We all need help at one point or another, especially in businesses that require better management to stay ahead of demands. Although IT organizations might recognize their shortcomings in their business goals, it could prove challenging to implement practices to boost overall performance. As such, the expertise of ITOM professionals is vital for service management and effective IT operations. In this article, we’ll take a holistic view of how information technology procedures and IT operations management best practices give businesses the magic touch they need to be at their best. Let’s get started.
Understanding IT Operations Management
IT operations management is a critical component of any successful business. The IT operations (ITOPS) team is the eye that sees the unseen to ensure that all hardware and software are kept functional throughout an organization. They use proven strategies and best practices to ensure IT systems are reliable, secure, and productive. Let’s take a closer look at how it’s done.
Defining IT Operations Management
IT operations management controls all business information and technology components to provide an efficient and cost-effective approach to its day-to-day operations. With practices like incident management, data management, infrastructure management, and capacity planning, ITOPS teams ensure the continuous improvement of an enterprise.
Importance of IT Operations Management
Businesses that adopt operations management practices stand to gain a competitive advantage compared with many organizations without operations teams. We’ll outline the importance of operations management best practices for an organization’s productivity.
- ITOM ensures a business’s services’ stability and availability by handling core service areas like event management, server management, incident response, and cloud services.
- IT operations best practices streamline the efforts of the operations department of an organization by reducing manual labor to focus more on productive activities.
- IT management teams introduce new technologies that help a company get more work done quickly.
The Benefits of Implementing ITOM Best Practices
ITOM best practices use vital analytics, project management, and monitoring tools to deal with a business’s challenges in its IT operations. One of the benefits of these practices is that they increase the security of a business’s IT operations. The workflow significantly improves with real-time monitoring of potential security breaches and prompt resolution of server downtime.
Every business wants to provide value while reducing overhead costs to the barest minimum. This result can be achieved by providing adequate IT operations and infrastructure. Now that you know the benefits of ITOM for your business, what exactly are these best practices?
Optimize and Automate Processes
This practice first includes the identification of inefficient business processes. Next, automated frameworks are implemented to fix these challenges and ensure increased work output while saving time and energy.
Importance of Process Optimization
Process optimization helps businesses understand the measures they must implement for higher efficiency and consistency. It also ensures an organization has better communication and collaboration to ease its workflow.
Automation Tools and Techniques
Automating a business’s procedures is only possible because professional operations managers leverage techniques and tools to ease the process. Let’s briefly examine some of them.
- SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers) Diagrams: It’s challenging to make good decisions if you do not have a clear picture of an organization’s planning process. SIPOC diagrams allow professional IT managers to map how a goal will be accomplished from start to finish before beginning the actual work.
- Self-service Portals: A successful business leaves users satisfied. What better way to meet customers’ needs than knowing and resolving their challenges? With a self-help portal, end-users quickly get the help and answers they need.
- Software Platforms: There’s much fluidity that comes with having a centralized view of how your business is performing. With features like application monitoring and dashboards, software platforms make it easy to monitor a business’s productivity automatically.
Streamline Ticket Management
Technical issues are almost inevitable when it comes to IT operations. As such, streamlining ticket control is crucial to an IT organization’s operation and growth.
Importance of Ticket Management
Ticket management includes recording, controlling, and resolving IT incidents to ensure smooth operations. If this process is handled correctly, it reduces a company’s downtime because issues are promptly addressed. Furthermore, ticket management ensures that recurring problems are decisively resolved so they don’t happen again.
Effective Ticket Management Strategies
Every business should have a straightforward process for planning to handle tickets properly. Below are practical tips and strategies that an organization can adopt to set itself apart from competitors.
- Define an issue-resolution workflow through tickets.
- Categorize the tickets according to urgency and impact.
- Use automated software like chatbots and ticketing systems to simplify some processes.
- Use service level agreements (SLAs) with clearly defined response times and escalation paths.
- Get feedback to improve the effectiveness of the ticket management process.
Collaborate for Better Operations Management
Steve Jobs once said, “One person never does great things in business; a team of people does them.” That’s a timeless truth. An organization that must move forward has to take team collaboration seriously.
The Power of Collaboration
Collaboration makes it easy for individuals in an organization to work together to reach a common goal. This practice allows people to share their knowledge and opinions openly. Furthermore, mutual accountability ensures no one falls behind in accomplishing the business objectives.
Collaboration Tools and Techniques
Seamless interaction and collaboration are indispensable if an IT operation must yield the expected results. Thankfully, some available tools and techniques make group work possible.
- Chat apps and project management apps like Slack and Asana make it easy for team members to brainstorm ideas and assign tasks to individuals.
- A file-sharing app like Google Docs provides visibility to track real-time progress on projects or reports.
- The use of automated workflow tools also ensures prompt responses to situations.
Implement Efficient Access Management
Access management is the managing and monitoring of individuals with access to a company’s systems, data, and resources. Unauthorized access to specific information in a business is a security breach and must be prevented at all costs.
Importance of Access Management
Access management ensures that users have secure access to data and other resources. To protect its integrity, a business must ensure that sensitive information is unavailable to unauthorized people.
Effective Access Management Strategies
Effective access control is made up of the following steps:
- User management
- Prevention of unauthorized access
Overcoming IT Operations Management Challenges
Managing the daily activities of an organization to achieve the desired results comes with some challenges. However, if you are aware of potential issues that can happen, you can prepare to deal with them or even avoid them altogether.
Common Challenges in IT Operations Management
IT businesses usually face challenges from time to time. And the truth is that despite these difficulties, they must overcome them to remain relevant in the competitive market. There are many challenges, but we’ll examine the three common ones.
- Security Management and Compliance: A vulnerable IT security system is concerning because an organization is exposed to both internal and external risks. Also, IT operations must comply with the relevant laws, policies, regulations, and standards.
- Change in Innovation: In a world of dynamic and fast-paced technology, IT companies must find a way to adapt to change.
- Upholding Business Goals: An IT operation that doesn’t help a business accomplish its goals and objectives is practically useless. As such, it’s always difficult to align IT operations to meet the business’s needs, outcomes, and expectations.
Strategies to Overcome Challenges
Despite the different struggles that a business’s IT operations might face, the good news is that there are strategies that can be adopted to overcome them. Let’s check out some of these strategies.
Investment In Technology
Aligning IT Operations with Business Strategy
The Role of IT Operations in Business Strategy
When a business merges its strategy with IT operations, it is well on the path to becoming the best version of itself. Here are the benefits to expect when IT management aligns with business goals:
- Effective time management and use of IT resources, which leads to an even more significant increase in ROI
- Planning, adjustment, and collaboration are necessary to improve different areas of the business.
- Identification of the actual cost of incidents
- Improved user experience.
Best Practices for Aligning IT Operations with Business Strategy
- Objectively evaluate areas of your organization that need improvement.
- Improve communication between different departments in the company so everyone pursues similar goals.
- Establish effective communication between IT professionals and business leaders.
- Have metrics to monitor the success of the business-IT efforts put in so far.
Challenges are an eye-opener to the state of your business, and they can be harnessed for good. Instead of getting discouraged when you face difficulties with the growth of your enterprise, implement these six proven best ITOM practices to get back on track. Once you get your IT operations management right, your business will return to peak performance in no time!