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ITOM goes beyond IT to empower the organization and increase competitiveness

Data is to make the organization more resilient and productive. But data are contained in silos, impeding a complete overview of the infrastructure’s performance. ITOM delivers a contextualized, updated outline of the entire IT landscape, enabling informed decisions throughout the organization.

“Data without context is just organized information.” This quote from Albert Einstein is even more relevant today, as we never had access to so much data. But without context, data is just metrics in pretty charts. You need to know what to measure and why.

This challenge also applies to the organization’s IT infrastructure. There is a lot of data about servers, services, etc., but it is not contained in the same place. The lack of data transparency impedes a complete overview of the infrastructure’s performance and is a major challenge in today’s business environment.

The business requires an optimised infrastructure and instantaneous, reliable data

With the ongoing and increasing digitization, the infrastructure is at the heart of practically every activity in the organization. The infrastructure supports mission-critical services to engage customers, automate processes, develop new solutions, and generate new business insights. If the infrastructure is not working, it halts the entire organization, and if the infrastructure is not optimized, it affects the organization’s performance and competitiveness.

The lack of data transparency within the organization also affects another strategic objective for many organizations these days: The desire to be data-driven, putting data and analytics front and center in business strategy and throughout all functions in the organization. However, data-driven decisions require accurate and updated data, which is only possible with a complete overview of a transparent infrastructure.

ITOM delivers business improvements beyond IT

ServiceNow’s ITOM is the perfect tool to understand your infrastructure through reliable data. It provides a constantly updated and clear outline of the entire IT landscape, facilitating enhanced strategic frameworks and stronger business outcomes. The data delivery is precise and dynamic to support data-driven decision-making.

Traditionally, ITOM has been regarded as a tool exclusively for the IT department. But with the data collected and contextualized, ITOM can empower many functions beyond core IT:

  • Governance, Risk, and Security (GRC).
  • Customer Service Management (CSM).
  • Common Service Data Model (CSDM).
  • Cloud.
  • IT workflows.
  • Service Delivery.
  • Security and IT Operations (SecOps)
  • Contract Management.
  • IT Asset Management.
  • IT Service Management.

Please find below some examples of how ITOM can generate better insights and more informed business decisions.

Three complementing tools delivering context, the foundation for better decisions

But first, a brief introduction to how ITOM brings such insights. It is about three of the core complementing services in ServiceNow ITOM: Discovery, Service Mapping, and Event Management.

Discovery: An accurate and up-to-date CMDB

It is nearly impossible to keep up with infrastructure changes using manual processes, resulting in sub-optimized performance and a lack of agility. Discovery provides an automated, constantly updated inventory of the CMDB. It covers all physical and logical components such as servers, routers, switches, databases, applications, and more. Importantly, Discovery also lists all interconnected relations and dependencies. That means that you at any time can see how servers and networks are working and allow you to assess impact in the case of change or outage immediately. It works seamlessly with other data sources, ensuring a holistic, transparent view of the infrastructure and all components within the organization.

With Discovery, there is no more need for manual input; instead, you have a reliable single record system that is constantly updated. It supplies the tool for an optimized infrastructure to support the business.

Service Mapping:  Vertical real-time map to improve services

Whereas Discovery gives you a horizontal map, Service Mapping is top-down with an application context. It brings a detailed automated map of all actual devices and applications, thus listing the relationships between components and services. Service Mapping creates dependencies between devices and services. Any change in the infrastructure, new servers, or moving of databases is promptly recorded and shown on the map. Service Mapping also documents any change, saving useful historical data. The vertical approach means that you now can look at the infrastructure from a business point of view and work more efficiently. You can faster restore service by correlating a hardware or software failure to the service it supports.

Service Mapping creates transparency and visibility into IT services. It enables Continual Improvement Management, and with the accurate recording of changes, it also minimizes risks. In total, it ensures better performing services and helps the business succeed.

Event Management: Focus on what is most critical to the business

The context added by Discovery and Service Mapping is applied to monitoring events. Event Management collects and consolidates the events captured by the existing infrastructure monitoring tools and relates them to the CMDB for analysis and action. Alerts are immediately put into context and with the ability to filter noise through correlation. The impact of incidents can be analyzed in terms of 1) business criticality and 2) background or root cause. For example, if you get multiple alerts simultaneously, ITOM helps you identify the incident most critical to the business. As with Discovery and Service Mapping, Event Management is automated and constantly updated.

Event Management provides a powerful tool to deal with outages quickly and efficiently. It gives the IT department an understanding of impacts and how to prioritize in the future, enabling better protection to benefit the business.

The relationship between the three tools. To the left, Discovery detects all servers, routers, databases, etc. In the middle, Service Mapping places them in an application context, in this case the organization’s HR Portal. Finally, to the right, we have Event Management that tells us exactly which components are faulty.

How ITOM can support and empower different parts of the organisation, examples

GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance): Know what to protect first

What is in the system, how does the system work, and where are the most crucial vulnerabilities? ITOM provides a risk overview as well as insight into business criticality on a component level. That way, the GRC Manager will always know the risks to the business and how to prioritize protection.

CSM (Customer Service Management): More customer insights

ITOM gives you an outline of the various systems and their status. Which customers are using which systems? This insight will help keep the systems running smoothly and produce important customer information for personalized services.

CDSM (Common Service Data Model): Aligning IT to business

The model identifies where to place service and application-related data within the CMDB. It is one of the most coveted features in ServiceNow because it creates a link between the business on a logical level down to the technical level. With ITOM, you can create the technical level by populating the CMDB and establishing relations to the services.

Cloud: Flexibility through transparency

Most organizations have a complex structure involving various types of cloud services combined with on-premise data centers. ITOM brings a transparent overview of the entire structure, making it easier and more cost-effective to integrate approaches like microservices and Kubernetes.

IT workflows: Reliable data and attributes for optimisation

Optimization of workflows requires data you can rely on and the necessary attributes. ITOM supplies both and thus the foundation for building/adjusting workflows. Deployment, remediation, scaling up and down; ITOM enables it all, for manual and automatic workflows.

Service Delivery: Insight for efficiency and cost management

ITOM informs Service Delivery about the ins and outs of the infrastructure here and now, enabling faster and more efficient service to the business. Service Delivery can also apply ITOM to establish a link between operations and service delivery, enabling direct cost management.

SecOps: Detection by business criticality

When SecOps detects one or more vulnerabilities, it is crucial to know how to prioritize the response. With ITOM, you can look up the scope and seriousness. For instance, how many servers are hit and which represent the most severe risk to the business?

ITOM groups the incidents by business-critical so that you can focus resources on the most crucial events.

Use ITOM to improve your business

With ITOM, one gets the perfect tool to optimize and protect the organization’s engine room: The IT infrastructure. That means numerous benefits such as:

  • Automated, constantly updated delivery of reliable data on the entire IT landscape.
  • Transparency on all levels of the infrastructure.
  • Improved impact analysis.
  • Faster recovery.
  • Reduced risk.
  • Foundation for better performance in various functions such as GRC, CSM, CSDM, Service Delivery, SecOps and more.

And last but not least, ITOM enables well-informed, data-driven decision-making, thus improving the business’s overall performance and competitiveness.

If you want to know more about ITOM and how it can help your business succeed, please reach out:

Interested in more ITOM-related content? Have a look at our on-demand webinar focused on how Devoteam worked with The Adecco Group to solve its IT Operations challenges.