23rd February 2017

Let’s starts with a simple question. Are your IT services really working?

You might say, “Yes they’re working great for us! We have a ticketing system that is hooked up to our website, where the customer can raise issues directly!”

Perhaps you’re using emails as your main communication channel with clients, and an internal messaging app for all internal cross-departmental communications. When you receive a ticket from a client that requires urgent attention from your developers, you contact them via your favourite messenger app before updating the ticket and emailing back the customer. Oh and don’t forget your knowledge base! Start searching for articles there and then send another email to the client with links to your knowledge base page. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Now let’s have a look, how many platforms are you using? 1.) Your Website 2.) A Service Desk ticketing system 3.) Emails 4.) A messaging app. 5.) A Knowledge Base.

So let’s talk about the integration. How is integration working across your platform? It’s working very well you say? Check again and see how stressed the service desk agents sitting at the heart of the tools are.

How about collaboration and innovation? Are you and your team actively collaborating with each other? Having lots of meetings, sending lots of messages, writing lots of tickets. It’s innovation!! Was this is the dream you were sold by the software promo video (you remember, the one with the ukulele stock music playing)?

No doubt, this approach to ITSM just about worked in the past, but your “platform” quickly became a hodgepodge of disparate tools, held together by your team’s initiative and a tireless dedication to copy & pasting information from one platform to another. How is it working today? Is it facing up to the challenges of modern business and changing in an agile fashion to the needs of your IT team? When a new add-on or upgrade is suggested, is your team looking forwards to the next round of improvements?

Or is the enthusiasm of those buying the software, not matched by those responsible for integrating it?

We’ve all seen systems with these frustrations. This is an all too common modular and siloed approach, and most have fooled themselves that it’s a good system.

The marketing told you that if you bought the service desk, you’d have everything you needed to be agile. Now every time you on board someone with your fragmented setup, their confusion forces you to recognise how unintuitive the whole mess has become.

Maybe the thought of changing again is too terrifying, better just to ignore the agile elephant in the room.

The truth is most ITSM platforms are dedicated solely to IT service management teams. Other teams (e.g. development) are rarely collaborating on the same platform and because the integration between the two platforms is too basic, too much gets lost in translation.

With this setup, the rate of innovation will decrease due to growing administrative overheads. There’s a knowledge base and a self-help support offering, but it’s rarely adequate, and the latest documentations aren’t updated often enough. This means your customers rarely get the most updated and relevant information.

It is all too common for development teams to be using a different set of tools, resulting in poor visibility between multiple teams. This makes reporting to management a nightmare, and interdepartmental collaboration becomes such a pain point, it’s avoided by all but the most enthusiastic masochists.

Once you have a multi-tool setup, individuals in a team develop personal preferences. Some prefer sharing information via email, some standup meeting, some messaging, some CRM, some spreadsheets and some in the comments of a knowledge base.

Businesses need to change from time to time, and so customizations and add-ons start being added to the ITSM mix. If your ITSM tools are difficult to customise, it will fail to meet the need. As a result, you will end up with a costly ITSM solution that slows teams down with a mammoth amount of manual tasks.

Let’s take a breath from this description of ITSM Hell and go back to the key requirements of ITSM today:

Customisability, flexibility, multiplatform bi-directional integrations, ease of collaboration, high visibility, automatic tracking, auditing and reporting, communication and documentation. All of this requires IT service management processes. For this, ITIL is the gold standard.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library defines best practice regulations, with the goal of aligning ITSM across organisations.

It’s time to change the legacy ITSM approach to a new one, meeting the aforementioned key requirements and getting your system up to the gold standards of ITIL. The cost of not doing so isn’t worth thinking about. If you don’t make your tools work for you, your teams will end up working for them.

How many people want to become an ad-hoc integration compliance officer? No one, so let’s get it right.

An ITSM approach needs 4 key capabilities well integrated. A Service Desk, communications, a documentation platform, and task management. Until all these are perfectly integrated, you’re not ready to consider any increased flexibility or capability.

We are living in the service first world and the Atlassian approach to ITSM sits right at its heart. Last year Atlassian achieved ITIL certifications for service request management, incident management, problem management and change management. In this regard, Atlassian stands above all other vendors by a mile. It delivers quickly and simply while allowing flexibility and collaboration.

With the Atlassian approach to ITSM, you can respond effectively and define clear accountability while keeping the chain of communication clear and precise using Jira Service Desk and Jira. You can make a very easy to use self-help offering, along with automated knowledge base suggestions from the Jira Service Desk and Confluence integration. You can communicate easily with stakeholders with the power of StatusPage and Hipchat. SLA implementation monitoring change is also integrated out of the box.

You can foster collaboration and drive innovation with the power of Confluence and implement lean IT support processes to bring your IT & Dev teams onto a single platform.

Jira Service Desk is based on Jira core, so you will automatically have all the amazing functionalities of Jira such as prioritisation, issue linking, dashboard & issue filters. You probably already know many of the power features.

I hope, you have enjoyed my thoughts, although I have strong opinions on how not to do ITSM, the MagenTys way is surely not the only way.

We’d love to hear from you about your ITSM approach and thoughts. We’re all in the business of collaborating better, and so together we can achieve better results.

If you’d like to go further in detail regarding the Atlassian approach to ITSM, please join us at our free Atlassian event on the 29th of March. For information and to grab your FREE ticket, click here.

We will also be running a workshop during the event where you will get the chance to get hands-on experiences of ITSM best practice using Jira Service Desk, StatusPage, and Confluence. This will be a great opportunity to ask any questions you might have about whatever challenges your platform is facing.

About Liam McDowell
Liam tries to keep our clients happy. He is a complete control freak so don't touch his suite of pens, cutlery or dare to sit in his chair!