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How to Extract the Business Value from ITSM

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itsmvalueIT just for the sake of IT is pointless. Equally obvious, no organization actually operates this way, as services must be linked to the users IT supports. Yet many organizations continue to demonstrate “value” in IT terms, which does little to promote and reinforce IT’s value to the business.

In order to break out of this inwardly-focused paradigm, organizations need to “extract” the business value from their IT service management (ITSM) initiatives. In its simplest form, this means conveying the value IT provides the user. However, in more proactive cases, extracting the business value from ITSM can help IT avoid the business impact of costly issues.

So, how do IT organizations do it? To successfully extract the business value from ITSM, organizations must:

  • Offer visibility in business terms
  • Provide predictive analytics to communicate business impact
  • Market IT to the business

Tweet this: What is the true value of your ITSM solution? Extracting value from ITSM can help avoid costly issues. 

Business Value Visibility

Extracting the business value from ITSM is about presenting the information users will understand in a simple dashboard view. Whereas an IT audience needs a litany of technical details and raw statistics, a business value report presents multiple metrics in combination with each other to deliver a meaningful indication of IT performance in business terms. For example, a business user doesn’t need to know the number of open incidents, but its effect on revenue targets is important to him or her.

By this logic, dashboards should be tailored to each end user’s role within the business and present information that is actionable to him/her. Additionally, for the extracted information to be truly valuable, you must ensure it represents a near real-time view of business impacts. Imagine the disastrous and expensive mistakes you can make if you are reacting to old data.

With near real-time visibility you can immediately recognize trends and make better decisions faster.

Predictive Analytics

By focusing on business impacts and trends, IT can devote resources to address issues more cost-effectively. In the same way you can harness data to create meaningful business reports, organizations can also use such data to discover and communicate patterns before they have an adverse business impact.

There are a number of technology solutions that can make this much easier by providing both out-of-the-box best-practice dashboards to report business value and the analytics to detect trends. These analytics even have the capability to identify certain problems or impending outages to the service desk before a single ticket has been raised. Interpreting this in business value terms, you can quantify the high cost of every avoided outage, thereby demonstrating IT’s value.  

Tweet this: Following industry trends can help address issues while keeping IT cost-effective 

Marketing IT

Typically, the only time IT receives recognition is when something goes awry. Given the expectations of today’s business users, any outage is perceived as a mistake IT made. However, with the ability obtain near real-time visibility, IT can put dashboards in front of customers displaying the green light 99.9 percent of time. Then, when something happens to go wrong, the perception of IT is informed by a more complete and accurate understanding of IT’s performance. In this way, you can reinforce the value of IT simply by showing the business and customers how well your IT is already performing.

Beyond improving the perception of IT, extracting business value from ITSM can be used as evidence to validate IT investments. By integrating historical data, IT can track the business value improvements from initiative to initiative, after software purchases, or following tool upgrades. IT can speak in business value terms to internally market their services and the efficacy of their proposed investments. Moreover, it’ll make sure you’re not making investments purely for the sake of IT.  



About the Author: With over 17 years in IT, Stuart Geros’ career has focused in connecting people with information in valuable ways. Twelve years ago, Geros founded eMite to bring the business and IT together. Now a Gartner recognized “Top 2” in Infrastructure and Operations Business Value Dashboards (IOBVD), eMite helps the world’s largest IT shops improve their IT reporting by correlating all their data into a single multi-user solution, resulting in better business value from IT efforts.