ITSM - Information Technology Service ManagementOct 30, 2016
A few years back, I wrote an article on ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and I even interviewed an expert on the subject. ITIL has always been thought of as the best practice library for big corporations, but it is folks like myself who are trying to pull that curtain down all the way to the floor, as it were. We think that what ITIL has to offer is of great value to any size organization that intends to sell and deliver IT services.
I personally feel very strongly that if the best practices called out by ITIL can be interpreted correctly and translated or right-sized for smaller organizations, those organizations will, in fact, have a significant competitive advantage over the others in their market. It will also go a long way toward protecting the small IT service operations against the threat of substitution when larger companies come in trying to take their clients.
Consider these two things.
One: We already know that computer manufacturers are trying to figure out how to plug the end user right into the helpdesk and other IT services they need to be productive once they've bought the new PC. In addition, we also know that copier and printer companies are trying to move into the IT service industry. Each of these vendors has a unique opportunity in that they already have a relationship with the customer; all they need is to show they can provide IT related service with value. They have all been looking for the best way to package and provide the services as a value proposition and all have come to the same conclusion - Managed IT Services is the way to go.
Two: When these infiltrators of your market began looking for the model to follow for packaging, selling, and delivering these IT services, who did they look to? Did they look downward at the medium, small, and micro businesses providing these services? Obviously not. For the tools, methods, and best practices of what to deliver and how to do it efficiently, they looked upward to ITIL. For the agreements and sales methods, they looked to the same place the pioneers of the modern Managed Services Provider looked - the business machine vendors.
ITIL dictates that the proper care of IT requires a complete solution from the wall outlet to the Internet Service Provider and everything in between, and Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is the model. If you look closely at the tools being developed for use by even small IT service providers, you will see signs of ITIL creeping in. Asset Lifecycle Management, Change Management, Service Catalog, and so on.
So the big question then is this: If endearing to the concepts of ITIL and ITSM is good for the bigger companies trying to move in on your territory, why is it not good for you? If you're a smaller IT service provider and you've ever wondered what you should or should not be offering and how, the answer is right here. You should be offering all of these services and at a monthly or annual fee. You can sell them as all inclusive or cafeteria style, as long as you offer them all.
If you look at the big wheel of ITSM and you think there are pieces you cannot handle or don't understand, consider this: Most small IT service companies attempt to provide most of these services out of an internal understanding of their necessity. ITIL and ITSM just make order out of the chaos. If there are components you cannot currently do, you outsource them.
I know that if you learn just a little bit about ITL and ITSM and you design your offerings accordingly, you will have a competitive advantage that your customers will find of value. And when the big companies come knocking, your customers will know they are completely taken care of. Get the advantage, get inoculated against big business pushing in, get into ITSM.
Side note: I've started a new endeavor intended specifically to educate IT service providers about ITSM and service delivery in general. I've started it because I want to help small businesses be the best they can be. The site is up but not ready just yet for visitors, so bookmark the page and check it often: https://MSPProAcademy.com/. Also, look for more information in upcoming blogs and in my newsletter.
More to come... :)
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