Service Desk and IT Service Management Software
ITSM Tooling Uncovered
with ITIL Chief Architect
A White Paper by Sharon Taylor
Aspect Group Inc
© Copyright Axios Systems 2010
ITSM Tooling Uncovered with ITIL Chief Architect p2
Table of Contents
The thing about tools is... 3
Before the tools 4
ITSM tool decisions – Factors to consider at every stage 6
Initial ITSM implementations 6
Service Improvements 6
Things to consider when selecting tools 8
Knowing what you need 8
Examples of criteria: 9
Thinking of tools as strategic partners 16
Acquiring a relationship 17
Migration and Integration 18
Tool Certification 18
Process integration 19
Legislated requirements 19
Own, lease, rent 20
Return on Investment 20
Greater product sophistication means a better ROI 21
Thinking your organization is unique 22
Believing there is no such thing as out-of-the-box 22
Using the Ram and refine approach 23
Upgrade or replace? 23
Decision drivers 23
Strategic factors 23
Tactical factors 24
Operational Factors 25
Ease of use 26
Words for the wise 27
About Axios Systems 28
About the Author 31
© Copyright Axios Systems 2010. The information, which is contained in this document, is the property of Axios Systems. The contents of
the document must not be reproduced or disclosed wholly or in part or used for purposes other than that for which it is supplied without
the prior written permission of Axios Systems.
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The thing about tools is...
Whenever I work with clients on IT Service Management (ITSM) implementations
or program improvements, I hear the same common issues repeatedly about
the mistakes organizations make with their selection and use of ITSM enabling
Many organizations have made significant
investments in tools to enable ITSM; however,
due to a lack of tool performance that
efficient, well-managed practices rely on,
these organizations eventually discover that
they are losing traction and not earning the
Return on Investment (ROI) they anticipated.
The reasons for this are many and varied:
1. Old versions – Organizations want to leverage past investment, but older
versions of tools often cannot meet the demands of newer, more robust
2. Patchwork syndrome – Incremental investment in tools without a broader,
longer term vision results in many disparate tools, often heavily customized
and configured. These tools then become expensive to support and
overly-complex. A common ailment is that patch-worked tools are often
maintained within different areas of an organization that do not share a
3. Lack of integration – Tools are often acquired for specialized purposes (i.e.
the automation of a single process) and are not integrated. Over time, if
enough disparate tools are acquired but not well-integrated or integrated at
all, ITSM efficiency becomes impaired; afterthought process integration is
something many tools cannot do or do not do easily without costly retrofits.
4. Too much choice – The market is ripe with tool choices and many
organizations are unclear about what their options are and what choices
they should or should not consider. Also many organizations have made
tool choices not well-suited to their needs.
ITSM Tooling Uncovered with ITIL Chief Architect p4
Before the tools
Service Management experts agree that any organization looking to implement
ITSM practices should follow a few key steps to ensure a successful outcome.
First, understand your needs. Be clear about the outcomes you want; agree with the
customer about what is important to them, document requirements and the approach
you will take.
Next, work on the process development and cultural adoption required to work
differently than before; refine these to best fit your circumstance and meet your
Once these things are established, it is then time to look for technology solutions
that will enable, streamline and synergize the processes. For years now, experts
have agreed that tools should not drive people and processes, but they should
complement and automate already well-embedded and efficient processes and
The reality is that most organizations approach ITSM in stages and the tools they
select to automate processes become a patchwork of applications that over time
have been tweaked and often heavily customized. This results in ITSM tools that
are expensive to support and maintain. While all this tweaking seems to be logical
at the time, it can end up costing far more than planned. Once maturing practices
come into play, the true cost can be staggering.
Organizations are learning that a more strategic, longer-term view about Service
Management can greatly lower costs for ITSM and offer greater overall ROI. This is
as true for tools as it is for ITSM practices in general.
There is not one right or wrong way to approach the tool conundrum, but there
are aspects that every organization should consider at every stage along the ITSM
journey. Thinking through these considerations can save time, money, headaches
and will likely boost customer confidence.
ITSM Tooling Uncovered with ITIL Chief Architect p6
About Axios Systems
Axios Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of IT Service Management
(ITSM) solutions. Its customer-centric approach, combined with its award-winning
software, enables customers to improve their Service Delivery and Support and
deliver Continual Service Improvement by helping to align and realign IT services to
changing business needs, supporting business processes and improving productivity.
Its core solution, assyst, built around a market-leading Configuration Management
Database (CMDB), intuitively steers users through the ITIL (Information Technology
Infrastructure Library) processes which help organizations transition toward the next
generation of ITSM and Service Desks. assyst offers a unique lifecycle approach
to ITSM with the integration of all ITIL processes (including Incident Management,
Capacity Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Asset
Management, Configuration Management and Service Level Management),
twelve of which have been verified by Pink Elephant’s PinkVERIFY service as
compatible with industry best practices (based on ITIL V3), in a single, out-of-the-box
application. It empowers management with a dashboard-based transparent view
of real-time performance against Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and Operations
Level Agreements (OLAs) using Web 2.0 technologies.
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Implementing assyst into an organization optimizes IT infrastructure efficiency,
reduces overheads and lowers the total cost of IT ownership (TCO), helping to
ensure a significant return on investment (ROI) with rapid time-to-value. Axios also
offers a comprehensive set of consulting and training services to support ITSM best
practices in an organization.
Axios is headquartered in the UK, with offices across Europe, the Americas,
Middle East and Asia Pacific. Axios’ global presence is further strengthened with a
worldwide network of partners.
For more information, visit www.axiossystems.com.
ITIL - Delivering Real Value in a Downturn
About the Author
Sharon Taylor, President of the Aspect Group is a well known and respected figure
within today’s IT Service Management community.
As the former Chief Architect and current Chief Examiner for ITIL®, the world
leading IT Service Management best practices, Sharon is the author of numerous
ITSM books and regular columnist for a variety of global IT management
Sharon recently completed a three year term as the Chairman of the Board for
the Chair of the itSMF International, responsible for ensuring global growth and
governance of ITSMF in over 50 countries, and is at the center of best practice
development and endorsement.
She is also past President of the North American Institute of Certified Service
Management Professionals, a sister organization to the UK Institute of Service
Sharon is the recipient of the 2008 ITSM Lifetime Achievement Award.
Her contributions to the community and to best practice are based upon extensive
professional experience in the industry. After many years as an active ITSM
professional within Canada, she is currently President of Aspect Group Inc, leading
AGI’s consultancy, training and ITSM practice, working with clients throughout North
America, Asia and Europe.
As a long time CEO, Sharon brings a business background and focus to IT service
management and has used her business experience in influencing the future
directions of the IT service management industry.