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ITIL Processes

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Processes

ITIL - The Facts

ITIL provides a proven method for planning people, processes and technology with appropriate reference to each other and how the communication lines should exist between them. ITIL is a framework of best practices for efficient IT governance. ITIL's main objective is to align business and Information Technology, allowing organizations to implement what is relevant to their business.

Challenges with ITIL Implementation

Increasing number of organizations are dependent on IT to meet their business goals, thus increasing the number of diverse systems and applications within the enterprise. In such an environment, most of the components are highly decentralized and/or highly specialized. This diversity creates a complex business-processing environment.

ManageEngine IT360's Approach to ITIL

You would be aware of a lot of ITIL based solutions in the market that are either highly complicated, very expensive or have large set of features which you do not want to implement. IT asset management and CMDB should be part of the solution to leverage the real advantage of ITIL. The Help Desk module of IT360 targets to make ITIL simple, so that every business can benefit from it. It automates ITIL Service Support, without expensive consultants or shelling out on customization. When you install the products, you will get the ITIL Service Support framework with Incident, Problem and Change Management framework built over an integrated Configuration Management Database (CMDB). You can get started from day one, with minimal configurations to suit your needs.

The overall structure of the ITIL Framework will look like:

Implementing the ITIL Framework with the Service Support Processes

For the past many years, most IT shops have focused their energies inward and concentrated on resolving technical issues. Whereas, today's business environment demands that IT be more attentive to SMB requests by delivering quality solutions and aligning with the business objectives-in other words, to focus on service management.

Thus, when your clients turn to you for help in improving their IT service management, suggest that they implement ITIL best practices that cover four service support processes, namely; Incident Management, Problem Management and Change Management built over a Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

Once you have decided to implement the ITIL service support processes - what do you do? For the best results, start with a small scope and build upon each success-begin with the areas that have the most urgent need for improvement and then go from there. This approach helps you to examine how another company has had success with implementing processes.

A simple plan with the following key points can help SMBs to stay focused and implement ITIL successfully.

  • What is the Vision?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we get where we want to be?
  • Check Milestones to ensure the organization is head towards defined vision

The Service Support Processes

1. Incident Management (IM):

IM is one of the components in the ITIL Service Support area, whose goal is to restore normal operation as quickly as possible to clients. Therefore, Incident Management is a foundation process on which many of the others will depend. Problem Management, Change Management and Release Management may be the next processes for you to consider. As far as IT360 is concerned, we consider that even if a single user is unable to complete an event successfully, that might affect business and reduce the overall QOS, so we decided that we could move our Incident Management process to a more controlled state with little effort due to its state of process maturity.

For example, the evaluation for Incident Management includes questions like, "Is the business need for a Service Desk clearly identified and understood?" and "Does the Service Desk provide a status update to the customer on the closure of incidents?"

IT360 - ServiceDesk directly supports ITIL Incident Management processes by gathering real-time and historical performance data and providing analysis tools that speed restoration.

2. Problem Management (PM):

PM's primary focus is to identify the cause of service issues and commission corrective work-flow to prevent recurrences of same. PM processes are reactive in responding to incidents and proactive in identifying and preventing future incidents. Its processes are closely integrated with Incident Management, Change Management and Availability Management (AM). Although AM performs the lead role in component failure and system outage analyses, PM performs an important role in obtaining data and analyzing it in support of the studies.

IT360 - directly supports ITIL Problem Management processes by gathering historical performance data and providing detailed analysis. It permits the Problem Management team to simulate corrective changes before they are introduced into the production environment. Doing so help teams to understand the impacts to downstream processes.

Problem Management handles the below listed activities:

  • Recording, managing and escalating service problems as appropriate.
  • Analyzing historical data to identify and eliminate potential incidents before they occur.
  • Identifying underlying causes of incidents and preventing recurrences.
  • Developing workarounds or other solutions to incidents.
  • Submitting change requests to Change Management as required, to eliminate known problems.

Benefits of implementing PM:

  • Avert service disruptions
  • Preserve service levels
  • Meet service availability requirements
  • Improve staff efficiency and productivity
  • Enhance user satisfaction

3. Change Management (CM):

CM as the name implies, manages change being introduced into the IT infrastructure. . Technology continues to change increasingly more often, resulting in more frequent changes to business processes to improve services, reduce the number of incidents, lessen costs, and generally improve business. As a result, performance and capacity problems can be identified in advance of changes being introduced into production so corrective actions can be taken before customers are adversely impacted.

Moreover, complex networks and systems coupled with numerous necessary changes are a recipe for disaster, if not successfully managed. Implementing the ITIL Change Management processes can help not only to demonstrate that IT is a necessary cost to your business but also to actually show how IT can add value to your business. The CM teams assess risks of individual changes, use configuration information to identify dependencies and other impacted applications and systems, and after analyzing the information, authorize or deny change requests. The goal of ChM is to identify application code, functional and performance defects and intercept them before customers are impacted by them.

The following steps are executed in change Management:

  • Proposal for change
  • Evaluation of Change
  • Execution of Change
  • Post Implementation Review
  • Close Change Request

Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

The CMDB is the single repository of configuration information for the enterprise. In addition to configuration information, the database contains information regarding the relationships and dependencies among infrastructure components. It works closely with the Change Management processes, because risk assessments must take into consideration any relationships and dependencies that may be affected by requested changes to production operations.

It provides a public knowledge base of known errors and solutions that help employees search and resolve minor incidents themselves without contacting the Help Desk. It provides private knowledge base for the Support Staff to get detailed reports about all assets with problem history, work-around and temporary fixes.

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