Problem Management 101: Understanding What This ITSM Module Can Do For You

Problem management is often a secondary, or even tertiary consideration for organizations trying to maintain an efficient and valuable IT service desk. In many cases, problem management is exciting, but it also gets pushed to the back burner. Solutions like change management tend to get prioritized because they are seen as essential to maintaining stable operations. Problem management, on the other hand, is viewed as a luxury item - it is incredibly valuable once you have it, but not every company will see it as something that they need to invest in.

This approach to problem management, while not totally misguided, fails to account for the full potential of problem management. Let's delve into exactly what problem management is and how it can revolutionize your service desk to help you get a clear idea of why it should be looked at as more than just a luxury ITSM module.

Defining Problem Management
Like most ITSM modules, a simple definition of the solution only provides a glimpse into how it can help your business. With that in mind, here's a concise definition of problem management followed by some examples of how the technology actually works to create a clear idea of what it can really accomplish:

Problem management: An ITSM module that analyzes data pertaining to incidents and support tickets and identify signs of underlying issues in the IT configuration.

This functionality can play an incredibly important role in driving operational progress within your IT setup. A few examples of how this can play out include:

Eliminating repetitive incidents: Many organizations deal with incidents that come up over and over again. These issues become incredibly tedious for your service desk team, and even if they are easy to resolve, can lead to significant amounts of time being wasted. In this situation, the problem management platform can use analytics to identify the various factors contributing to these incidents and pin down exactly why they keep coming up. From there, your IT teams can make changes to the configuration to resolve the problem that is causing these incidents to recur.

Understanding the relationship between incidents: In many cases, support tickets that seem unrelated are, in fact, caused by the same core problem within your configuration. The analytics tools included in problem management modules are designed to identify the connections between these unstructured data points, making it much easier to identify the link between support tickets and make sure they don't come back again.

As problems with the IT configuration can be incredibly complex, they can cause disparate incident types to emerge. Problem management gives you the analytics muscle you need to identify these problems and deal with them before your service desk team is overwhelmed by an escalating quantity of incidents.

Problem Management is More Than Just a Luxury
While you may not absolutely need problem management to sustain efficient operations on your service desk, the solution provides such vital gains that it does not fit the label of being a luxury item either. Problem management falls somewhere in between - it is an ITSM module that you need if you want your service desk to be able to create value for your business.

Value generation is increasingly important for IT support teams. Technology is becoming more important than ever in the modern enterprise, and the solutions that deliver meaningful revenue opportunities are becoming essential as a result. Problem management systems save service desk teams from wasting their time on incidents that shouldn't arise in the first place, leaving them with more room in their day to spend on tasks that create a financial or efficiency return.

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