Reduce the length, complexity and cost of installation, integration, maintenance and upgrades

We’ve been talking about the need to simplify ITSM to meet consumer expectations and add more business value. Hornbill offers four strategies for doing this. Here I would like to focus on the first, which is about simplifying the acquisition, ownership and ongoing maintenance of your ITSM solution.

Traditional ITSM solutions typically involve time-consuming and costly installation, integration, maintenance and upgrade cycles. These cycles can be a nightmare to manage. They also make it hard for service desk teams and end-users to take advantage of new functionality.

Too often, as we saw last time, companies get stuck with an out-of-date version because they have customized their solution and now find that the time, resources and costs associated with moving the customizations forward mean it is not practical to upgrade. Even abandoning the customizations may not make it much easier.

This situation can be avoided with a next-generation ITSM solution, provided you find one with the right characteristics. There are two main things to look for when talking to prospective suppliers:

Reduced lifetime cost. When exploring a new tool, seek an accurate picture of the costs involved in activities such as implementation, training, maintenance, administration and (for an on-premise solution) managing hardware and the associated software stack. Are any implementation activities provided free of charge? What will be the ongoing cost to train service desk agents to use the solution? Also quantify the costs of upgrading, including moving customizations forward to take advantage of future releases. How will license or subscription costs change over time? – in the case of SaaS, will the vendor cap SaaS subscription costs at the current level for the duration of your subscription?

Upgrades with minimal effort. As well as the cost, consider the effort involved in upgrades. Estimate the complexity of change: For example, how easy is it for you to deploy extra applications to run alongside your main service desk app? Modern applications should now be installed in a matter of seconds via a single click within an “app store”, and be intuitive enough that staff can begin using them immediately. Adding applications shouldn’t take weeks, or involve expensive consulting resources or training requirements.

It’s worth taking the trouble to find the right solution, because once you do, you can be confident that you are always on the latest version and that problems are fixed before you are even aware of them. You’ll be able to take advantage of new functionality as soon as it becomes available. You’ll eliminate the time, cost and frustration of moving to new versions, since upgrades are seamless and retain all previous customizations. In addition, you can upgrade without an administrator, significantly reducing cost of ownership.

In my next post, I’ll look at another important strategy – that of reducing process complexity.

To find out more, download the Smart Guide: Simplifying the Challenges Modern ITSM


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