The Ultimate ITSM Glossary
April 04, 2018

Vaishali Gopi
Freshworks

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ITSM is becoming increasingly popular, not just within the IT industry but elsewhere as well. ITSM has applications in various industries and processes and can help improve overall functioning of various kinds of organizations.

If you are new to ITSM and want to know some of the important terms associated with it, here is a quick guide to help you with the basics.

What is ITSM?

ITSM, or Information technology Service Management, or IT Service Management, is an approach to managing various IT services, processes, and activities to ensure service delivery to customers. It is a customer-centric approach that focuses on handling customer requests, requirements, and complaints such that there is timely delivery of quality IT services.

The idea of using ITSM is to ensure minimum downtime and a high level of customer satisfaction, which it does by ensuring optimum utilization of organizational resources. There are a number of ITSM software and tools that help perform various activities and implement processes as part of service delivery in the IT service industry.

Ultimate ITSM Glossary of Terms

These are some of the most important terms you need to know when working with ITSM, especially as a provider of services.

1. ITIL: It stands for IT Infrastructure Library, and is a framework for implementing and using ITSM. It is, in a way, a best practices guide for the various service delivery processes and activities. ITIL is often used synonymously with ITSM, although it is incorrect usage to use these terms interchangeably.

2. Service desk / help desk: This is possibly one of the most important and basic aspects of ITSM implementation. A service desk is a sort of central operations center for managing personnel, requests, complaints, and general day-to-day functioning of IT services. A service relationship management system (SRMS) is an ITSM tool that ensures efficient management of service requests, from generation till fulfilment. SRMS can be used for internal as well as external service request management by organizations.

3. Service lifecycle management: Lifecycle of a service includes need identification, modeling and development, publishing in a service catalogue, collection of feedback from customers and end users, and evaluation of all the acquired data for continuous improvement, refinement, and growth. Processes and activities need to be well coordinated for every service through its lifecycle to ensure smooth functioning of the service and a high level of customer satisfaction.

4. BRM: It stands for Business Relationship Management and refers to building and maintaining good relations with customers. In any service organization, and IT service providers are no exception, one of the most important aspects of business is to ensure prompt customer communication and good relationships with customers.

5. BYOD: It stands for bring your own device, a practice that is becoming increasingly common. Employees like to use their own devices as opposed to company-provided devices, and many employees now work remotely using their own devices for company purposes. BYOD ensures data security and availability and installation of required software on these external devices to ensure smooth functioning of the various processes handled by such employees.

6. Six Sigma: In IT services and ITSM, as in all businesses, Six Sigma refers to near perfection through the elimination of defects. It involves using structured processes and guidelines to minimize defects and disruptions, and provide near-perfect services to customers.

7. Service portfolio management: When providing a range of IT services, ITSM requires coordination to present all the services on offer to customer is a way that is easy to follow and uses simple language. It also helps manage internal processes in the organization to align them with customer requirements and provide the right services at the right time.

8. ISO 20000: As an organization providing ITSM-related services, if you wish to be certified, the ISO/IEC 20000 certification is what you should aim to get. It is an international compliance standard set by the International Standards Organization (ISO). It sets standards for improving service delivery and customer service to provide high quality services.

9. Incident management: An incident in IT services is any disruption in the service being provided, either internally or to external customers. Incident management refer to managing these disruptions effectively and efficiently in the best possible way and in the least time possible. Good incident management can reduce overall ITSM costs and lead to better customer service and satisfaction. The effectiveness of incident management processes are crucial when dealing with major incidents that can cause long periods of service downtime and major disruption of business unless dealt with immediately.

10. ERM: It stands for Enterprise Request Management and is used internally by organizations to efficiently manage their IT services. It is a tracking and service mechanism that can be used by employees to track their service requests, procure equipment, or check the status of their requests. ERM involves automation, scheduling processes, and the involvement of multiple departments within the organization at times.

11. COBIT: It refers to Control Objectives for Information and related Technology and is a set of guidelines for IT services to ensure data security and good governance standards. Originally published in 1996 as a general guidelines for all IT services, the latest version deals primarily with ITSM-related processes.

12. Agile methodology: As the name suggests, it is a methodology used by IT services to speed up the process of issue resolution and order procurement for physical items in a quick and efficient manner. It allows for flexibility and easy changes to plans and lists, which helps work effectively with remote and mobile employees within the organization.

13. Workaround: A workaround is a temporary solution offers to users or affected employees when dealing with IT service issues that affect functioning. A workaround ensures the downtime for users and employees is minimized while the actual problem is resolved. It is usually used when there is no immediate resolution possible for major issues.

14. Capability Maturity Model (CMM): This model is a methodology used by IT organizations to continually improve their services and processes to deliver these services. It consists of levels of increasingly refined structures and processes that organizations must strive to achieve. It also involved standardization of IT services for better service delivery.

There are a number of terms related to ITSM and ITIL that have not been included here. Some are general service provider and service delivery terms that are also used in ITSM, such as front office and back office, key performance indicators or KPIs, and service catalogues. These terms may have specific applications in the context of ITSM but retain their original meanings otherwise.

Vaishali Gopi is a Digital Marketing Associate at Freshworks
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