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Can ITSM Improve IT Efficiency and ROI?

Can_ITSM_Improve_IT_Efficiency_and_ROI.jpgEven as more and more businesses make the switch to IT service management, some people remain leery of it and its supposed benefits. After all, they’ve been getting along just fine with the capabilities they have on hand and upgrading or changing the framework often seems both costly and intimidating. Some promises, like the idea that ITSM can improve efficiency and return on investment (ROI), don’t really seem like concrete facts.

IT Service Management Is Efficient

When information technology departments first started cropping up in businesses, there wasn’t really much in the way of guidelines for most professionals. In many organizations, employees simply created procedures on an ad hoc basis, solving problems as they cropped up. Solutions and processes varied not only from organization to organization, but even within different departments of the same company. Soon enough, however, people began to realize that this patchwork set of practices was problematic, and the idea of IT service management was born.

One of the major features of any ITSM framework is a focus on standardization and integration. This means that a procedure will be carried out the same way across an organization. Since procedures can be replicated, time and time again, the end result is that information technology departments become more accountable. Processes can become automated and problem reporting becomes more uniform, which makes identifying recurrent issues easier. The data acquired from using workflow management software can inform a business about where processes could be simplified or improved in order to cut costs or save time.

These frameworks also focus on ensuring more uniform service delivery, meaning that upgrades are planned and implemented centrally. Everyone is running the same systems and software, which enhances integration across an organization. It’s obvious that using an ITSM framework can make an IT department more efficientin short order.

What about ROI?

It’s clear that using a framework like ITIL or Six Sigma makes a lot of sense for most organizations. However, the benefits don’t stop with improving the tech department’s efficiency—businesses can also use one of these frameworks to improve ROI.

For many organizations, investing solely in the tech department can seem like a risky venture. Even with promises of improved efficiency, implementing an ITSM framework doesn’t necessarily have a high ROI. Part of the problem is that many people don’t see the advantages for other divisions in an organization. An excellent example is the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which improved efficiency in every department, from the hospital dispatch team to the security and safety department. Rather than seeing improvement in IT alone, businesses using ITSM see increases in efficiency across multiple departments. ITSM can help cut costs and save time, which, in turn, improves your return on investment in the system—and your business.

Another advantage of using one of these frameworks is that they can help organizations understand where to cut costs, both in the tech department and outside of it. This is especially useful in a tough economic environment; instead of employing the layoff mentality most businesses use during a recession, IT service management can show where processes can be improved and simplified to cut costs. Another bonus? It can tell you which project investments will yield the highest ROIs for your organization—which means tough decisions about where to invest funds are a little easier to make.

The Sum of It All

The old adage “don’t believe everything you hear” doesn’t quite apply to ITSM; you should most definitely believe that IT service management can and will improve both efficiency and ROI in your organization.

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