When is the play for a service management software platform the right fit?

Recently we have seen an emergence of the service management platform software play. As a solution architect, we have spent over 10 years perfecting business process management utilizing what we consider one of the most robust frameworks for aligning incident management, service delivery, and automation of business processes. A software platform play seems conceptually as though it’s possible to just build on top and address the business challenges of other departments within the organization. However, the reality is that unless you are leveraging the platform while addressing key business adherence to functions tailored for that specific group, you could be opening yourself up to a wide range of fines through compliance audits and security.

A few examples of these challenges that many software platforms do not fully address include: limited or non-existent segregation of data, integration weaknesses within the platform, adherence to identity management policies and capabilities to audit changes made to fields or requests whether internally or externally.

No matter what a leading analyst or vendor say about a software platform and its array possibilities for extending it throughout your organization, it does not necessarily mean that this is the right fIT for you. Case in point: a month ago while listening to a vendor talk about how great their extension of the platform to an HR department, we heard the actual healthcare company say: “We have several challenges that we can’t seem to address. IT has visibility into all HR data...” After this statement, we stopped listening to the call.

Platforms must have certain capabilities that go beyond automation and a good looking user interface. Before you look at extending your current environment, we urge you to follow some guidelines:

  1. Does the solution have reputable case studies that address the department’s needs while adhering to compliance?
  2. How secure is the solution? Who has access to what data?
  3. Are multi-tenancy capabilities innate within the module or solution built on the platform?
  4. Does it support multiple integration mechanisms including web services, database views, custom APIs, multi-channel ticketing and e-mail?
  5. Is there a built shared services model?
  6. Are there capabilities for localization and language?

There are many benefits to leveraging a service management platform beyond the IT help desk including leveraging software investments and utilizations of already existent licenses for your users. The key is to be mindful of the department’s business functions, understand the policies and business process to ensure the tool is the right fit.

To learn more about leveraging service management platforms, please contact us.