ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is a well established framework with huge set of recommended ITSM processes and standards. It serves as the best practice guide for IT service management in the industry. Having ITSM processes adhering to ITIL standards helps organisations to cut IT costs, ensure customer satisfaction and improve productivity.

However, successful ITSM implementation poses massive practical challenges. This article takes you through some real-time ITSM implementation challenges and ways to overcome them effectively through proper ITIL conviction.

7 ITSM implementation challenges and how to overcome them with ITIL best practices.

Challenge 1: Lack of knowledge transfer among technicians

To improve first call resolution, technicians need to share their knowledge on successful incident resolution. Just merely saying “resolved” or “fixed” as an incident resolution doesn’t provide adequate knowledge to a technician handling similar type of incidents. While closing any incident, technicians should document the methods used and the steps involved in fixing the incident. By proper documentation, it can be converted as a perfect knowledge base article  for technicians for future reference.

Challenge 2 : Unaccounted for auto-generated alerts

As an IT admin who manages hundreds of applications running on multiple servers, he receives tons of auto-generated monitoring alerts every day. Every alert may produce an unexpected disaster if un-noticed. Understanding potential harms of such alerts, they have to be categorized properly, prioritized based on their business impact and escalated to the application owner without any loss of time. This preventive measure acts as a core element of emergency management process.

Challenge 3: Confusion between incident and service requests

Most often, service requests are simple requests like “reset my password” or “where do I find ABC software for downloading?” and those can be quickly solvable through self-service portal or through immediate assistance from technicians.  But incidents are unplanned interruptions in IT service like “My desktop slows down and is unusable at noon every day for 30 minutes” or “My email inbox gives me an error when I try to open it”, that needs more time and effort to resolve. Both has to be treated differently with distinct resolution steps, approvals, SLAs and workflows, or else, it may result in increase in technician workload and IT costs.

Challenge 4: Addictive to repetitive tasks

Being addictive to do their tasks, the same way all the time, most of the organisations feel un-comfortable and scared to adapt new methods. It’s highly advisable to automate all the simple routine processes. Improve business efficiency, eliminate manual errors and achieve immense productivity by automating repetitive tasks. It’s a mandate to derive a proper workflow before automating it.

Challenge 5: Not keeping customers informed

Once a customer submits an incident, technician categorises it, analyses the root cause and works on deriving resolution. In certain scenarios, to provide resolution and to fix the incident, he may need the help of system administrator and application owner. Instead of contacting and seeking help from them separately, the best way is to loop system administrator and application owner and the customer inside the incident for quicker resolution. Being transparent by keeping your customer in loop under all the conversations and actions behind incident resolving, helps you to achieve greater customer satisfaction.

Challenge 6: Lack of proper understanding

Technicians should not rush on resolving incidents and service requests to reduce their call volume, but all they need is to understand customer’s issue, analyse and provide resolutions. There are cases when customer requests unknowingly for a service which is restricted for his role. In that scenario, technician has to contact his manager and get his approval before providing access to the service. Such streamlined process helps to reduce avoidable IT costs to the company.

Challenge 7: Untimely incident resolutions

Though resolution provided is perfect, it loses value if it’s not provided on time. Say, if the incident raised can be solvable only in 2 days and if the high priority customer wants to get it resolved in 1 day on an urgent basis, the best way is to provide him with instant workarounds. Work arounds can be given until a resolution is derived, that must be few hours ideally. But in cases where the resolution needs a change to be performed, then it can be worked-around for days.

Have you faced any such challenge during ITSM implementation?

Feel free to use the comments section below to share your ITSM experience.

7 ITSM implementation challenges | ITIL best practices

About the Author

Priya is an independent ITSM consultant. She is a ManageEngine certified professional and administering ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus for help desk functionality.