In coordination with our services partner Enterprise Studio and ITSM expert Indrajit Banerjee, we are excited to bring you this blog series about implementing service management beyond IT. Stay tuned for additional blogs and supporting webcasts with industry experts for additional insights about how you can evolve your enterprise and improve your ROI.
Breaking out of the box: IT Service Management in Non-IT Use
The term “Service Management” almost always inadvertently refers to Information Technology. Today ITSM without the “IT” is hard to think of. Every organization today focuses on information technology with a team to support the business. Critical business services, dependent on software applications, must be available to the consumers. All the best practices and industry recognized frameworks are used, which keeps this team super busy. Consequently, we tend to lose focus on what ITSM can do outside IT functions.
Can we really use ITSM for non-IT functions?
The sweet and short answer is “YES!” Organizations can reap the benefits of using ITSM in various non-IT use cases. Some of these use cases are becoming popular day by day. For example, think of “Incident Management”. IT Industry frameworks define an incident as, “an unplanned interruption or service degradation of an IT Service.” This acts like blinkers or turn indicators, and restricts your thought process to expand ITSM to the rest of the world. Alternately, think of an incident like “an interruption or breach of a business procedure resulting in an unwanted business outcome”. The entire landscape in front of you changes.
With that said, take a peek outside of the familiar IT household in your organization, and the first eye-catching sight could be “Facilities and Administration”. Turn your view sideways and I am sure you would see “Finance” and “Human Resources”. This essential trio within any organization are the immediate benefactors. Now, let’s look at the possibilities.
Facilities Management & Administration
Facilities Management has recurring day-to-day activities, and generally follows a repeatable procedure. This may include requests from employees such as meeting room facility requests, break room refills, employee move requests on transfers/promotions, or fixing light fixtures, electrical outlets, HVAC operation, and many more. These may need interactions including approvals from other departments.
Key takeaway: Automating these activities using workflows, notifications and tracking can help reduce resource wastage thereby expediting request fulfillment. End goal – high employee satisfaction, detailed reporting to help in planning and procurement, and a reduction in operational cost.
Another promising area to consider is the Human Resources Department. HR is stringent in processes and each one of them has well-defined procedures. This makes it one of the best candidates. There are complex processes like employee on-boarding/off-boarding which may consist of several sub-processes. As a starting point, you map these processes into technology and reap the benefits of ITSM. Workflows are key here and helps to coordinate with other business units like facilities, administration, IT network & systems, procurement (finance), IT security and the like.
Key takeaway: Automation not only reduces human errors but also speeds up the execution thereby increasing employee satisfaction. Additionally, there can be employee transfers, HR questions, HR policy document publication, including HR issues with complete data segregation and privacy wherever required. Amazingly, ITSM solution can establish these outcomes.
Next in line is the Finance Department. We come across so many questions or issues with respect to payroll, procurement, invoicing, travel approvals, etc. on a day-to-day basis. These are like requests and incidents, but from a finance perspective. Guess what? An ITSM solution can easily be extended to incorporate tracking and fulfilling them.
Key Takeaway: The beauty here is the seamless communication capabilities with other departments included as part of the solution and can generate tickets or tasks to other departments on a need basis.
So, are we just confined to the above areas?
Not at all. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are a host of other areas where this can be extended. So, where do we start? Your natural selection would be your core business. Well, all core business areas have their own applications in the first place that are critical to the business. IT monitors these applications’ availability. What it does not monitor is the core business functions.
Let’s look at more specific examples of how ITSM may be extended to support the core business.
Besides IT, there are innumerous medical equipment that any hospital or medical centers use. This can vary from a nursing station to sophisticated instruments like x-ray machines, MRI scanners, heart monitors, laser surgery equipment and the like. Failures or malfunctions in such equipment can impact the hospital’s service, not to mention endanger patients. Such issues may be recorded and tracked to closure. This can greatly help in tracking performance of the equipment suppliers. Add to that general requests from the hospital staff.
Federal and State Government Use Cases
- Citizens’ Requests: Almost every city in the country today have facilities to call in and raise a ‘Citizens Request’. This can range from local clean-ups to serious issues that impacts life of the inhabitants. Such requests can be better managed and automated to expedite actions to resolve or fulfil them.
- Smart City: With the rise of smart cities, there’s a bunch of automation that happens to bring in the smartness. Failures raise alerts, which need immediate attention depending on how critical it is. Such alerts can be turned into tickets that are automatically routed to the appropriate support teams or vendors responsible. A huge savings on resource and time – which means cost. You may also avert emergencies and thereby loss of infrastructure or life.
There are special requirements that may be better managed through the ITSM tools. Think of student registration issues during the start of a new semester in college. Any automation that we can do here would save huge staff efforts and student anxiety.
Supply Chain Management
Timely delivery of goods is the key here. Any interruption in the delivery mechanism can raise a flag which can help maintain delivery commitments. Thus, integrations to fleet management systems, automation to raise alerts and identification of alternate options and prior end user notification can go a long way.
A Closer Look
As you see, there is no end to the possibilities. In the next installments, we’re going to add practical recommendations for immediate improvements on the path to a longer-range plan, and take a deeper dive into some of the examples we cited here.
Till then, relate any use case(s) that you would like to explore. Have you used ITSM in unconventional ways? Share your experiences, offer feedback, or suggest ITSM topics in the Comments section.
About the Author
Indrajit Banerjee brings more than thirty years of IT expertise to his role as a Senior Services Architect for Enterprise Studio by HCL Technologies, the preferred services partner for Broadcom enterprise software. He has focused on ITSM for most of his 20 years working with Broadcom and former-CA Technologies software solutions. Indrajit’s passion is working directly with people to listen and understand their problems and challenges, and providing solutions that bring not just results – but smiles of satisfaction from the teams he works with.