What Is ITSM? How IT Service Management Helps Businesses

ITSM encompasses multiple IT management frameworks that can apply to centralized and de-centralized systems. There are multiple frameworks that fall under the ITSM discipline, and some address unique industry-specific IT needs, including those in healthcare, government or technology. Businesses using ITSM consider IT as a service, with a focus on delivering valuable services to customers, rather than a department that manages technology.

ITSM – What is it? Introduction to IT Service Management

Why is ITSM important?

ITSM is important for many reasons. First, it helps the business run. It brings actionable IT insights to the business and helps it to make decisions. The efficient management of IT processes allows organizations to spend more time on strategic initiatives and less on troubleshooting. Second, it allows cost-saving by bringing a predictable performance. Third, it improves effectiveness by regulating processes and structuring the delivery and documentation. It brings alignment between the business and IT departments.

What is ITSM?

ITSM stands for Information Technology Service Management. It refers to all the activities performed by an organization to plan, deliver, operate and control the information technology (IT) services offered to employees. ITSM makes sure that the appropriate mix of people, processes and technology are in place to provide value.

How to use ITSM processes

ITSM processes also require a cultural change to implement. The customers or end-users need to see IT as a service provider and not like another department in their organization.

There are several things you should keep in mind when implementing ITSM processes. Below are the most important ones:

What are the ITSM processes?

To manage IT services, organizations must control performance and oversee problem resolution. These processes fall under several categories, primarily defined by “TIL.” They can also appear under other forms depending on the ITSM frameworks. The most common include:

Asset management

Services need hardware and software assets to operate. Asset management includes tracking, updating and mapping the assets to demonstrate their interactions. Two other processes handle the assets: capacity management and configuration management. They can be used as separate processes or be blended.

Change management

IT must verify if a service is not answering business expectations, and if it is the case, they must modify or suppress it. It defines how these modifications will impact service deployment before executing them. Then, IT controls if the adjustments have the effect they anticipated.

Project management

Release management

You can treat release management separately or group it with change management.

Problem management

Problem management aims to fix issues permanently and deliver a more performance-based service. It is the IT teams objective is to deal with the problem.

Incident management

The IT service desk is responsible for addressing performance issues, restoring the service in case of an outage and making improvements where needed. They should also create and update procedures to stop incidents from happening again.

Knowledge management

Knowledge management refers to avoiding duplications thanks to clear and accessible information about IT communicated by the company. It is included in all the ITSM processes.

Popular ITSM frameworks

Many different frameworks can be associated with ITSM. The purpose of each of these frameworks is to put together the right technologies, ITSM processes and staff to help the organization achieve its business objectives. Here are the most popular ITSM frameworks:


ITSM is usually associated with the service lifecycle outlined in ITIL v3. ITIL processes detail how to set a strategy, create a design, manage change, handle service operation and management and bring continual improvements to the service. The ITIL framework provides best practices to align IT with business needs.

ITIL v3 has five parts:

Six Sigma

The Six Sigma management framework is applied to many different disciplines. The framework recommends setting extremely high objectives, collecting data and carefully analyzing results as a way to reduce defects in products and services.

Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF)

MOF guides IT professionals through the processes of creating, implementing and managing efficient and cost-effective services. MOF provides guidelines for the entire lifecycle of an IT service, from its concept to replacement, like ITIL.


Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies, is a framework for developing, implementing, monitoring and improving IT governance and management practices

ISO 20000

ISO provides global standards like ISO 20000 that describes the requirements for an ITSM system.

What are the benefits of ITSM?

The benefits of ITSM are broken down into two categories: IT-specific and business level.

IT-specific ITSM benefits

ITSM benefits on the business level

The takeaway

It is essential first to define the problem you want to solve in your organization before applying ITSM. Once in place, ITSM has many advantages on the IT level as well as on the business level. ITSM help to increase the speed, cost-efficiency and effectiveness of IT service. ITSM reduces IT incidents and acts preventively too. Since it ensures IT is available and performing, ITSM enables employees to be productive. When the business evolves, ITSM modernizes technology without affecting work. ITSM enforces compliance with regulations and therefore reduces risk.

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