Information technology service management (ITSM) is the implementation, regulation, management, and delivery of IT services, policies, and procedures within a company. This includes everything from planning, creating, delivering, and supporting IT service requests.
ITSM practices are how IT teams manage the end-to-end delivery of services to the client and are critical to the customer journey and operational efficiencies within the business. ITSM can also have an impact on the employee experience, as redundant tasks are automated and workflow is streamlined.
In addition, ITSM tools can also include features for
- Problem Management and Incident Management: Find solutions to decrease downtime and prevent incidents before they happen as well as incident management tools to help streamline the process when they do.
- Ticketing Tool: Track solutions and assign work based on specialties or technical experience, and observe trends in the scope of work.
- IT Service Model-Ready: Use existing models of best practices to guide your processes with built-in IT service management and problem management models.
- Asset Management: Track and manage physical devices and add-ons throughout their life cycle.
- License Management: View license requirements and manage updates, and be informed on upcoming changes or renewals.
Trends in ITSM
ITSM creates structure and a process-based approach to service management for all organizations. The focus on trends for managing IT operations has shifted from fixing short-term solutions for the hybrid workplace to automation and future thinking process improvement. The following top forward-looking ITSM trends are worth noting.
AIOps leading automation
Artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) combines AI with machine learning, analytics, and data science to quickly identify and flag IT operational issues for resolution. A detailed breakdown of data helps identify the root cause of issues and supports the automation of problem incident response. The result will be a reduction in labor needs and costs as well as sheer number of tickets raised by the hybrid and remote workforce.
A change in terminology
ITSM will phase out and will soon be called enterprise service management (ESM) or just service management. This trend will be a single source of truth tool for organizations that taps into multiple sources of data and provides a better view into operations across the organization.
Analytics will continue to further permeate all aspects of ITSM, including incident, problem, change, release, and request. In particular, business analytics and analysis from multiple sources will grow.
Best ITSM Tools
When choosing an ITSM tool, it’s important to consider its use case for your business’s needs. With that in mind, ITSM tools span three different categories: enterprise ITSM software, scalable solutions, and security solutions.
Enterprise-level companies have complex needs when it comes to IT software and IT service management, whether it be provisioning devices and servers for a global workforce or maintaining or looking for ways to automate processes.
SLA (service-level agreement) performance must be achieved across a variety of cloud and on-premises apps, and companies must ensure change management is supported. In larger organizations, knowledge management and the need for technology tools to support an up-to-date knowledge base also comes into play.
These ITSM tools will help mitigate some of the IT department’s stress and become a tool that supports success for enterprise-level service management.
A leader in the ITSM market for the better part of a decade, ServiceNow is a cloud platform that smartly centralizes the management of all IT processes and markets their service desk tool on the basis of ease of use for setup, business process building, and customer use.
The service management tool offers built-in ITIL processes to help you get started and visual task boards let your team stay productive without a lot of workflow reorganization. Automation features also help your team automate repetitive tasks to free up time for more difficult problems with a streamlined workflow. In addition, an online user portal allows customers and end users to contact and request service delivery easily and gets you the information you need on the front end.
With its suite of robust features, ServiceNow is best suited for mid-sized and large organizations interested in the flexibility of one of three packages and costing options: ITSM, ITSM Professional, and ITSM Enterprise.
BMC Helix ITSM solution is a multicloud-capable integration tool that employs mobile-first design to give IT departments access to their service management workflows from any device. You can use one of the 90 built-in reports to monitor issues related to service management and communicate with staff.
Moreover, Remedy is a full ITSM tool that includes other BMC products like the self-service portals MyIT self-service desk, and Atrium CMBD life cycle planning. It also has a one-click self-service for all devices.
Due to its integration capabilities, BMC Remedy can be well-suited for small to large businesses that need remote mobile access for teams who need a service desk in multiple locations.
ITSM scalable solutions
In this category, you’ll find ITSM tools that are suitable for small and growing businesses, but also designed to be a solution as they scale for future growth.
SolarWinds Service Desk
Previously the Samanage service platform, SolarWinds Service Desk gives business and teams of all sizes tools to build an IT service management system, with pricing that’s great for small businesses and scales to the enterprise level.
