The IT Operations Management (ITOM) sector is an exciting and fast-paced industry that continues to grow in size and importance. With the increasing dependence on technology, it is more important than ever for businesses to implement sound practices to manage their IT Infrastructure.
This blog post will discuss some of the best practices in this field, focusing on how they can be applied within your business.
What is IT Operations Management ITOM?
To begin, IT Operations Management encompasses the tools, technologies, and processes used to monitor day-to-day IT functions.
As businesses become more dependent on technology, it is crucial that companies have a reliable way of managing their existing infrastructure and ensuring there are no future problems with network integrity or security.
Which Functions are in IT Operations Management?
As businesses grow and expand, so does their technology. IT teams are responsible for the day-to-day operations of their company's technology.
This includes everything from mobile devices to servers, telephones, networks, desk services, and more. IT Operations Management serves as a way for companies to ensure that their technology is maintained, secure, and up-to-date.
To this extent, IT executives and technology experts carry out management duties in three key service areas:
1. IT Infrastructure and Network Operations
External and internal communications, data storage, and data management for the organization are all covered by the IT network infrastructure. The following are some examples of activities that fall under this category:
- Preventative and corrective maintenance for servers, workstations, laptops, printers, or any other equipment that is related to the IT infrastructure
- A secure network structure with an appropriate level of access control
- Ensuring that the necessary tools, applications, and systems are available for employees to carry out their work duties
- Resolving any service issues related to network resources
2. IT Help Desk Services
IT help desk services are used to resolve any service-related issues that may occur within the organization. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Resolving basic desktop support problems (e.g., installation of new software or hardware)
- Providing technical assistance for employees with computer use questions/issues
- Scheduling IT maintenance and repairs
- Answering basic security questions related to the network or data storage
- Troubleshooting network outages
- Backup management
3. Device and Server Management
IT operations teams are often in charge of network endpoints, such as servers and organization-approved devices, in addition to managing the network infrastructure throughout the company. The following are some of the duties performed by IT operations managers :
- Server and endpoint management (e.g., patching, updates, etc.)
- Provisioning of new devices or servers within the organization
- Installation/configuration support for software applications on company-managed endpoints
- Ensuring that all necessary data is backed up regularly, so there are no disruptions in productivity due to downtime or other issues
- Automation tools such as configuration management databases (CMDBs) to help with the organization and visibility of IT assets
- Capacity planning for maximum efficiency in power usage or server space utilization
- Security monitoring systems to prevent unauthorized access to data or network resources
What are some best practices in ITOM?
Today, businesses can no longer survive under the old ad hoc model of only calling IT when something goes wrong. Moving toward best practices in IT operations, it begins with adopting an active monitoring and maintenance strategy.
Implementing the right tools, technologies, and processes is critical for helping IT operations managers stay top of their game.
A few best practices in operations management ITOM include:
Create Smart Goals
To reduce the time spent on fixing problems, it is important that companies establish specific business goals for their teams.
By setting achievable targets and having a clear idea of what needs to be done, your company can find the right balance between productivity and ensuring business success and customer satisfaction.
Automated ITOM Processes
Automation is key to ensuring that IT operations teams can handle large amounts of data and tasks quickly. Using dynamic ITOM tools to automate processes helps ensure that tasks are completed accurately and on time.
By creating an automated workflow, you will be able to react quickly when issues occur instead of wasting time troubleshooting different programs yourself.
Improving Internal and External Communications
Another key aspect of IT organizations is ensuring that there are clear, concise internal and external communications. One way to improve communication between teams within your organization is by creating a service catalog or knowledge base where users can find information about different processes, such as installing new software on their devices or even a step-by-step guide on how to troubleshoot simple network issues.
Maintaining proper documentation about each step involved in the management process allows teams across your organization to provide seamless service delivery.
When it comes to technology, upgrading is a never-ending process, and ensuring that your servers are operating at their maximum capacity can be challenging.
However, planning for these changes will allow you to make adjustments as needed without wasting time or money on unnecessary upgrades.
Maintaining Service Quality
Quality assurance is an important part of any business, especially when it comes to your internal systems. By prioritizing certain projects over others, you can ensure that all functions work together effectively and efficiently without sacrificing quality for cost-effectiveness.
Capacity planning ensures that your company always has the resources needed to complete tasks, whether they're simple or complex in nature. This is actually one of the most popular ITOM services provided by third parties.
Many companies will sell their software as a capacity management platform rather than focusing exclusively on monitoring tools since it allows them to offer more comprehensive solutions for less money overall (since there's no need for separate configuration management databases).
By using operations management software, facility management becomes more accessible and more efficient. You can keep track of all equipment in the company, such as elevators or heating/cooling systems so that there are no disruptions or service outages for office productivity.
Data Center Management
Data centers need constant monitoring since they hold all information about a business's customers and employees alike. Without this connection between networks, servers, and storage devices, businesses would not run effectively at all.
This includes checking power usage levels within each data center to ensure that they operate at maximum efficiency.
Events refer to any kind of notification generated by your ITOM software, including updates about new security patches, hardware problems, disk space warnings, and more.
