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2020 brought about massive changes in how businesses operate their ITSM models. The only way to weather the crisis was through the introduction of practices that allowed them to be agile and proactive to new changes and challenges. 

As organizations reel from the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic, not much of this will alter in 2021 - scalability and agility will continue to haunt ITSM organizations, requiring them to be armed for challenges while embracing the coming year with the same level of dexterity and craftsmanship. 

The Growing Significance of ITSM 

Over the last couple of years, ITSM and its associated practices have grown in popularity (and adoption). This steady progress is driven primarily by the need to satisfy customer expectations while also ensuring employees have whatever they need to overcome hurdles and resolve issues. This shift in emphasis has brought ITSM into the spotlight, compelling organizations to embrace modern technologies and build processes for a larger scale and scope. 

And since the way to keep up with fluctuating market conditions is by adopting the cloud, analysts expect the cloud ITSM market alone to be worth $12.2 billion by 2025. Organizations need the flexibility and agility that cloud ITSM offers to support (and surpass) the IT service demands of today’s era. Cloud ITSM not only allows organizations to easily scale to meet increasing workload, but it also allows them to deliver customer-centric experiences while cutting down on CapEx and OpEx by a large margin. 

Impending ITSM Challenges and Possible Solutions 

Despite the success and popularity of ITSM, delivering value via traditional approaches is not going to work in 2021. Given the challenges the pandemic has brought to the fore, organizations will need to completely transform their very approach to ITSM. 

Here’s looking at the top 5 challenges that organizations might have to navigate in the coming year as well as possible solutions: 

Challenge 1: Adapting ITSM with changing trends 

One of the biggest challenges that would impact the functioning of ITSM models is adapting them to changing trends. The quick, mass migration of employees from office-based work to home environments will continue to put a great strain on the functioning of ITSM models. The rise of hybrid working will add an extra layer of complexity: right from ensuring remote connectivity to ensuring all professionals work efficiently and collaboratively. Organizations will need to drive more focus towards automation as well as drive unmatched employee experiences – especially in a remote working model. They will also have to adopt the cloud to improve service delivery and efficiency. 

Solution: Atlassian JSM 

To keep up with changing business needs and market trends, organizations can adopt and customize their Atlassian Jira Service Management solution and better prepare themselves with the dynamic ecosystem. They can choose an ITSM project template of their choice that is specifically tailored to a specific team or specific use. Since these templates are pre-configured with different request types and workflows, teams can enjoy ITSM-focused focused navigation with queues for service requests, incidents, problems, and changes. JSM’s alerting and on-call functionality means teams can respond to and resolve incidents immediately.

Challenge 2: Tracking issues from initiation to closure 

Any issue that the ITSM team receives in the coming year will have to be resolved quickly and efficiently. In the absence of a robust incident tracking mechanism in place, teams will have tough time monitoring issues that have an impact on the business. How they deal with issues can influence the customers’ perception of the business as well as employee productivity. Since any issue that is not resolved in time can compound big problems in the long run, operational resilience is extremely important to minimize vulnerability to risks.

Solution: A centralized, collaborative platform 

Adopting a centralized collaborative platform can help ITSM teams be fully aware and observant of issues as they occur, capture them into a centralized system, and manage them from initiation to closure. Since multiple departments need to often collaborate in the issue resolution process, a platform like JSM can help in tracking issues through their lifecycle – from planning and building to testing and deployment – to ensure that every issue receives the level of attention and detail needed for a quick resolution. Such management can not only help in minimizing resolution times; it can also reduce the impact of issues on business operations and avoiding unnecessary costs.

Challenge 3: Manual operations delaying time-to-resolution

The heavy reliance on manual ITSM operations will restrict organizations’ ability to respond to customer issues with agility while delaying time to resolution. In an era where every issue has to be dealt with speed and precision, manual approaches to ITSM leads to several unnecessary headaches: right from routing tickets to tracking availability of resources to respond to issues, monitoring and tracking issues across their lifecycle – all of which can impact the service quality as well as overall business results and performance. 

Solution: Automation for remote employees

Organizations can overcome the challenges that manual operations bring about by embracing automation – especially for remote employees. A tool like JSM comes built with several automation rule templates including reopening customer comments, at-risk SLA alert, Jira linked issues updation, request triaging, and more. Remote teams either use these pre-configured rules out-of-the-box or even edit them as needed to suit business needs. 

Challenge 4: Effectively managing risk in uncertain times

In today’s uncertain times, effectively managing risks across legal, operational, and financial and minimizing their impact is an important ITSM requirement. But with little or no face-to-face communication, enabling and ensuring service continuity is not easy. Unless organizations have the right organizational risk management policies and responses in place, implementing and controlling risk in an ITSM environment can affect service delivery outcomes in several negative ways. Preparing for disasters of high probability and impact means organizations have to be sufficiently prepared and adjust their workflows and processes to the new circumstances immediately. 

Solution: Audit trails 

A modern ITSM solution like JSM paves the way for efficient audit logging that can be constantly reviewed. Using the audit trail feature, teams can get insight into when a rule was triggered, what actions were performed, as well as the final result of the execution. Teams can seamlessly view audit logs of an individual rule or even at the project and global level. These audit logs can help keep a historic record of every risk the organization was exposed to, as well as any impending risks – and have the right response and resolution processes in place for effective risk management. 

Challenge 5: Improving employee and customer experience

For employees and customers whose morale is severely impacted by the ongoing crisis, improving ITSM experiences needs to be a business prerogative. Understanding what they expect, and then tweaking workflows based on their expectations is critical. But if organizations do not have a mechanism in place to understand their needs or enable frequent communication, enhancing their experiences is not an easy task. 

Solution: Enterprise-wide collaboration  

For geographically dispersed employees and customers, using an ITSM platform that enables enterprise-wide collaboration can build the foundation of shared goals. Since every stakeholder is constantly updated with the current state of issues, risks, and solutions, they are in a better position to contribute towards their closure. Through frequent and rich communication between different resources, they can get a better idea of roadblocks and jointly implement best practices to fuel better customer experiences as well. 

In today’s remote working environment, unplanned downtime is a direct repercussion of poor ITSM practices. But given how deeply affected customers and employees are with the ongoing pandemic, traditional approaches to ITSM need to change to ensure alignment with the radically different world that we now live and work in. Although service management has never been easy, in 2021, organizations will have to pay extra attention to common challenges and adapt models. Platforms like JSM allow them to work effectively in these hybrid operating times. 

Want to know more about how you can benefit from JSM? Talk to our Atlassian experts

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