By Prashant Deshpande, Product Marketing Manager
According to a 2020 research study by KPMG of over 1,000 HR executives, 95% of corporations are prioritizing the employee experience as a key focus area. The same study indicated that Pathfinding HR organizations (KPMG’s term for high-level, Best-inClass organizations) were almost 3x more likely to agree that the employee experience is a strategic priority for the entire organization.
Obviously, organizations that are performing well are thinking about their employees in the same way they are thinking about their customers. They are trying to build a customer-centric culture for their employees.
Is there anybody out there who is truly surprised by these findings? High performing organizations are much more likely than their counterparts to prioritize the employee and customer experience. These organizations know that happy customers are repeat customers. These organizations also know that happy employees are long-term, high performing corporate citizens. Few would argue otherwise.
So, why is it that delivering high quality customer and employee experiences remains an unfulfilled promise? For many, the reason may be how an optimal, successful experience is defined by those on the receiving end. Both employees and customers expect their service experience to be immediate, accurate, and fast. They also come to the table with an expectation that the process will be seamless, personalized, and effortless. If organizations are able to check those boxes, they are rewarded with long term customer satisfaction and positive employee morale. If they don’t, then they are punished with decreased sales and short-term, underperforming employees.
The Role of ITSM in Effective Service Management Strategies
Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) strategies are designed to address and optimize the employee and customer service experience at its most fundamental level. It is a set of principles and policies that aim to provide the right mix of people, processes and technology to deliver IT support to users. It prescribes a specific set of best practices to align IT services with business needs to address specific challenges related to ITSM. Those challenges include:
- Complex System Management: Systems can be complex to configure, and customization is a major issue for IT departments. If existing systems aren’t flexible, it will be difficult to create a conducive IT environment that allows employees and customers to function without limitation.
- Incoherent IT Environments: The IT ecosystem of today’s enterprises is complicated, with a multitude of cloud, on-premises and other hybrid solutions that are oftentimes not tightly integrated. This creates hurdles for the exchange of data between systems, in turn causing delays in responding to customer issues, increased risk of errors, information/data silos, and, ultimately, decreased customer satisfaction.
- Lack of Future Preparedness: With many industries focused on digital transformation, modern cloud-based systems driven by AI and automation are making their way to organizations so they can remain competitive in their market, no matter what service-related challenges may arise. It’s imperative to integrate with these modern applications to leverage the latest technologies and ultimately achieve efficiency gains.
Core ITSM Processes
An effective ITSM process strategic framework may include the following modules:
- Change Management: A standardized set of procedures to smoothly adopt changes to the IT infrastructure, such as releasing new services or solutions or upgrading those that already exist. This is key to handle the impact of change, ensure business continuity, provide visibility of the changes happening and maintain a balanced benefit-risk ratio with the changes arriving.
- Configuration Management: This includes the process of tracking and keeping records of means and assets required to deliver IT services, along with the relationship between them. Configuration management helps to have up-to-date information on IT components and their relationships that impact services, this ensures to have greater visibility and control on the available IT assets and their distribution in accordance with the requirements.
- Incident Management: The process of responding to unplanned events or unexpected disruption to maintain the continuity of the business and restore normal operations with minimal impact. An efficient Incident Management is critical to quicker incident resolution, avoid losses due to outage and improved SLAs which in-turn results in better end user experience.
- IT Asset Management: Abbreviated as ITAM, this involves the tracking and distribution of an organization’s IT assets, including hardware or software, along with detailed records of upgrades and maintenance. ITAM helps in having a unified view of IT assets, be it hardware or software and effectively deploying and managing them and is also critical to be prudent about associated costs.
- Knowledge Management: This stores, documents, manages, shares and uses the knowledge and information in an organization, critical in avoiding duplicated efforts. This process has enormous importance for an organisation as it helps in maintaining the valuable knowledge and uses it to train the employees. It’s critical as it reduces training costs as well as improves customer service as the employees are armed with the key information beforehand.
- Problem Management: While an incident is a symptom, a problem is the root cause that results in an incident. Problem management identifies root causes and helps correct them to avoid similar issues in the future. The benefits of Problem Management are similar to Incident Management but are far more impactful, like improving overall service quality, finding permanent solutions to incidents, cutting down time in issue resolution and increasing employee productivity as well as customer satisfaction.
- Service Request Management: The management and response to customer requests ranging from software installation, updates, and access to actual hardware requirements. This process helps in establishing a standardized request fulfillment procedure which is faster and efficient, tracking of requests and communicating with stakeholders while collecting valuable feedback.
At the end of the day, if these modules are done right, a robust ITSM strategy can deliver strategic value and is key for business success. At the surface level, ITSM needs to offer benefits such as:
- A structured approach to IT service delivery
- Standardized processes and streamlined business functions
- Improved customer satisfaction and business revenue
- Cut costs, improved operational efficiencies and service quality
- Increased team collaboration and eliminated silos
- Real-time insights that help to predict and preempt incidents
- The accommodation of new tools and automated technologies
How ITSM Integration Helps to Build an Effective Service Management Strategy?
There are many players and solutions in the ITSM market that provide organizations with seamless IT operations, management, and overall IT service delivery. In today’s landscape, popular vendors include BMC and ServiceNow, who both offer superior ITSM-related solutions. Other key players in the industry are Ivanti, Axios Systems, Broadcom, Micro focus, Freshworks, ManageEngine, IBM etc.
