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Choosing the right ITSM tool

The ITSM tooling market

The IT Service Management tooling market has always been a very interesting topic of discussion amongst IT leaders. Which one is the most powerful solution? Which one will suit my budget? Which one will best suit my business? Which one will scale with our growth plans?

There are hundreds of tools available on the market, ranging from open source to the market leaders. Today’s tool sets are so powerful, feature rich, and are a `game changer` if used effectively. This short article addresses some of the key do’s and don’ts when selecting and implementing a new tool.


The reasons why companies choose to purchase a new tool is as good a place to start as any. Some do it for logical reasons, such as their size has increased dramatically, and they now need a tool with the capabilities to fully align IT with business goals and customer needs. Others are guilty of not having a strategy and firm reasons for buying a new tool and have ended up in a very sticky situation. Sometimes tools are bought `to keep up with the Jones’s`, with the Head of IT choosing to move to a new tool based on the recommendation of others, and its features, not because it will provide value and business benefits. Because the tool is then not implemented and used effectively, the buyer ends up paying for an expensive, state of the art piece of software, and only using its most basic functionality.

Other companies purchase a new tool as a `silver bullet` for improving Service Management capabilities. Although they think this is the right way to go, it often ends up with the same scenario as above. With everything being about the tool, and the tool being used to drive change, there are not the supporting processes and an end-to-end delivery model in place to support its use and optimisation. The new tool ends up not delivering what was expected and `Service Management transformation` not delivering the expected outcomes. Only the basic `out of the box` features are used, and there is a disparity between the cost of the tool and the value being provided.

Purchasing criteria

Linking to the section above, setting purchasing and selection criteria is important, to make sure you choose a tool that is a good fit for your company.

Running a structured Request for Proposal (RFP) process will ensure that you choose the tool set that best meets your company’s current maturity and growth ambitions. By having a carefully compiled set of requirements and an effectively staged RFP journey, you can compare `apples with apples`, and ensure that the tool you choose presents value for money and will do the job that you need it to do.

Often, the RFP stage, and a lack of understanding of requirements and what to evaluate is where mistakes are made. We have often seen rushed RFP processes, where potential vendors are chosen randomly, and a tool set is purchased without an effective evaluation and decision-making process having been followed. This often leads to the buying company, 12 months (or so) down the line, complaining that the tool is not fit for purpose, going out to the market again, and following the same cycle (and mistakes).

People, process, and organisational design

A tool is only as good as how a company uses and adopts it. Having a clear, and defined strategy, target operating model, and process improvement road map will ensure that the tool supports your company’s growth and improvement objectives, and that positive outcomes are forthcoming.

In addition, having a tool that supports and underpins the way you work on a day to day basis, automating workflows wherever possible and that can provide clear transparency of performance can only increase the value to your business.

Determining which ITSM processes you need your tool to support is important. Very few companies have implemented and will need to adopt all of the ITSM processes, but you need to think to the future, and about the capabilities you will need, so you know exactly what to buy and include in your implementation roadmap. Having an assessment of your ITSM processes carried out and a roadmap for improvement produced is always a useful exercise.


It is important to think about why you need to buy a new tool and the value it will bring to your company. Understand your requirements, plan properly, and follow a formal RFP selection exercise. Finally, ensure that the chosen tool maps to the way you want to work, and wherever possible, automates and simplifies the way you work today.

iCore has considerable experience in helping companies select, embed, and use ITSM tools to drive positive improvement and change, and we can help you make the right choices and gain the results you need.

If you would like to discuss how iCore can help you then contact us on +44 (0) 203 8211252 or email us at info@icore-ltd.com