Because it’s never too soon to think about improving IT – Part 2 of 2
It’s December, which means you and your team are probably already starting to worry about what 2019 will bring to your IT management and improvement efforts. Whatever the specifics of those efforts, there are five things you should resolve to make happen as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so.
- Know your environment.
- Build a configuration management database (CMDB).
- Automate everything.
- Build a service catalog.
- Communicate greatly.
Get these done, and they will help enable and support all of your IT management efforts, through and beyond 2019. Whether you’re pursuing your first IT service management (ITSM) solution deployment or your next step toward digital transformation.
Part 1 of this post addressed the first two items on the above list. This post will address the remaining three items.
IT Management Resolution #3: Automate Everything
You may have noticed a theme repeated throughout Part 1 of this post: automation. In addition to discovery and CMDB tasks, you and your team should identify and pursue as many opportunities to automate as possible across your IT environment. Intelligent automation all but guarantees repetitive and mundane tasks get performed more consistently than they get done manually. Automation also improves alignment and compliance with relevant business processes.
IT Automation: It’s Good for Your Team, Too
The benefits of intelligent automation extend beyond your business and your users to your team members. When repetitive, mundane tasks are automated, staff previously saddled with those tasks can be reallocated to higher-value, more challenging projects. This can increase their value to the business, their professional profiles, and their personal satisfaction. These benefits can even improve retention and recruitment for your team, even despite the IT staffing challenges expected by many to increase during the next few years.
Resolution #4: Build a Service Catalog
As you and your team discover tasks worth automating, you may find that automation makes it easier and faster to deliver services, to your IT team and to the business users they support. A service catalog that presents services in a consistent, consolidated way and enables centralized management and security can complement and extend the value of your automation efforts considerably.
A solid service catalog is much more than a pretty menu of links. When done right, a service catalog can provide your team with a foundation for building, and achieving, specific operational goals. This can help you and your team become and remain more closely aligned with business operations and goals, which can improve both the performance and the perception of IT at your organization.
Your Service Catalog: An Opportunity for Collaboration
As your business pursues intelligent automation of IT tasks and better IT asset and service management, you and your team should begin collaborating with your users and business decision makers. Subjects of discussion should include definition and prioritization of the services most critical to the success of your business. By including users and business stakeholders early in the process of considering and constructing your service catalog, you can focus on services and automation efforts of greatest value to the business. You will also avoid the problems and negative perceptions that invariably accompany IT-driven initiatives that affect those beyond IT not included in their planning.
Resolution #5: Communicate Greatly
Service catalog is simply one opportunity for your IT team to improve communication and collaboration with those it serves. In fact, every significant IT initiative at your business should include plans and metrics for early and frequent communication with all affected stakeholders. This may require efforts that seem unfamiliar at best and onerous at worst. However, the alternative is the risk of your users seeing IT as impediments to, not enablers of, user productivity of business growth.
Given the increasing business criticality of IT resources and services, you and your team simply cannot afford to be seen as anything but beneficial. A strong step in that direction is to proactively communicate with users and business decision makers, and to seek their input into the early stages of significant IT initiatives. Those communications could be a simple as regular emails or a dedicated web or intranet page. Where appropriate, more detailed communications can include reports tailored for specific constituencies and based on information generated automatically by your IT management solutions. You and your team might even consider collaborating with your counterparts in marketing to identify and pursue the most effective appropriate communication options for your specific situation.
From Resolutions to Reality with Virima
Virima’s solutions for IT asset discovery, IT asset management (ITAM), and IT service management (ITSM) can help with some or all of the resolutions described above. Virima solutions can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users. In addition, they’re built to be easy to use and configure, and to produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment, for IT managers and business decision makers. These features can help you and your team improve IT and business services and support, today and tomorrow.