As more companies rely on their IT teams than ever before, many modern businesses adopt ITSM to maximize the business value of their information technology teams. Since no ITSM tool is a one-size-fits-all solution, companies must carefully evaluate each solution to determine their best fit.
What Is ITSM and Why Do You Need an ITSM Tool?
ITSM (IT service management) is a structured set of processes and disciplines that help organizations manage their IT service desk, tasks, and IT infrastructure. Most organizations develop their ITSM processes on the ITIL (IT infrastructure library) framework.
IT service management tools are software solutions that help organizations manage IT services to their internal users or external customers. The right ITSM tools support production environment and facilitate the tasks and workflows associated with quality IT services. Since modern service management is complex, these tools need hundreds of unique features and functionalities to support them.
ITSM is not solely the domain of IT departments. Many non-infrastructure and operational managers adapt ticket-handling and workflow capabilities (e.g., HR or Marketing).
What ITSM Tools Are Available on the Market and Who Are the Providers?
There are numerous ITSM tools with varying capabilities on the market. Basic ITSM tools will have some ITSM capabilities and may integrate a few features with certain IT Operations Management (ITOM) tools. Others are more intermediate, with good ITSM capabilities and the ability to integrate with third-party ITOM solutions. The more advanced ITSM systems operate a full range of ITSM capabilities and broad ITOM functionality or integration capabilities.
ServiceNow is a cloud-based workflow automation tool that enables ITSM. ServiceNow is preferred for SMBs with limited infrastructure, smaller IT teams, or less than one thousand employees.
Pre-configured Agile dashboards allow teams to improve efficiencies across workflows and include many features that facilitate automation. The company's latest Istanbul release updated the data model and now supports Customer Service management for Business-to-Consumer needs, HR Service Management, and a new automated testing framework.
While ServiceNow is comparatively user-friendly, it is rather complicated to upgrade. Also, it is not suited for companies that hope to adopt an on-premise solution.
Zendesk software runs on ITIL principles. Although Zendesk offers good SLA and reporting features, it is not quite easy to set up. Once configured, Zendesk is easy to use with popular features across all tiers. Zendesk offers excellent data analysis functions and native add-ons like Chat. It is also well-priced for SMBs and larger organizations, although it is priced per agent, which may not suit every business.
On the downside, Zendesk has no predefined templates, which means workflows have to be created from scratch. Users have also reported that the ticketing system can be flawed.
OTRS is a service management suite that features an agent portal, dashboard, and a customer portal. On the OTRS, teams can process tickets, requests, and data. OTRS is certified ITIL compliant. Teams can map their own service catalogs and adapt existing processes to improve IT service management efforts.
OTRS uses a mailbox system and SMTP integration which is quite unusual. OTRS can be updated via email and its environment variables can be configured easily. OTRS is available as an open-source freeware and paid version.
On the downside, the user interface is very complex and is rather difficult to install and configure. The free version has very little support and is very basic for an ITIL tool.
BMC Helix by BMC Software
The BMC Helix suite is well known for its ITSM and ITOM capabilities. It is the next generation of BMC Remedy. It is aimed at enterprises and can be integrated with MS Outlook, AWS, and Azure or bespoke on-premise systems with ease. BMC Helix suite has a very detailed reporting system and is very user-friendly with none of the typical complexities associated with ITIL. It is available as both on-premise or cloud solutions.
Some interfaces have limited customization and require a lot of knowledge and resources to set up and maintain the underlying foundation data.
The biggest drawback of BMC Helix has to be its speed. Users report that it gets sluggish and the web interface may crash on occasion. It's also best suited to internal customers rather than external ones.
Jira Service Management by Atlassian
JSM (formerly Jira Service Desk) is an ITSM system designed to make the categorization, management, resolution, and prioritization of requests, incidents, problems, and changes much more manageable. With JSM, teams can track their goals or service level agreements and manage incidents in a single window to improve service delivery. Jira Service Management also supports other aspects of the ITSM suite, including change management and IT asset management through robust asset management tools, project management, and other management tools designed to improve customer satisfaction through ITIL processes.
The best feature of JSM is its completely customizable. Any team, whether IT, HR, Legal, or Marketing, can quickly set up a fully functional service desk and adapt at scale. Because JSM can integrate seamlessly with several Atlassian tools, including Confluence, tickets can be merged with the knowledgebase for continual learning, improved change management, and greater first-call resolution.
As a standalone, Jira Service Management is a reliable help desk tool for mid sized and large businesses but can integrate with other Atlassian products to scale for the enterprise. Jira Service management also offers advanced and user intuitive interfaces.
Comparison table of the ITSM tools
While each tool has its own merits, it is essential to opt for a tool that can grow as your business needs change.
Why Is ITSM With Atlassian The Best Solution for Your Company?
Many ITSM software solutions are either complex to navigate, challenging to deploy, or unintuitive to use. Moreover, many of these solutions are designed as service desk tools primarily focused on incident and service requests. ITSM goes much further than simple IT support and resolution. IT teams have to manage more than a few services, especially in enterprise settings.
Atlassian designed JSM recognizing IT collaboration needs. IT teams can work on several issues and incidents and use tools including workflows, data schemas, screens, SLAs, and reports. There is no need to add additional modules to JSM. IT teams manage their service as projects, logically dividing the data and the processes to keep teams organized and in sync.