Most companies use various software to serve their customers and employees. To fully support their ITSM strategy and establish a seamless and consistent services delivery companies do realise that they must connect to other applications and data sources, such as IT, Security, HR, and Customer Service.
For that reason, ITSM integration is the key to draw business benefits from a potentially complex and disjointed service strategy. The payback can be transformational: streamlined and automated processes, quick and agile service management, increased customer satisfaction, and optimized costs.
Here are Some Key Benefits of ITSM Integration:
- Reduced Manual Errors. Key data used to support ITSM is often found in multiple different systems of record, resulting in a complex maze of legacy on-premises, SaaS, and hybrid solutions that must be properly coordinated. Integrating these solutions with ITSM helps mitigate this challenge by connecting key components within an organization’s IT ecosystem for a faster, more coordinated and automated service management response. The result is increased productivity and a single source of truth for your data.
- Accelerated Employee Time to Productivity. Today’s workforce expects a consumer-grade experience from the moment the recruitment process begins until the last day of employment. Employers need to ensure they have the appropriate support services in place, such as asset management, employee IT support, and access control. Done correctly, ITSM integration helps make this goal possible by integrating key IT allocation and support data sources together. This arms employees with key resources that are properly provisioned and supported throughout their entire employment experience.
- Maximize Customer Retention. As consumers, we expect a high level of customer support from the vendors we deal with. However, key support-related insights such as product data, financial transactions and customer history info often exist in multiple places across an enterprise’s IT infrastructure. This is combated by integrating ITSM with key consumer and product support data for faster issue resolution and increased customer satisfaction.
Common ITSM Integration Use Cases
To build a streamlined and robust IT service delivery infrastructure, your ITSM platform needs to be integrated with a multitude of applications that house customer data. The most popular ITSM integrations are with ERP, CRM, HCM, security and finance applications. Some of the most common use cases are:
Human Capital Management (HCM) Onboarding Integration: Connect ITSM with existing HCM onboarding systems such as Workday, Oracle or SuccessFactors to synchronize new employee asset allocation and system accessibility needs across multiple systems. New employees are quickly provided with the right physical assets and software programs they need to get to work faster.
- Examples: ServiceNow integration with Workday; BMC integration with Workday; ServiceNow integration with SuccessFactors; BMC integration with PeopleSoft.
Customer Service Management (CSM) Integration: Integrate ITSM with CSM tools like Salesforce, Oracle, Zoho, PeopleSoft, and SAP to automate the creation, capture, and resolution of customer cases. This type of integration helps organizations produce highly efficient case management strategies, including the tracking and maintenance of records, increasing transparency. Organizations gain increased visibility into incidents, problems, requests, or changes requested by customers, allowing them to improve response times.
- Examples: ServiceNow integration with Salesforce; BMC integration with Salesforce; ServiceNow integration with NetSuite; BMC integration with Epicor.
Incident Ticketing Integration: Many third-party applications such as Jira, PagerDuty, SolarWinds and others effectively manage customer-initiated support tickets. These can be integrated with the ITSM platform both unidirectionally and bi-directionally to streamline issue resolutions, helping to uniquely identify tickets and synchronize trigger notifications between multiple systems.
- Examples: ServiceNow integration with Jira; BMC integration with SolarWinds.
IT Asset Management (ITAM) Integration: Connect ITSM to ITAM systems like Snow or Flexera to effectively coordinate ITSM needs with asset management. Organizations benefit from this integration by increasing visibility and control of their IT inventory, including hardware, software and supporting servers, and coordinating their inventory with employee requirements.
- Examples: BMC integration with Snow; ServiceNow integration with Spiceworks.
How Do You Get Started With ITSM Integration?
With years of experience building integrations with BMC, ServiceNow and other key ITSM solution providers, Jitterbit and our community of certified partners have the expertise to provide you with integrations that enable fast time-to-value, drive greater efficiencies in your organization, and increase the flexibility to pivot to new business opportunities quickly.
Jitterbit Harmony – Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) – provides powerful ServiceNow API integration tools that make it fast and easy to connect business flows, providing the following advantages:
- Speed. Most of our customers are up and running with their first integration in less than 30 days. But perhaps the most important factor is how fast you can build additional integrations to deliver compelling customer experiences. Your business is adding new technology all the time. It’s not only about how quickly you develop your first integration but also how fast you can connect the next one. Jitterbit has a robust toolkit that shortens integration time and provides standardization of integrations and the reusability of code.
- Simplicity. Jitterbit is simple and designed for the technical business analyst. The graphical “clicks not code” approach, pre-built connector, Recipes and Templates, and a state of the art cloud platform, simplify the design, deployment, and management of integration projects.
- Trust. No matter how complex or straightforward your integration is, our team of experts is always available to help you every step of the way. We’re #1 in customer satisfaction and received the highest B2B integration score in the 2020 Gartner Critical Capabilities Report for Enterprise iPaaS.
With a powerful and easy-to-use cloud API integration platform, Jitterbit enables ITSM users to connect to any on-premise or in-cloud application allowing them to drive ROI, increase customer satisfaction and optimize service delivery and management, giving them an edge in an extremely competitive market.