightforward to manage.

2. Make Sure Your Base Service Desk can Scale
Having a scalable service desk is a vital component in any strategy to move forward into an ITSM setup. If you are working from a rigid, limited service desk, you will likely be looking ahead at a lengthy and difficult migration. It may be easier to start with a scalable service desk and then move forward. Ensuring a smooth migration to an ITSM setup hinges on having a base service desk that is flexible and scalable enough to keep up with your changing demands.

3. Emphasize Change, Problem Management
Change and problem management are generally considered components of a service desk, but they are the first harbingers of a future move into the ITSM world. Both of these solutions create the kind of operational gains you need to free employees to focus on innovation. Change management does this by helping your IT teams get more responsive and reactive to technology problems, letting them function much more efficiently. Problem management, on the other hand, resolves the underlying issues that cause incidents to arise in the first place so your IT and support teams won't face as many repetitive issues.

Innovation takes time, and focusing on change and problem management can ensure your IT and support teams have the time they need to move forward into ITSM plans.

4. Put a CMDB in Place
A configuration management database provides transparency and control within your IT systems, making it easier to handle the complexity that comes with developing more mature technology strategies. In many ways, investing in a CMDB is the first step toward developing the structure necessary to free business users to get the most out of technology.

5. Measure Results Throughout the Process
ITSM tools that feature business intelligence functionality can be used to measure the value potential that your transition to ITSM capabilities is creating. Neglecting to periodically measure the ROI of your ITSM evolution can prevent you from identifying the most advantageous strategies. Conversely, consistent data analysis ensures that you keep your migration on target.

Evolving into a mature ITSM organization i rarely simple, but focusing on the right investment strategies can play a key role in smoothing the process.

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