IT Service Management (ITSM) is simply how IT teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. This includes all the processes and activities required to design, create, deliver, and support IT services. The main focus is to deliver satisfactory service to the end user customer using best practice models like ITIL, DevOps, Lean Six Sigma etc.
The leading ITSM software may include the following capabilities and more:
- Incident and problem management
- Standard processes and procedures for change management
- Configuration and inventory/asset management, including application access requests
- Knowledge management repository documenting common issues / known resolutions
- Service catalog ensuring tickets are routed to appropriate subject management expert
- Service level agreement process
- Managing ticket workflow, occasionally including project management
- Reports and dashboards indicating key performance and capacity data
Systems Management refers to the enterprise-wide administration of IT systems. It includes a wide array of tasks spanning across different operating systems, applications and infrastructure.
Systems Management encompasses all facets of IT administration, so it is important to have the right tools to support and manage the tasks that come under Systems Management umbrella which may include the following:
- Application life-cycle management
- Help and service desk management
- Data center infrastructure management
- Application performance and service management
- Business system management
- Disaster recovery and backup
- Capacity planning
- Network performance management
- System administration
- Automation, and more.
Businesses using ITSM consider IT as a service, with a focus on delivering valuable services to customers, rather than a department that manages technology. When system management is implemented effectively, it makes the delivery of IT much easier, making the employees adapt faster and be more productive.
Tool selection criterion will be the first step in understanding the overall picture why a certain tool is being used/will be used at a company. The first criterion will be common for any tool selection, i.e, understanding your company. Understanding the ethos, culture, strategy, vision and direction of your company can ensure you only do business with suppliers who are a good fit for the business.
First, we will be looking into ITSM tools, hence the next selection criterion would be understanding your business requirements. ITSM tools have developed far beyond traditional logging and tracking of tickets. A fully integrated ITSM tool can provide support for end-to-end service management processes, including problem and change management, they can automate workflow, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of IT support, and they can integrate with other support and development tools. You may also be considering enterprise service management (ESM), integrating IT best practice into other departments, such as HR, finance, or facilities. If that is the case, it’s vital that you understand each department’s requirements and challenges.
The following is a list of ITSM tools that i have come across in my career.
- BMC Remedy ITSM
Remedy IT Service Management Suite (Remedy ITSM Suite) provides out of-the-box IT Information Library (ITIL) service support functionality. Remedy ITSM Suite helps streamline and automate the processes around IT service desk, asset management, and change management operations. It also enables you to link your business services to your IT infrastructure to help you manage the impact of technology changes on business and business changes on technology — in real time and into the future. In addition, you can understand and optimize the user experience, balance current and future infrastructure investments, and view potential impact on the business by using a real-time service model.
BMC Helix is BMC’s new brand for the end-to-end, multi-cloud SaaS offering that reinvents traditional ITSM by integrating cognitive technologies like AI and machine learning. BMC Helix Remedy is a key part of the BMC Helix suite. However, BMC is committed to continue supporting and further enhancing the traditional Remedy on-premise capabilities as well.
- OpSmart ITSM
OpSmart ITSM provides a flexible, scalable and open solution. OpSmart integrated system aligns ITSM resources to support customer business objectives. These services create a centralized operations and support center, providing the customer a cohesive approach to integrate process optimization, systems development and support, network and service desk management across the business enterprise. A basic Opsmart ITSM suite would consist of mainly the Asset Management, CMDB Management, Ticket tracking module(IR/CR/SR/PR). While the most advanced suite would consist of the additional virtualization Cloud Management, Interface integration with 3rd party tools etc.
- BMC Helix Remedyforce
Designed for the needs of mid-size businesses, BMC Helix Remedyforce addresses the full range of ITSM requirements with flexibility and affordability. With Remedyforce, organizations can achieve digital transformation with an intelligent, omni-channel experience across IT, HR and Facilities. Built on Salesforce, the #1 scalable and secure cloud platform, Remedyforce is powerful yet has a quick time to deploy. Remedyforce is a powerful suite of products with capabilities for Incident and Problem Management, Change Management, Configuration Management, Asset Management, Knowledge Management etc.
- ServiceNow ITSM
ServiceNow is an enterprise application that provides a robust suite of applications to automate and streamline IT and business unit operations. ServiceNow is offered under a Software-as-a Service (SaaS) business model and is accessed through a web-based interface that can be easily configured to adapt to a variety of workflow and processes to streamline service delivery. ServiceNow provides a complete service management package for IT, Customer Service, Security Operations, Facilities, HR and Field Services at a competitive edge to maximize the bottom line for traditional integrated solutions.
There are many other leading ITSM tools in the market that are used by companies based on their specific needs.
System Management Tools
System management involves gauging and controlling the operation of the whole enterprise IT system in real time that would require system monitoring tools for the gauging part. There are basically two types of monitoring as follows :
- Alive Monitoring
Monitor whether or not servers or services are operating normally. Using a dedicated web page, you can check the operating status of devices you are monitoring at a glance. When network devices or server devices and services you are monitoring shut down, either automatic recovery is performed or a notice email is sent to administrators so that they can detect and resolve failures quickly.
- Resource Monitoring
This allows you to check on the use status (load status) of CPUs, memory, and networks of servers and other devices. This serves to not only detect failures, but also helps make decisions when writing device installation plans.
Based on the above types, monitoring tools can be broadly classified into integrated type and specialized type. Integrated type tool supports both the Alive Monitoring and Resource Monitoring functionalities. In case of some tools, advanced functionalities like auto-detection, network mapping etc may also be present. Whereas the specialized type tool supports either the Alive Monitoring or Resource Monitoring functionality. The merit of specialized type over the integrated type is that it is designed to monitor a particular functionality and has many options that can be easily set. Few of the tools that i have come across in my career are as follows.
- BMC IX
The BMC Impact Explorer is the console used to provide real-time event management and service impact management for proactive detection and resolution of IT problems before they have an impact on critical IT systems. It provides a view of the operational state of the IT infrastructure by connecting to cell (Event Manager) and view the events that are available in the cell. The status, severity, priority and other information can be viewed via impact explorer. The event management policies and dynamic data instances can be defined here.
CONTROL-M is a business integrated scheduling product that focuses on the production environment business applications and platforms. Control-M automates and simplifies batch job creation, scheduling, and management across IT environments. It makes it easy to build and monitor workflows through a graphical interface that provides a single point of control for all enterprise batch jobs.
ATOM is an end-to-end framework that could be easily plugged into an IaaS system, to provide Automated Tracking, Orchestration, and Monitoring of resource usage, detect anomalies for a potentially large number of VMs running on an IaaS cloud, in an online fashion. ATOM introduces an online tracking module that runs at Node Controller and continuously tracks various performance metrics and resource usage values of all VMs. It also contains the automated monitoring module that continuously monitors the resource usage data reported by the online tracking module. The goal is to detect anomaly by mining the resource usage data.
System Center Configuration Manager is a systems management software product developed by Microsoft for managing large groups of computers running on various operating systems. Configuration Manager provides remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection and hardware and software inventory.
- JP1/IT Desktop Management
The information that can be collected by this product includes information about hardware, software, and security. You can use the product to manage information not only from PCs and servers, but also from an increasingly diverse array of IT assets, including anything from virtual desktops to smart devices. Moreover, JP1 helps ensure that licenses are managed properly. By keeping track of the number of software instances that are installed on your devices and the number of licenses you own, you can detect and address any shortage or excess in those licenses. It also checks the statuses of security measures to be applied to managed devices and automatically applies measures according to your security policies.
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