Most companies by now have seen (or experienced firsthand) the value that a service management system can bring to their IT function. They have seen how having a single source of truth for configuration data and keeping track of assets and how they are being used can help drive decision making. They have leveraged ticketing system capabilities for managing incidents and user requests, used a knowledge base to track known issues and FAQs; and used problem management features to ensure timely follow-up when an issue is identified. But did you know that your service management system can be used for more than IT?
Configuration management can be used to model your customer’s environments – helping to enable you to better support their current operations and provide valuable insights to drive future sales. The idea behind configuration management is that pieces of the big picture are collected from various sources and discovery tools. They are assembled back together in the CMDB where the consolidated picture is used to drive various business processes. As you interact with customers (digitally, through sales, and customer support) you learn pieces about how they operate and what their needs are. By using your configuration management capabilities to piece their situation together, you will be able to better understand where and how they are using your (and competitor’s) products today and use that information to drive better customer engagement processes.
Ticketing capabilities are great for your IT service desk, and they can also be used for sales tasks, customer support and employee HR requests. Ticketing is probably the most common re-use scenario for service management systems. Think about all of the places in your company that you have reactive work going on and various types of requests being fulfilled by different teams – tracked using email and/or spreadsheets. Your service management system provides not only request tracking features, but also capabilities for managing teams/workflows and providing self-service interfaces for requestors.
The knowledge base that you use to track known issues in your IT environment can be used to manage known issues, diagnostic techniques and customer knowledge as well. Knowledge is information that has a lifecycle that needs to be managed. Someone creates it at one point, it is used, evolves as you learn more, is searched and used by others and at some point it becomes obsolete and needs to be retired. Knowledge features in your service management system provide a structured means of capturing the collective insights within your company so they can be made available to help others.
Problems aren’t unique to your technology environments. Your operations, products and employee listening systems also identify areas for improvement that can be tracked and managed using the problem management workflows available from your service management platform. The biggest complaint from customers and employees alike is that companies ask for their inputs or know about an issue but don’t follow through to solve it. Using a problem management system, issues can be logged, assessed, prioritized and tracked through their full lifecycle, giving management greater control and employees/customers greater confidence that their feedback is being addressed.
Utilizing a service management system to support your IT functions enables you to unlock the industry best practices of ITIL and take control of your technology assets. Leveraging the service management system to support other parts of your company can enable you to take those best practices and use them to improve your operations, better connect with your customers, manage your organization’s knowledge and drive sales.