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How Your ITSM Platform Can Help—Or Hinder—Your Shift Left Initiative

Posted by on August 03, 2017

How Your ITSM Platform Can Help—Or Hinder—Your Shift Left Initiative

Editor’s note: Catch up on all the posts in our series on the "how" and the "why" of shifting left for ITSM.

If you're looking to streamline your IT service desk organization, the "shift left" concept can help you target areas and methods to change for better, more efficient service. There are many areas within IT service management (ITSM) software where you can apply shift-left principles: Change Management, automation, and Knowledge Management are great places to start.

But, in order to implement shift-left strategies in these areas and beyond, you'll need a backbone of ITSM software that's easy to customize, maintain, and use. Fortunately, when it comes to ITSM support tools, there is technology already available that seems like it was purposely designed to help with the shift-left concept: low-code platforms.

What exactly is low-code? This type of platform allows administrators to make modifications to an application with little or no code. This system facilitates quick setup/deployment and upgrades of software. (You'll find a good technical discussion on low-code on the Software Engineering Stack Exchange site.)

3 Advantages of Low-Code Platforms

With low-code platforms, you can reduce your need for costly, specialized training and knowledge, freeing up resources and staff to focus on moving service desk initiatives forward. Here are three ways low-code platforms help your IT department shift left:

1. Quicker Configuration: Most enterprise software is customizable but suffers from high overhead and manpower costs. The single biggest advantage of low-code platforms is that you can take many of the duties that a team of specialized programmers traditionally perform and move these responsibilities to more generalized system administrators—and fewer of them. In contrast to other enterprise software platforms, low-code approaches do not require extensive knowledge and expertise in programming language, making them easy to learn and fast to deploy. Typically, enterprise software requires multiple specialized administrators and a stable of developers to create and maintain your customizations—all requiring lengthy training and spin-up times. That's not the case for low-code alternatives.

2. User-Friendly Reporting and Dashboards: Here's another advantage: A low-code platform allows you to shift the burden of analytics and reporting from high-knowledge SQL and data modeling experts to the actual consumers of these dashboards and reports. That means that not only can you spare high-skilled data experts from the tedious process of generating simple reports, but you also produce reports that are more relevant and directly applicable, since the people creating the metrics are the same ones who need to consume and act upon them.

3. Faster Upgrades: Don’t forget that in most low-code environments, when running a software upgrade—especially with heavy customization—the update process can generally be accomplished in a matter of days, rather than months. If you can free up your high-level administrators and development teams from having to reserve half the year for upgrades, imagine the number of other high-value projects you can tackle!

Using Low-Code in the ITSM Context to Shift Left

All the above benefits can be applied to almost any area within the IT department to shift left. If you have enterprise software you owe it to yourself to start evaluating low-code options for these solutions. Particularly in the specific areas of ITSM and service desk, low-code platforms can accelerate shift-left initiatives. Does your ITSM software solution itself use a low-code platform? Can your ITSM administrators do the customizations for you or do you need specialized developers? How long are your customizations or upgrades taking?

Ultimately, any technology that’s mission critical to your organization should be flexible enough to enable—not hinder—your team’s efforts to shift left.

Is yours?

Next Up: Learn how Cherwell customers have shifted left with our low-code configuration platform.

See Case Studies