This month, FDM Group has made the decision to rebrand our production support and application support training streams around the globe as IT service management. The truth is, for a long time trainees on these streams have been training in so much more than just production or application support roles, and we don’t want to short-change their abilities. This change is being made to better align our consultants with the needs of our clients and the wider industry. It just makes more sense – they’re training to become ITSM analysts, that’s what they should be called.
This leads to a question that a lot of people have: What is IT Service Management?
In short, IT service management is about maintaining and delivering IT services to a company. Every company needs IT services to succeed. It could be computer networks, phone lines, video chatting with someone halfway around the world or getting a piece of paper to print – these are all IT services that we rely on every day. ITSM analysts make sure that we have these services provided to us ensuring the business runs efficiently.
Imagine you want to print a word document. The ITSM analyst’s role is to:
- Come up with a way to make it possible for you to print your document
- Implement the process to be followed so you know how to print your document
- If something goes wrong, review the steps in the process to determine what went wrong and fix the problem
- Communicate the issue and solution to you, so that you are once again able to print your document
Sure, this example is pretty basic, but this is only one of the endless number of services provided to your company. ITSM analysts manage all of the IT services we all take for granted every day. Without them, I’d have to walk all the way across the office to talk to Tom rather than just hit his extension on my phone.
Not to sound redundant, but ITSM comes down to managing services. It could be IT services that are being managed, it could be a kitchen in a restaurant being managed or it could even be the set of a TV show being managed. IT service management just happens to have a speciality in information technology.
At FDM, we train the ITSM stream to be able to manage services no matter the environment you enter, because all of our clients are different. One of the key components of service management is creating and maintaining processes for each of the services offered.
If an ITSM analyst is providing a company the ability video chat between New York and Hong Kong, there needs to be a process in place to do this. How do you call each other? How are the two ends of the call connected? How do you see the person on the other end of the call? The process will answer all of these questions and more to ensure that these video calls can easily happen. By maintaining this process (along with all of the other processes in the company needed to deliver IT services), ITSM analysts need to have, among other things:
- An objective for the process to ensure there’s a valuable business need being fulfilled every time the process is used
- An owner of the process so when something goes wrong or something is changed, everyone knows who to turn to
- Steps for the process to make it easy to troubleshoot issues
- Documentation of the process so anyone can pick it up and learn it
Baking a Cake
I am by no means a cook, but if I pick up a recipe (process) I will know what the objective is (baking a cake), who the owner is (the blog I found the recipe), the steps needed to achieve the objective (ingredients and instructions), and the documentation (the actual recipe that’s written down). Without any prior baking experience, if the process is thoroughly defined we can all be eating some chocolate mousse by the time you’re finished reading.
And that is the point of IT service management – we provide the IT services you use every day and we do it with impeccable organisation, thorough processes and a passion for problem solving. Proper management of these services means that the processes for providing IT services can be picked up quickly and executed seamlessly. So what is IT service management? It’s what makes your business run without you even knowing it.