Choosing an IT Service Management Tool (ITSM) has never been more difficult, or more important, because it is essential to underpin efficient IT processes. IT Managed Service Providers use it to manage their service centers and it remains in place for at least 5 to 7 years on average.
So where do you start when choosing your IT service management provider? Here are four criteria to consider that you may not have thought of before!
The tool is not everything!
Before choosing an ITSM tool, you must define your IT production processes. The deployment of an ITSM solution follows a thoughtful and structured approach. The tool you are about to implement will not do this job for you! You must therefore design the human processes upstream, for example by relying on ITIL standards.
Next, list your needs, prioritizing those that are essential.
Depending on these requirements, you will be able to choose the tool that suits you best. In most cases, IT Service companies prefer scalable solutions that can be adapted over time. Most of the time, you won’t get the perfect ITSM model the first time around. Thus it is valuable to have a tool providing strong customization capabilities.
Encourage a DevOps approach
Since your ITSM tool is also used to improve customer satisfaction, it is important to consider its ease of use and its usability for the end user.
It is interesting to look for a solution that can be deployed in an agile way, in a “DevOps spirit”. These “agile ITSM” solutions are flexible: they allow a pragmatic implementation of the tool, with step by step agility. As the solution is not fixed, it can evolve quickly as needed, for example to put forward new customer services or in the context of a merger or acquisition.
If your ITSM tool is aligned with this approach you will save time and increase your customers’ satisfaction.
Evaluate the cost of ownership
The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of your future ITSM solution is an essential criterion of choice. Whatever your initial budget, the investment in an ITSM tool must provide a certain ROI. That’s why you need to anticipate the cost of ownership of the chosen solution.
- Note that open source ITSM solutions have, by nature, a lower TCO than others
- Beware of hidden costs: some tools require a lot of management or maintenance time…
- Beware of tools that require the intervention of several administrators. The ROI may never happen (especially if you have a small team!)
- Make sure that upgrades to future versions are not a source of unexpected costs
- If you don’t have any resources to allocate to your ITSM project and its scope is limited, you may want to consider a low-cost tool
Finally, think long-term: think reversibility. In other words, choose an application that allows you to recover your data, or even the total ownership of the software, at the end of the contract. The possible reversibility of your ITSM solution is a guarantee of both freedom and agility. Note here that iTop ITSM software is 100% reversible whether it is managed by a supplier, by yourself or in SaaS mode.
Keep your customizations in place over time
It is important to consider your ITSM project in the long term. Indeed, we are talking about a solution that you can take time to set up and tailor to the needs of your service center. The objective is not to change it every six months, but to install an efficient and sustainable tool. However, many ITSM solutions on the market will not keep your customizations over time. They will require you to reset your settings after each update, for example. A totally counter-productive mechanism that you should be aware of!
In general, most of the tools available on the market offer customizations. However, only one solution offers customizations that will be compatible with future versions, and that is iTop.
In this post, we hope to have highlighted some challenges and helped you learn more about some important criteria for choosing an ITSM tool.