ITSM Tool Capabilities: What Should You Expect?

ITSM Tool Capabilities

When assessing either your organization’s current or a future IT service management (ITSM) tool, there’s a danger that your organization’s request for proposal (RFP) or request for information (RFI) document includes so many ITSM tool capabilities (features and function points) that it’s hard to see how well the ITSM tool really fits with what matters most to your organization.

This article explains how #ITSM tool certification capabilities help when assessing either your organization's current or future ITSM tool. Share on X

This is where ITSM tool certification capabilities help. Organizations can see what’s considered most important for an “average” organization and whether the required ITSM tool capabilities are offered by a considered solution. Of course, other important areas will be unique to your organization’s needs. However, most organizations require a considerable number of “common” ITSM capabilities from their ITSM tools.

The PeopleCert ATV Programme perspective of ITSM tool capabilities

The PeopleCert ITIL-Accredited Tool Vendors (ATV) Programme allows organizations to take a different perspective on assessing their ITSM tools. ITSM tool certification assessments have traditionally listed assessed ITSM tool capabilities alphabetically, with no recognition of the connectivity between the different ITSM practices or processes.

However, the PeopleCert ATV Programme leverages three decades of ITIL knowledge and experience to appreciate that ITSM tool capabilities are best understood and assessed in clusters. This assessment approach helps the customer organization move beyond a one-dimensional, process-based view of their needs to a more holistic service management approach.

The @PeopleCert ATV Programme leverages three decades of #ITIL knowledge and experience to appreciate that #ITSM tool capabilities are best understood and assessed in clusters. This article explains. Share on X

Assessment clusters for ITSM tool capabilities

The ATV Programme clusters of ITSM tool capabilities align with the latest PeopleCert ITIL qualifications, recognizing various business needs ahead of discrete ITIL practices. The three main clusters of the ITIL Practice Manager qualification are:

  • Monitor, Support and Fulfil – service desk (not assessed separately in the PeopleCert ATV Programme), incident management, problem management, service request management, and monitoring and event management.
  • Plan, Implement and Control – change enablement, release management, service configuration management, deployment management, and IT asset management.
  • Collaborate, Assure and Improve – continual improvement (not assessed separately), service level management, relationship management, information security management, and supplier management.

Plus, other ITIL 4 practices can also be assessed in terms of the available ITSM tool capabilities:

  • Availability management
  • Capacity and performance management
  • Knowledge management
  • Measurement and reporting
  • Service catalogue management
  • Service continuity management
  • Service financial management

The cluster-based approach to ITSM tool capabilities allows a customer organization to better understand its needs and how its current or potential future ITSM tool offers capabilities that meet business requirements rather than simply “ticking boxes” for discrete ITSM practices or processes.

ITSM tool capabilities

When the ATV Programme assesses a given ITSM tool, platform-level aspects are also considered in addition to the certified ITIL practices. These platform-level capabilities are spread across ten areas:

  1. General capabilities
  2. Roles and rights
  3. Workflow management
  4. Online help and documentation
  5. Reporting and dashboards
  6. Integration and interoperability
  7. Infrastructure and operations
  8. Training and support
  9. Data protection/security features
  10. Configuration/customization.

A customer organization can consider this an assessment of the ITSM tool outside of the discrete or clustered ITIL practices, and the ITSM tool’s focused capabilities, it’s interested in.

When a given #ITSM tool is assessed via the @PeopleCert ATV Programme, platform-level aspects are also considered in addition to the certified ITIL practices. This article explains. Share on X

Example Monitor, Support and Fulfil requirements

The PeopleCert ATV Programme considers this high-level business need and ITSM tool capabilities across four discrete ITIL practices:

  1. Incident management
  2. Problem management
  3. Service request management
  4. Monitoring and event management.

Within each of these ITIL practices, the ITSM tool capabilities are assessed across various need areas that include:

  • Basic process workflow management
  • Policy and procedure definition
  • Process participants communication and collaboration
  • Data processing and analysis
  • System integrations
  • Control and reporting
  • Artificial intelligence (AI).

These areas are split across mandatory criteria and optional criteria for ITSM tool capabilities. In the case of incident management, there are 12 mandatory and 38 optional criteria.

The 12 mandatory criteria relate to IT and business needs as well as focused incident management needs, such as using key performance indicators (KPI) and creating customer reports, and classifying incidents and configuring handling rules, respectively.

The 38 optional criteria are more granular ITSM tool capabilities, assessing the incident management capabilities that can elevate an ITSM tool “from good to great” (in incident management terms). These optional criteria for incident management include:

  • Email and service portal incident submission capabilities
  • Setting incident processing deadlines based on service level agreement (SLA) targets
  • The integration of remote control tools
  • Knowledge sharing in the incident management process
  • The ability to simultaneously update multiple incidents
  • AI-based incident categorization and resolution assistance.

Please remember that these are just 10 of the 50 incident management ITSM tool capabilities criteria in the current version of the PeopleCert ATV Programme assessment.

The cons and pros of ITSM tool certification

PeopleCert understands the limitations of any ITSM tool certification schemes and the finite number of assessed ITSM tool capabilities, including with the ATV Programme. The ITSM-focused criteria used in such assessments can only be generic and universal. Therefore, they shouldn’t be perceived as a comprehensive set of criteria that assesses the performance of ITSM tools in every aspect of each practice in every possible scenario.

What ITSM tool certification schemes can do, though, is serve as an industry standard for the ITSM tool capabilities expected. When undertaking an ITSM tool selection exercise, customer organizations should add their own company-specific criteria. However, knowing how a considered ITSM tool has performed in the ATV Programme assessment allows customer organizations to pay more attention to their specific criteria, where an ITSM tool can differentiate its value, rather than checking the ITSM basics from scratch.

To find out more about the PeopleCert ATV Programme and the assessed ITSM tool capabilities, here’s the ATV programme’s landing page for customer organizations and the ATV Programme accreditation process landing page for ITSM tool vendors.

Transparency statement – While PeopleCert is a client of Quick Content Limited, this article’s content is the opinion of the author.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy some of the related ITSM tool articles listed below.

Please use the website search facility to find more helpful ITSM articles related to topics such as customer experience, team member development, ITIL roles and responsibilities, service level agreements (SLAs) and levels of service, improving business processes, IT support teams, designing service offerings, team management, ITIL service delivery, risk management, real-time service performance (the quality of services), and delivering services for improving business operations.

Stephen Mann

Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.

Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.

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