Why Investing in ITSM Today Can Give Businesses the Competitive Edge Tomorrow

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Sascha Giese, Head Geek™ at SolarWinds, explains the benefits of ITSM

It's not always easy to plan for the future. As painstaking as it is, this level of forward thinking should also be applied by IT pros when adopting a new IT Service Management (ITSM) software or reviewing your existing investment. This process is also about laying solid foundations for the future, so the decision around which ITSM platform is right for you shouldn't solely apply to your needs and environment right now. It requires IT pros to evaluate an organization's vision for the future and how the platform can accommodate its growth.

Building in the Cloud

Not everyone who buys a home wants and needs the same things. Some will have their heart set on a Victorian-built property with oodles of personality and decades of idiosyncrasies, while others will want a new build fully customized to the buyer's tastes, leaving the difficult task of furnishing, designing, and anything else to someone else. This latter option certainly has some parallels with opting for a cloud based ITSM solution.

The cloud option allows IT pros to tailor the environment and service offerings to their organization's culture and objectives, relying on the cloud service provider to manage the hard graft. Its agility and flexibility can enable IT pros to ensure more secure service offerings—a vital consideration as the security landscape continues to evolve and teams navigate hybrid infrastructures and become more geographically diverse.

Here are some of the key benefits for organizations looking to invest in a cloud-based service desk:

· Scalability: The cloud-based service desk can be moulded and configured in alignment with a business' growing needs, regardless of its size or service maturity. Tweaking a configuration can be done organically and instantaneously, without disrupting users' experience, while changes can be made without breaking the bank or dedicating hours to carrying them out.

· Efficient upgrades and enhancements: A cloud-based service desk can ensure an organization is leveraging the latest version of a multi-tenant solution. An ITSM vendor is charged with testing and rolling out new features, meaning teams won't need to manage upgrades themselves. This reduces the risk of downtime and maintains availability of the service desk to users.

· Reduced maintenance and overhead: A cloud-based ITSM vendor will deliver maintenance and upgrades to the system while monitoring performance, and by outsourcing these responsibilities, teams can spend more time focusing on business-critical needs and how the service desk can support them.

· Improved collaboration: It's vital for communications in organizations to be optimized, especially as more businesses embrace hybrid in-person and remote work environments, and workforces become increasingly disparate. Cloud-based ITSM can do just that, extending communication channels to eliminate service silos, resulting in more cross-functional visibility and collaboration.

· Tighter security: By centralizing services and data with a cloud-hosted service desk, teams will achieve greater visibility, allowing them to introduce more automated methods of securing their ecosystem.

Securing Your ITSM Environment for the Future

Any home should offer security, both now and in the future. A front door hanging off its hinges may be a welcome sign for would-be intruders, but for purchasers this urgently needs addressing, while further precautions may be taken down the line to ensure a greater sense of safety.

While security may not be the absolute top of the list when selecting a service desk, it's vital for IT pros to know they can introduce modern and automated forms of security to protect users, data, and the environment for the future. So, how can they do this?

A first step would be to look at users and access, reviewing the steps you've taken to secure who can use the ITSM platform and what can they see. It may be worth integrating Active Directory or access management system to streamline user provisioning, deprovisioning, and data access. Or, connecting user registries to the ITSM platform to ensure the user base is current while key user attributes (department, direct reports, location) are accounted for.

Additionally, IT pros can consider implementing login policies such as single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA), with the former giving users a seamless experience to access the service desk, removing the need for employees to remember yet another password, while also driving value and traffic to the platform. SSO can also mitigate security risks when paired with MFA, as it requires users to provide several different pieces of evidence to confirm their identities.

Whether through cloud-based providers or more secure service management, investing in ITSM today can build strong foundations for a business' future.

Sascha Giese is Head Geek™ at SolarWinds

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