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All About IT Service Management

What is IT Service Management (ITSM)? | IT Incidents vs. IT Service Requests | The IT Service Catalog | ITS Is Dropping Knowledge on You With a New Knowledge Base! | The Helpdesk is now the Service Desk!


What is IT Service Management (ITSM)?

Lately, ITS has been telling you about the new IT service site that’s coming this summer to replace Footprints (name and go-live date coming soon!). But why are we doing this?

This is not just a change in tool but also in mindset as we more deeply embrace a concept known as IT service management (ITSM).

It may sound funny, but ITSM is not about the technology. Instead, it’s about the value that the technology provides in the form of services that we partner with you to define and then deliver and manage end-to-end as efficiently as possible. So we’re not just giving you tools – we’re giving you a strategy behind the tools, the other tools that connect to that tool, an effective cost model, the right people to support all of it, and a robust maintenance plan. And when that technology no longer meets your needs, we’ll move on to something that does.

Oh sure, we’ve been doing that for years. But this expanded focus on ITSM will allow us to step up our game even more. This is all supported by the new site, which is built on ITIL, probably the most popular set of ITSM best practices in the world. And with a focus on continual improvement, the new site rollout is just the beginning. We are going to keep evolving based on what is valuable to you.

To learn more about ITSM and ITIL, visit UTHSC’s LinkedIn Learning and watch “What is IT Service Management (ITSM)?” and “ITIL in a Nutshell”. 


IT Incidents vs. IT Service Requests

A deeper dive into IT Service Management (ITSM), a way of ensuring that what Information Technology Services does matches what you need, means using the right terminology. Two key terms are “incident” and “service request”.

Per ITIL, the ITSM framework we are using, an incident is an unplanned interruption to a service or reduction in the quality of a service. In other words, something is broken and needs to be fixed. For example, your printer has an error message and won’t print, or your computer can’t get on the network. Incidents are usually unplanned, have a limited effect on one user or service, and need more immediate resolution.

A service request, on the other hand, is a request for something to be provided. Nothing is broken; you just need an available service that you weren’t using before. At our campus, installing a new computer, creating a new listserv, or accessing Banner in a new role are all examples of service requests. Service requests usually can be planned and scheduled, and they follow a predefined process.

In our current ticketing system, incidents and service requests are handled much the same way, which slows resolution. However, our new IT service site, will send service requests straight to the people who can address them, meaning a quicker return to business for you!


The IT Service Catalog

Did you know that ITS offers more than 100 distinct products and services to you? Our new IT service site, coming next month, will list them all in one place called a service catalog.

The service catalog will provide the following benefits:

  • Actionability: Unlike our current IT service catalog, the new catalog allows you to request a service directly from its service page. Read about it and request it all in one place!
  • Faster service: Requests made from the service catalog will go directly to the appropriate technician, saving triage time and speeding delivery.
  • Transparency: Because the service catalog features comprehensive information about each service, it streamlines communication by eliminating the back-and-forth of asking questions to understand the offering. Everything you need is right there in the catalog, including links to related knowledge base articles. (More about the knowledge base next week.)
  • Optimization and continual improvement: The service catalog makes it easy to identify the most-used offerings and those that prove to be not so valuable – enabling ITS to enhance services and better align our resources where they can provide the most positive impact on the university and you.

ITS Is Dropping Knowledge on You With a New Knowledge Base!

Ever have a question about one of the university’s IT products or services but don’t know where to find the answer? Maybe it’s on our Information Technology Services website, but where? You could Google it, but the answer will be generic. Or call the Help Desk, but only during business hours. There’s got to be a better way, right?

Well, good news – soon there will be! The new IT service site coming in July has a searchable knowledge base that we are filling with all kinds of technical instructions and other helpful information about the products and services that ITS offers and supports. No more having to scour our website, Google, call, or guess! And we’ll keep growing it based on the questions you ask. You’ll even be able to tell us which articles are helpful (or not) so we can adjust based on what you need. The answers you’re looking for will be at your fingertips at any time!


The Helpdesk is now the Service Desk!

If you had a yacht, would you call it a dinghy? Or say LeBron James is just your average basketball player? Of course not, because both are so much more! Well, that’s how we feel about the folks who take your calls when you need technical assistance. They are the front door to Information Technology Services, your single point of contact for fixing issues, getting vital information, and fielding requests. They offer expertise, empathy, guidance, and calm when you probably feel a little lost, stressed, or are in a crunch. In other words, they provide more than just help – as you tell us all the time in surveys, they provide great SERVICE!

That’s why the Helpdesk is now the Service Desk!

Our newly branded Service Desk will be there for you 7:30-5:30 pm CT Monday through Friday as always, working hand-in-hand with other ITS staff and the new IT service site that’s coming soon to meet your needs.

Last Published: Jul 28, 2021