Despite ITIL’s status as the gospel of IT, traditional ITSM (IT Service Management) tools supporting traditional ITIL leave many IT organizations frustrated. Older solutions are often expensive to implement, difficult to adopt, and almost impossible to change.

Keeping it old school works in a lot of areas, but IT isn’t one of them.

So we sat down with pen and paper to figure out how we could do IT differently – both in terms of how our own IT teams operate, and how JIRA Service Desk can flex to support new approaches to ITSM that are gaining popularity amongst our customers.

Here’s the story of some new approaches to IT that are shaking things up, how we re-architected JIRA Service Desk to support them, and how IT teams are already using it to provide legendary service.

The IT evolution

Many tools and processes define how to do ITSM, but DevOps and bimodal IT are two trends that we’re crazy-excited about. With bimodal IT, you manage two separate streams (or, modes) of IT delivery: one dedicated to stability, the other focused on innovation and agility. And DevOps is all about breaking down the wall between IT and development teams that was built so stealthily and so long ago that nobody quite knows how or when it appeared.

So we took aspects of both practices and applied them to JIRA Service Desk to help forward-looking IT teams (and those that follow behind them) the ability to balance stability and innovation.

Instead of complex processes that are a nightmare to implement or change, we created a single tool that supports service requests, incident management, problem management, and change management. And, taking a page from DevOps, we placed a high value on transparency so teams can ditch the “silo” mentality and keep lines of communication open.
When most IT organizations think “service desk tool”, they picture incidents and service requests only. Problem and change management typically require separate modules (or even separate tools), and the integrations are usually far from seamless.

The old-school tools look kind of like this:

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Our big takeaway? Instead of breaking things off into sectioned areas, why not keep the work based on the needs of the team? Service request, incident, problem and change management should be combined, not by request type, but on a project-centric basis.

Doing ITSM differently

With a single-product approach, configuring an SLA or modifying a workflow is easy, because they share core processes. There’s no additional learning curve and no cobbling together of modules. You can create projects that tie incidents to problems, and to change requests. A project allows for a logical division of data and processes to help IT teams stay organized. If you’re a smaller organization, you may only need to start with incident management first and then take advantage of additional features as needs dictate.

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The sky’s the limit with team collaboration

That’s all well and good, but the proof (as they say) is in the pudding.
A leading global travel site needed a better IT tool. Over the past five years, this company had experienced rapid growth: its visitor base had increased 400% to reach an average of 50 million users each month. And uptime is everything for them. Even a second of downtime means a massive loss in revenue and customer trust. They need to find out about problems fast, and fix them even faster.

They’d been using a traditional IT tool that could no longer handle the company’s growth. They were spending too much time fixing the tools and tracking down bugs and not enough time working on issues. They needed a new IT solution that would facilitate collaboration between the frontline IT agents and the back-end development teams.

The company has different teams working on IT, business tools and infrastructure issues. The Office IT Service teams focus on service requests and incidents related to supporting the needs of employees. Their Business Tools and Global Availability and Performance (GAP) teams focus on incidents, problems, and changes related to keeping business services operating at optimum service level.

Because what’s worked historically for IT teams doesn’t always make sense in the new digital age.

With a project-based approach to ITSM, the company has a single solution where teams can work on the type of issues they care about with their own workflows, data schemas, screens, SLAs, and reports while giving IT management end-to-end visibility, sharing, and governance.

The biggest benefit to the company is increased team collaboration. The IT and software development teams collaborate more often and solve problems faster because they can link and track issues from inception to resolution across teams. Everyone has full visibility into the queue, and all the right experts can collaborate to solve issues faster. As a result, developers and IT staff have more time to focus on building better software and services.

If you’re tired of the same-old-same-old, have a look at JIRA Service Desk. We’re ready to help your team accomplish some incredible things.

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