When businesses have an effective event management system in place, employees will be able to finish tasks faster since there's no need for constant monitoring or manual workarounds when something fails unexpectedly.
Keeping your business secure is one of the most important aspects in ITOM. This includes making sure that all devices are protected, firewall rules are updated regularly, and employees know how to handle potential threats when they arise.
Businesses rely heavily on their networks for day-to-day operations, which means it's crucial to make sure that everything can run smoothly at any time without disruptions or failures.
Network availability monitoring tools will ensure that there's always enough bandwidth available for different tasks while also preventing unauthorized users from accessing information that might otherwise be compromised if not properly monitored.
What are the Advantages of ITOM Best Practices?
By implementing IT tools and ITOM processes into your business, managing costs are reduced. You can ensure that your entire team is always working towards a unified goal instead of wasting time playing catch-up when an issue arises.
Furthermore, this will allow businesses to be more efficient while increasing productivity throughout the company. It should also help promote teamwork across all departments as everyone involved becomes aware of contributing to each activity's overall success or failure.
By following IT Operations Management Best Practices within your organization, it's more likely that you'll see an increase in revenue due to faster problem resolution times and streamlined efficiency in day-to-day management activities.
How Does This Benefit My Business?
Having dedicated IT, teams can provide numerous benefits for any organization, be it large or small. Some advantages of this include:
- Improved communication throughout different departments within your company due to better documentation about what needs to be done and who is responsible for specific tasks. By having more visibility into where time should be spent, teams across your entire business become more productive while also increasing awareness regarding regular problems (i.e., servers crashing).
- Better decision-making due to improved data availability; companies with an operations department will reduce the amount of time required to resolve issues since they will have a dedicated team administering network infrastructure issues as soon as they occur.
- More streamlined workflows due to constant feedback from the IT Operations Management and operational analytics tools regarding availability, performance, and security status of all infrastructure within your company. This allows businesses to easily spot any changes in usage patterns, which can indicate problems before they become widespread enough for employees or customers to complain about them.
Which IT Operations Management Tools Should I Use?
While multiple tools can be used throughout the day-to-day operations of your company, some options to consider include:Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs)
CMDBs help with the organization and visibility of IT assets within an infrastructure. These programs store information about all hardware components, which includes model names, serial numbers, and location data, so you don't have to spend hours looking through paperwork every time something needs replacing - this way, everyone in your company knows exactly where to find a certain piece of equipment when it's needed.
Event Management Tools
These programs help IT personnel track problems that occur regularly and/or are related to the same underlying problem (i.e., power supply failures). Using these, employees won't have to waste time figuring out what went wrong since everything is already documented in an easy-to-read format for all teams within your company. Some examples of event management tools include Zenoss, Spiceworks, and Nagios.
Service Desk Software
This type of ITOM platform allows employees who work from home to obtain remote access to cloud resources and other digital tools. Consequently, it enables them to connect with other team members to deal with any issues that may arise while coordinating data transfer and file sharing.
Web-based Help Desk Software
This type of service allows for improved communication between employees and customers by offering a dashboard that includes the status, severity, priority level, etc., about any issue that may arise in real-time.
This makes it easy for users to see exactly what's going on and how it may be affecting their workflow. Consequently, there are no surprises or confusion regarding who is responsible for fixing a problem within a specific timeframe.
By utilizing this ITOM best practice approach, you can decrease your company's operating costs and improve customer satisfaction by providing the best possible service.
What Does This Mean For My Employees?
Depending on where your business falls within the industry spectrum, having an IT operations team can provide many benefits for everyone working in your company and not just for managers who need quick access to data anytime they wish but also for other relevant teams.
Here are some of the key benefits employees can expect to experience by working within a company that has adopted an IT Operations Management approach:
- Increased productivity since employees won't waste hours trying different ways of solving a problem through trial and error; instead, they'll have all of the information needed at their fingertips.
- Ability to better communicate with other team members when it comes time for implementing new software or hardware, thus increasing efficiency across different departments within your company.
- Easier access to data collected through event managers can help reduce downtime and decrease labor costs now that problem areas will be identified quicker than before. Additionally, it will also prevent issues from occurring in the first place by using programs that use preventative measures against power supply failures/hardware malfunctions, etc., rather than just trying to fix problems after they've occurred without any foresight into what could go wrong next time around.
What is the Difference Between IT Service Management and IT Operations Management?
IT Service Management is about maintaining an IT environment, whereas IT Operations management deals with day-to-day operations of tasks related to the entire company's overall success.
Finally, as we can see, by adhering to IT operations management ITOM best practices, you will be able to keep up with industry standards since you'll always have the resources necessary for staying competitive within your market, aiding employees' personal growth as well as boosting productivity and efficiency like never before and contributing significantly to further organizational development.
These are important factors that many companies overlook when they don't think about what benefits their employees will see from implementing operations management ITOM best practices into the company culture. Still, it's important to keep in mind that these changes can greatly impact your business for the better and help set it apart from the rest of your competition.