According to Gartner’s latest survey, 74% of technology investments are funded by business units outside of IT.
The increasing number of ‘business technologists’ means that every aspect of an organization is reliant on technology to carry out successful business operations. IT teams are therefore faced with the challenge of maintaining constantly evolving IT infrastructure to meet their organization’s day-to-day demands, especially during periods of growth and development.
In situations like this, how does your IT operations management strategy hold up? Can your framework scale and grow as your business evolves?
If you’re looking to give it a refresh, here are six tips on how you can improve your ITOM strategy.
1. Set your goals
Before you get started in developing any type of framework or process, it’s important to take a step back and set the goals you want to achieve with your ITOM strategy. New challenges can be thrown at any time requiring organizations to suddenly pivot their approach. In times like this, it’s natural that your goals and priorities for your IT operations also transform.
When looking to improve your current strategy, evaluate whether the initial goals you’ve set still reflect what you want to achieve. Consider how these align with your organization’s business goals and how your strategy can support them.
2. Be proactive in handling issues
Every day can be a new challenge when it comes to ITOM. It’s very easy to fall into the habit of being in the ‘firefighting’ mode when something goes wrong. But an effective strategy means being able to actively monitor and anticipate such issues to prevent them from happening in the first place. And if stopping them completely is not possible, you should plan how to decrease the impact should they occur.
When taking a proactive approach, it’s worth asking the following questions:
- What are some of the critical events we should look out for?
- How high of a priority are they?
- Who should they be assigned to if they occur?
- What’s causing them?
- How should we prepare for them?
- How do we communicate these and to who?
Consider these questions for different scenarios that you may have experienced in the past, like handling a server issue or downtime in the internal communication system. This will give you a better picture of what you have in place that’s already working and if not, what steps you could add to improve that aspect.
3. Automate your key processes
A lot of IT teams’ time can be lost in repetitive manual tasks. Automation can help alleviate this burden. By automating some of these tasks, you can help your IT team members focus on the more strategic aspects of their work. From implementing network configurations to managing devices, there are various areas of your ITOM process that you can automate.
For example, IFS assyst’s ITOM solution automatically monitors and adapts to any IT infrastructure changes as they happen, whether it’s a capacity, compliance, or security issue. By setting up workflows and automated alerts and notifications, you can create a seamless zero-touch IT operation process.
4. Evaluate your tools
Speaking of ITOM software, are your tools providing you with the support you need for your processes? Or are they actually silently slowing you down and blocking everyone from getting things done? Alongside assessing your current strategy, it’s worth checking if your current software is still fit for purpose and solving the problems you’re trying to fix. How well would they work with a new approach?
On the same lines, you should also consider how working on your strategy may impact your ITOM software investment. Outdated and inflexible systems often have additional costs for updates or necessary features are locked behind extra modules. Finding the right tools is paramount to executing a successful ITOM strategy, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank either. Considering these factors will help you determine the long-term health of your IT operations.
5. Track the right KPIs
As with any improvements you’re looking to make, it’s important that you can track the progress. You can set out the most stellar plan, but it won’t mean anything if you have no way of comparing its performance with how you were doing previously. While KPIs by themselves don’t give the full picture, they help you gain insights into where you might need to explore and look further.
Additionally, it’s vital that you track the right ones. This will largely depend on the goals you’ve set from tip #1. Do you want to improve application availability or performance? Or are you looking to decrease the time taken to resolve security incidents? After considering these, ensure you don’t have any duplicate metrics. There’s no need to be overwhelmed with data that will essentially tell you the same story.
Some examples of metrics to track are:
- Software load/render times
- Service availability and resolution speed
- Number and severity of production incidents in a certain period
- Number of batch SLAs met
Real-time monitoring and easy-to-set-up analytics dashboards available in some of the best ITOM software can make tracking these metrics simple.
6. Align ITOM with your ITSM strategy
If you want to take your ITOM strategy to the next level, think about how it aligns with your IT service management processes. ITSM focuses on enhancing the way organizations deliver IT services, while ITOM ensures that the infrastructure that helps deliver those services is in top form. ITOM and ITSM may be composed of different functions, but they share the goal of providing a consistent and efficient IT experience across the organization.
By evaluating them side-by-side, it’s a lot easier to pinpoint areas where the IT service experience feels disjointed or inconsistent.
For more tips on how to enhance the IT service experience, check out this free guide.
A smarter approach to IT Operations Management
Establishing an effective ITOM strategy isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s a continuous process that requires you to constantly evaluate the needs of the business as a whole and align them together.
IFS assyst helps modernize organizations’ IT operations through complete visibility, powerful analytics, and smart automation.