SolarWinds Service Desk helps IT departments automate service management throughout the organization in over 150 ways. Users can gain insight into problems and service levels related to the service desk to increase efficiency across their whole environment as well as improve customer satisfaction.
In addition, this incident service management tool helps consolidate, manage, and prioritize incoming tickets with a focus on the end-user, and the service desk catalog standardizes service requests and fulfillment processes.
Ivanti provides small to large businesses ITSM tools with flexible options, including on-premises and software as a service (SaaS). Codeless integration means your service management software can connect with other applications and upgrade automatically without diverting resources from your IT department.
Ivanti also includes IT service management and asset knowledge management, so teams can track and improve processes related to their knowledge base, asset management, and upgrades. The system uses the same code between cloud and on-premises versions, which makes it easy to switch between configurations.
Formally, Cherwell® Service Management software,, Ivanti acquired Cherwell and their Service Management tool in early 2021 for the enhancement of service activities across organizations — expanding beyond IT into HR, Facilities, Information Security and Project Management.
The acquisition cemented Ivanti’s position as the only enterprise service management vendor to offer end-to-end service and asset management from IT to lines of business and from every endpoint to the IoT edge.
Spiceworks offers software for help desk, mobile help desk, inventory, and network monitoring for IT departments. You can download these tools individually to build an interconnected ITSM framework for collaborative and tighter control of IT incidents and tasks.
If you have several third-party apps running for your IT department, this software can connect through APIs to integrate the whole system. IT support agents also have the ability to discover the devices on your network automatically with the help of Spiceworks IP Scanner.
With scalable pricing options, any business can begin their ITSM processes at no cost and choose from several annual pay options as they grow.
ITSM for security
These ITSM tool vendors were built with information security in mind. Whether it’s the safe transfer of data between systems, backing up data across your company, knowledge management, or blocking outside threats, these tools are designed to keep your IT environment secure and support machine learning and the data-centric organization.
Symantec has long been a leader in internet security, and they bring this same approach to their ITSM tool. As such, they are suited for enterprises that seek to effectively manage their endpoints with a customizable tool.
Enterprises can use this software for patch management, asset management, knowledge management, and software license management for Windows and Mac devices across your entire company. In addition, asset management tools include device discovery and license management to help you understand and improve the devices on your network.
Autotask is a unified IT business platform best suited for small businesses that need access to a service desk, project management, document management, account management, time tracking, billing, contracts, resource management, asset management, account management, inventory, procurement, and reporting. All of this is provided as a cloud service with 99.99% promised uptime.
You can access customer relationship management (CRM), service desk, time and billing, and reports all from the same system. Moreover, the remote mobile service management feature gives you visibility into the service desk and service delivery on all devices in your network, and the Autotask Endpoint Backup provides backup security for your team.
SysAid’s all-in-one service management and help desk software tool is designed to give users and customers or end users access to services with a lower barrier to entry. As such, it allows small to large businesses looking for an all-encompassing service management and help desk option the flexibility to choose between a-la-carte pricing options and tiered plans.
With SysAid, you can benefit from asset management for your hardware, software, and mobile assets. In addition, the Help Desk tool gives customers a self-service portal with a knowledge base, while ticketing and automation features move service providers more quickly toward a solution for streamlined IT service management—a complete incident management experience from logging to resolution. This ITSM tool is also built on ITIL and ITIL v3 methods and includes capabilities for service desk problem management, mobile device management, and workflows.
The ITSM tool space is vast and evolving, and finding the right solution for your organization can seem daunting. ITSM software tools are designed to improve efficiency and productivity and help manage all IT project management and responsibilities throughout the entire life cycle of technology used by an organization.
If you want to be scalable while increasing efficiency and be proactive in how you provide services and tackle issues without disrupting productivity, then ITSM software is a necessary asset.
Take stock of your current needs and processes including total cost of ownership, integration and automation needs, and your plans for expansion when deciding which features you need now and what you can evolve into later, so you can choose an ITSM solution based on the current actual value of your department as it stands today.