We all know the pain of sticking with a system or tool that no longer serves our purpose. You try to make do with workarounds and learn to adapt your work to the failing tool until you can take the time and dedicate resources to switch to something better. Or you’re working at an organization that doesn’t see the need to change. We see this often in public sector IT departments where legacy systems are so entrenched that the idea of switching to a modern IT Service Management (ITSM) tool seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

When you add in budget constraints and a lack of IT resources, it’s easy to see why many try to stick it out with a system that’s no longer serving their business goals. But by doing this, you’re likely costing your organization money and other resources unknowingly.

Here are 3 signs it’s time to upgrade your ITSM tool:

  1. Your ITSM tool drains resources and is difficult to maintain – It shouldn’t take days, or even weeks to make changes to your service catalog. If you need developers to be able to make changes, consider switching to a highly configurable no-code ITSM tool.
  2. Reporting and dashboards are difficult to use or non-existent – Are you struggling to track ticket data? Do you need a specialized employee to pull data and create reports for you? Do you lack personalized dashboards that show key metrics? With a modern ITSM tool, you can quickly create reports and personalized dashboards enabling you to make better, data-driven decisions.
  3. Your current ITSM tool lacks automated workflow capabilities – A lack of automation can further drain your limited IT resources. Look for an ITSM tool with automation and workflows built in. This allows you to automatically route tickets and automate repetitive tasks like password reset and software provisioning. You can even automate complex tasks like onboarding and offboarding.

The Impact of Finding an ITSM Tool That’s Universally Loved

Oklahoma City’s old ITSM tool was holding them back from becoming a more mature, ITIL-aligned IT organization. The city was using a ticketing application that gave employees very limited visibility into the status of their service requests. Employees had to be connected to the city network to create and update service tickets, which was inconvenient for IT technicians working remotely. In addition, services that required the completion of routine tasks by multiple groups within IT had to be manually routed.

“Before TeamDynamix, we had employees emailing requests directly to our administrative group within IT, and that was causing some issues,” Dusty Borchardt, business systems manager, said. “Sometimes requests would fall through the cracks, and months would go by without anyone noticing.”

And this experience isn’t uncommon in the public sector. Legacy systems are often hard to use, require at least 3-5 employees to administer and it can take days, even weeks to make changes to the service catalog or other configurations.

Frustrated with the tool, the city switched to TeamDynamix for ITSM. Now, city employees can initiate a service request from wherever they are using their phone or any other internet-connected device. Employees have more visibility into the status of their requests, and IT managers have comprehensive insight into how their department is doing.

“TeamDynamix has brought simplicity to our operations,” Borchardt said. Using tools within the platform, Oklahoma City IT staff have created a self-service portal linked to an expanding knowledge base. City employees can find answers to common problems and frequently asked questions within the knowledge base, and if they can’t resolve their issue, they can submit a service request through the portal. Based on the nature of the problem they describe; their request is routed automatically to the appropriate IT team for a response.

“The feedback we’ve gotten is that everyone loves TeamDynamix,” Borchardt concluded. “This is the first IT Service Management platform we’ve implemented that everyone loves to use.”

Three Keys to a Successful ITSM Refresh

If you’re ready to make the switch to a new ITSM tool, here are a few tips you can follow to make sure you’re set up for success:

  1. Understand your pain points.

The first step when embarking on an ITSM tech refresh is to truly understand what’s holding you back.

Talk to your help desk, other IT employees and those that interact the most with your IT department. Get their input into the challenges they’re facing, and then come up with a plan that can help alleviate those challenges. You may find it beneficial to put together a checklist of key features and functionalities needed to address existing pain points within your organization. You can use this list to help you ID the ITSM vendors that best fit your needs before you even start the demo and evaluation process.

  1. Do your research.

Look at reviews and talk to other state and local governments that use the tools you are considering. You can also use companies like Gartner or Info-Tech Research Group to help narrow down the search and find the right ITSM tool for your organization.

When researching ITSM vendors you’ll want to be sure they can provide the following features and functionalities out of the box:

  • Incident and problem tracking – When you run a service desk you need to have fast routing and the ability to group tickets for both incidents and problems. Doing so will allow you to properly communicate and be transparent throughout your organization.
  • Service portal and knowledge base – Did you know a support call can as much as $22 (according to HDI), while self-service is just $2 per incident? It’s a recommended best practice to build out a solid knowledge base and service portal so customers can resolve their issues instead of taking up your IT help desk’s valuable time with requests like “How do I change my password?”
  • Workflow automation – Your teams should be focusing their efforts on your organization’s highest priorities. By setting up automation for mundane, manual or error-prone activities they can do just that.
  • Asset management and discovery – Make sure you can identify and track assets, plan for changes and respond to issues with an understanding of CI configuration history, blackout and maintenance windows and impact maps.
  • Change management – The majority (nearly 80 percent!) of issues reported to IT are the result of poor change and release management. Make sure your tool allows you to properly organize and manage plans, execution and communication for new functionality and maintain the continuity of existing services.
  • Dashboards and reports – Great ITSM dashboards and reports give you the key metrics needed to make confident decisions, helping you to identify issues before they become problems, support key meetings, profile trends and communicate the value IT provides to your entire organization.
  1. Find a true partner to help you optimize processes.

Because IT staff often feel pulled in many directions and time is at a premium, you want to find an ITSM vendor that will partner with you through implementation and beyond. Target an ITSM vendor that offers in-house services with a comprehensive onboarding process.

Want to learn more about how state and local governments are modernizing their ITSM? Check out this eBook: Modernizing ITSM in the Public Sector

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