You will be hard pressed to find companies that do not use some type of IT services these days, as it is. From FMCG companies to Telecom giants and media companies, all are using IT related services in varying degrees. However, handling these services can become pretty tedious over time and the large sized companies find it all the more difficult to ensure things run as planned. To ensure various IT services run as expected and problems and malfunctions can be neutralized, these companies often resort to ITSM tools. Besides, ITSM framework usage ensures that diverse IT services can be aligned to meet specific goals of the companies.
Budgeting for the ITSM tool/framework
For everything related to business operations, it is necessary to set a budget. This is also applicable for any ITSM framework to be used for your business needs. For every company, it may not be possible to set a huge budget for buying and using an ITSM tool. Of course, you need to analyze the priorities for your business before investing in such an ITSM solution.
Getting ITSM solution on low budgets
If you have a startup and budget is modest, that does not mean you cannot use ITSM solutions. With proper planning, evaluation of business needs and comparison of available ITSM solutions, you can deploy ITSM without overstretching your budget.
- Hardware- Any ITSM tool you choose has provisions for managing hardware assets in workplace setup. However, hardware asset usage in business setups can vary drastically. You need to think what type of hardware setup is there in your company and what kind of changes in that setup are likely in next few years. Beyond doubt, buying and using hardware peripherals like monitor, networking devices, printers and projectors can lead to significant running cost. If a company has extensive hardware setup and the workflow relies a lot on usage of these devices, an ITSM tool with extensive hardware monitoring and asset tracking should be bought. However, in companies resorting to BYOD strategy- reliance on hardware will not be that high. If your company uses this model, there is no need to invest in a costly ITSM solution with features for extensive hardware maintenance and asset tracking etc.
- Software- Nearly any company using IT services has to use different types of software applications these days. Software licensing requires a certain amount of expenditure and maintenance and monitoring of software usage requires additional running cost. However, you can resort to using freeware or web based software with fewer features if those meet your business needs. When the software applications are light on resources and have fewer features, managing and monitoring their usage also becomes less of a headache! For example, if you do not need a fully fledged licensed office productivity suite, opt for a freeware online alternative like Google doc and sheets. That way, you need not spend a huge amount in ITSM tool with extensive software monitoring and handling capabilities. A basic ITSM solution with capability to monitor and manage free online software would fit your bill.
- Skilled and trained workforce- A lot depends on the workforce you hire for your company- as far as cost reduction is concerned. When you do not want to spend a large amount on running cost and ITSM tool, it is necessary to hire employees with apt skill set. For example, hiring freshers and training them to use ITSM tools and other IT services will not be cost effective from the employer’s perspective. However, if skilled employees with good knowledge of ITSM or with ITIL certification are hired, the employer does not need to spend much in training them. The latter type of employees will be able to apply their knowledge in ITSM to ensure the IT services in the organization are used in proper ways to align to company goals. This will prove to be cost effective for the company in long run.
- Diversification of Service desk and customer support-If you lack the money for investing in high profile ITSM solution for the organization, you can at least adopt steps to diversify and augment support options. This will ultimately prove to be effective in cutting down support related operational costs. You will also be able to evade customer dissatisfaction related problems.
Even if your budget is not high, offer multiple means for the customers to seek support and lodge their queries and grievances. Apart from email and telephonic ways, it is prudent that you offer social media platforms to let them contact your company’s support. Even entry level ITSM tools support these means nowadays.
- Outsourcing- If you have a startup and the budget for buying an ITSM tool is not huge, outsourcing some services can be a prudent idea. It can vary from one setup to another for sure and business priorities have to be analyzed well. You may not need a lot of printouts initially and like many companies, you may opt for a paperless setup. However, for small and occasional printing needs, you can seek services of a third party business printing service provider. That way, your IT team does not have to worry about aspects like printer device maintenance, tracking cartridge costs and maintenance and paper buying etc. You need not worry about getting printing done in time and in apt manner as well. This ensures your IT team gets fewer things to focus on.
- Shared assets- When the organization is not big and budget is a constraint, it is not necessary to get an ITSM framework with support for huge hardware setup, complex networking architecture and multi license software copies etc. In such situations, you can choose basic ITSM frameworks with limited support for software, hardware assets and other IT services. When the company is small and number of employees is also not huge, sharing assets makes sense. This way running cost can be controlled and operational complications can be evaded. In this stage, devices like printers and projectors can be shared between departments. Of course, the employees have to act responsibly and handle shared assets with additional care.
- Cloud services- A large number of IT companies and MNCs belonging to non-IT sectors are embarking Cloud services in an unprecedented way. However, the benefits of adopting Cloud services are not limited to those behemoths. Small and midsized businesses lacking budget for expensive ITSM tools can also benefit by using cloud services. Migrating to cloud service effectively brings down risks associated with IT infrastructure downtime.
To cut down on operational costs and simplify workflow in the organization, cloud based solutions are useful. Small organizations can use Cloud based services for data backup needs. The same is applicable for computer and device security. Since the cloud services are managed largely by the provider, the companies need to manage fewer things eventually.
Where it all leads to?
So, with proper planning and analysis of business priorities, it is possible to manage IT service related aspects even with an entry level ITSM solution. You have to understand the business goals well and seek low cost alternatives. The skill and expertise of your workforce also goes a long way in proper utilization of IT services.