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IT Should Embrace ITSM Methods, Report Suggests

The management of services by IT departments is the subject of an August 2007 report by the Aberdeen Group. The report focuses on companies that use IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based approaches, which is a set of best practices for IT. The report specifically hones in on an ITIL discipline called IT Service Management (ITSM).

The report, called "ITSM: IT Transforms Itself into a Service," defines ITSM as a more service-centric approach to meeting business requirements.

"ITSM is about disaggregating IT, which traditionally was focused on managing IT as individual silos, to that of individual components focused on the delivery of end-to-end services using best practice process models," the report states on page 5.

The Aberdeen Group found that so-called "best-in-class" companies are twice as likely to use service-based IT support compared with "laggard" companies. Services, in this case, might be obtained by IT through a hosted offering or application service providers or software-as-a-service companies.

Moreover, 38 percent of best-in-class companies are currently using business process management software as an ITSM solution vs. nine percent of laggard companies.

The primary driver for an IT department to use ITSM practices is to "improve process alignment between IT and the business units," which was the reason given by 86 percent of respondents. The next best reason to adopt ITSM practices, according to 63 percent of respondents, was to "adopt, modify or enforce SLAs" (service level agreements).

In terms of funding, 28 percent of the best-in-class companies allocated more than 20 percent of their overall IT budget to ITSM. Laggard companies were less likely to have allocated that much to ITSM. Just 10 percent of laggard companies had done so, according to the survey.

The report surveyed nearly 300 organizations on their service management practices. It was commissioned by Axios Systems, a provider of help desk software and IT management solutions via its assyst solution.

ITSM is not a "one-size-fits-all solution," according to Markos Symeonides, Axios' vice president of business development. Instead, it's a set of best practices to support a business strategy.

"The report highlights a key point -- using tools, methodologies, frameworks and processes alone can't provide best-in-class status without a directional business strategy," he stated in a press release.

Interested readers can obtain a copy of the report for free through a link on Axios Systems' Web site, although you need to register at Aberdeen's page first to download the report.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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