How to Find a Good IT Service Management Consultant

By Valerie Arraj

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Good help is hard to find; especially when you need it most. In this article from ITSMWatch.com, consultant Valerie Arraj lays out the principal steps you need to take when searching for the appropriate vendor. In this case, an IT service management vendor but you can use these tips in any search.

In this economic market, IT service management (ITSM) initiatives can be help drive more operational efficiency and effectiveness to help weather this nascent economic recovery. As more companies start to consider implementing ITSM, they may be tempted to turn to professional consulting organizations for help.

If this is your path, it is important to note that implementing ITSM good practices is much different than implementing technology. When implementing technology, there is a tendency, particularly within large companies, to heavily leverage consultants for the lion’s share of the work. Consultants are brought in to do any and all of the following tasks:

In essence, much of the effort to deliver new technology capabilities in the form of IT services is often outsourced fairly routinely, and in many cases successfully. Ongoing success of service of these new technologies requires people be trained to provide support or the appropriate outsourcer is in place to assure ongoing operation.

The implementation of an ITSM program, however, is quite different. With respect to implementing good practices, we are primarily talking about instituting new or modifying existing processes and practices. While one or more ITSM consultants used in the “staff augmentation” model can crank out process documentation and help to specify requirements for automation, they cannot define your processes for you nor can they affect the behavioral modification required for successful implementation and ongoing continuous improvement.

Getting to “success” with ITSM includes organizational transformation. People in the organization must adopt new policies, modify their procedures and embrace new responsibilities. We are talking about changing the way people do things.

To be successful, the drivers for such change cannot be outsourced. The message of expectations, urgency and sponsorship must be communicated early and often by senior IT management. A steering committee of senior managers along with your ITSM consultant(s) should form the guiding coalition to lead people in the organization through the changes that will be necessary to reach goals that need to be attained.

To see the remainder of this article, please go to ITSMWatch.com.

Valerie Arraj is principal and managing partner for Compliance Process Partners, an IT compliance focused consulting and training company that uses service management and control objectives to help organizations lay the groundwork for compliance to regulatory and governance guidelines.