Five Best Practices To Move on From a Legacy ITSM System


Talk of an imminent recession is compelling many companies to reconsider their current ITSM (IT service management) vendor with an eye to increasing productivity, eliminating features that they don’t need, and taking advantage of the most innovative products on the market. Cost savings might be triggering this process, but the best CIOs are also viewing today’s imperative for change as an opportunity for improvement, says Tim Lawes, senior manager of solutions consulting at SymphonyAI Summit.

CIOs think about three factors when comparing IT services and asset management: user interface, robust functionality, and affordability. Five lessons should guide them when considering how they should move on from their legacy ITSM as they prepare their risk management plans for a potential downturn.

1. Discuss the Customization Process

It’s no secret that every company is different. Each company, at least the ones with 2,000 employees or more, is arguably complex. They need a bespoke ITSM platform for their unique enterprise. Vendors who claim that changing ITSM platforms is like switching a light off and on are practicing a hard sell. They won’t be good partners when the rubber hits the road, especially since newly adopted ITSM systems require training, ironing out kinks, etcetera if they’re going to work optimally.

On the other hand, when an ITSM vendor maps out a comprehensive, realistic plan – say, three to six months for a company with 2,000 employees – you can rest assured that you’re dealing with an honest professional. How an ITSM provider discusses the customization and transition process is the most important tell of whether they have their clients’ best interests in mind and whether they will stick by you until your platform is functioning smoothly in the shortest possible period of time.

Your ITSM platform is the nervous system of your company. It’s unique and complicated. A seasoned vendor’s team can integrate their ITSM solution into your operations within a realistic window that befits such an important partnership.

See More: The Absolute Must-haves for Software Development Teams

2. Find Out If a Virtual Assistant Is Available

ITSM platforms must adapt to complex companies’ operations and cultures. But companies are also looking for ITSM innovations that will inaugurate digital transformations. AI-driven virtual assistants hold that promise.

People don’t need to help workers figure out where they might pick up a computer, report a non-urgent technical issue, figure out the Wi-Fi in a common meeting space, download a work document, and do other tasks. But people also don’t need to spend hours sifting through their company’s intranet to find that information or accomplish those tasks either. They want to speak to someone (or something) and get what they need fast. Virtual assistants split the difference between the CIO’s resources and the way people most comfortably work.

Today, AI provides excellent support for a variety of ITSM functions via virtual assistants. They offer perhaps the most return after moving on from a legacy vendor. Because of the remarkable advancements in AI, virtual assistants can perform seamlessly with people, too, so that even the most tech-skeptical workers will find themselves unconsciously turning to their virtual assistants to get things done fast.

3. Question How Your Data Will Be Protected

Among the CIO’s most important responsibilities is protecting the company’s data. They need to defend their proprietary information from cyber threats. They must protect their personnel’s privacy. They need to follow regulations for all of the above. That means they must question new ITSM vendors vigorously on all these subjects, especially if they are in highly regulated industries like banking and finance, education, and healthcare.

Today, AI provides the gold-standard protection for these concerns because AI most efficiently learns and deploys safeguards based on the workflows where it operates, improving over time. 

ITSM vendors’ platforms shouldn’t be commingling one client’s data with another. When moving from a legacy ITSM platform, CIOs must ask how a new vendor will cordon off their data from that of other clients. If they can’t provide a quick and easy response, seriously reconsider working with them. The potential risks that commingled data present are not worth the cost savings or other benefits that overeager vendor sales representatives might proffer.

4. Ask About the Interoperability

Most companies don’t create their tech stacks as much as they allow them to grow year after year. As a result, they have numerous applications serving different users for different purposes. Some ITSM systems can replace these discreet tools, delivering improvements that boost productivity, save resources and, hopefully, unlock new capabilities. But sometimes that’s not possible. Companies need an ITSM solution that can interoperate with these diverse applications.

Companies have different applications for human resources, internal message boards, document archives, and asset management. Universities have different applications for coursework, grading, and flagging students in need of academic or other counseling. Financial institutions have myriad applications for customer-facing retail, back-office operations, research and analysis, and other functions.

CIOs need to ask ITSM vendors two obvious questions and one vital question: 

  • How much of our tech stack can you merge and combine into your single platform? 
  • How much better will your solution perform than my current solutions? 
  • Will your ITSM interoperate with the applications that you can’t replace? If the answer to the third question is no, the answers to the first two don’t really make much of a difference.

5. Look Out for Hidden Costs

CIOs can best judge how much they should spend on an ITSM platform, of course. They should keep in mind, however, that their final costs might not comply with their projections. CIOs often grow resentful when they discover that their new ITSM platforms contain loads of hidden, unused features that effectively are a waste of money.

Consider how some ITSM services require specialized teams to function. There’s no point in deploying a solution that is really only effective if someone is monitoring and maintaining it. Yet CIOs frequently find themselves in the position of having believed they could use bells and whistles that ultimately become irrelevant to their day-to-day operations.

The best approach to forestalling this pitfall is to enter negotiations with a vendor assuming they will oversell. Aggressively scrutinize every feature. Ask if special teams are necessary to maximize their utility. One can always go back and add. Accepting everything carte blanche, however, is a recipe for disaster.

This final lesson brings us right back to customization. An upstanding vendor will welcome these queries. It’s how they figure out what you need. They’re not interested in overselling. They’re taking the long view. They, too, want partnerships that last.

Are you looking beyond your legacy ITSM options? What are your considerations for an upgrade? Share with us on  FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!

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