IT service management (ITSM) describes the change from technology orientation to customer and service orientation. The focus is not on information and communication technology, but on visible and usable services. Standardized processes make services transparent, repeatable and optimizable.
Two essential ITSM elements were introduced at the University of Basel more than 10 years ago: Since then, a central ServiceDesk has served as a central point of contact for all concerns, complaints and malfunctions. In particular, the handling of malfunctions - in ITSM jargon these are called "incidents" - was recorded and processed in an orderly manner. It soon became apparent that requests for the provision of standard services ("service requests") had to be handled differently than incidents. If a malfunction is remedied by means of a "workaround" but the cause is not eliminated, this would have to be dealt with in "Problem Management". A link to the inventory seemed very desirable. On the one hand, this would enable the service desk to know the equipment of the calling user. On the other hand, in the case of central equipment ("service elements"), changes made by administrators ("changes") could be documented in this database in such a way that the connection with errors that might occur as a result of the change could be identified more easily and remedied more quickly. In short: There was still a great deal of potential for improving the quality, security and cost-effectiveness of IT services.
The further development of ITSM in IT services is being driven forward in the "IMPRINT" project. The acronym stands for "IT Service Management Process Implementation and Selection of a New Tool." In addition, the English term imprint is intended to describe the fact that this involves a profound change for IT services. This change is also visible in the change of the name of the former "University Computing Centre" to "IT Services".
The first phase of the IMPRINT project included the selection of the next ITSM elements, the development or adaptation of processes and workflows, the selection of a powerful tool and the implementation of the described elements. During the project phase, we were confronted with considerable problems, including the discontinuation of the selected tool by the manufacturer. The manufacturer had bought another, more modern tool and has since made it available to us at no cost. In retrospect, we clearly benefited from this change, but changing horses in the middle of the race delayed the project. As a result, the planned feature set has been scaled back somewhat to manage the rollout to the start of the Fall 2019 semester. The inventory database ("Configuration Management Data Base") with its workflows is ready, incidents and service requests can be processed. In addition, the service catalog has been implemented. This can be viewed in a management view on our homepage and in parallel in a user view in the tool.
This project has kept many IT Services employees intensively busy in various roles. Initial scepticism has given way to broad support. The "service and user orientation" is increasingly shaping the communication and service provision of IT Services. The new tool enables us to improve existing processes and workflows and create new ones in a fairly short time. For the second phase of the IMPRINT project, the introduction of change and problem management as well as the coordinated processing of new requirements ("requirements management") are planned.