Explore All Blog Posts

Build Versus Buy Automation with ITSM versus ETM from Oomnitza

At a high-level, Oomnitza’s ETM solution and ITSM/CMDB platforms provide complementary value to the business as they were designed to address two distinct challenges:

  • ITSM is tailored to manage people-centric workflows, such as help desk services, incident resolution, and customer support, heavily relying on service tickets.
  • ETM is specifically developed to orchestrate and automate technology-centric workflows using pre-packaged applications, aiming to enhance technology data accuracy and streamline IT processes across disparate tools and systems.

That said, the decision to utilize one solution over the other for automating IT processes often boils down to a classic build versus buy decision:

  • Build: Do you prefer to embark on a custom development project to create a bespoke solution? (ITSM approach)
  • Buy: Do you prefer to automate by configuring pre-packaged workflow applications, without the need to run a custom development project? (Oomnitza Approach)

Let's take a closer look at this comparison.

Vastly different time-to-value

ITSM Automation = 12-24+ month waterfall development

Deploying an ITSM approach to IT process automation typically requires a lengthy timeline, often extending beyond 12-24 months, utilizing a structured waterfall model. This model relies on professional services to manage software development projects dedicated to building custom automation solutions deployed on the ITSM platform. Such projects consume considerable resources and come with the risk that given varying levels of complexity the custom solution may never make it into production.

Once in place, the IT department becomes responsible for the custom solution's support and maintenance, including the ongoing updates and upgrades of the associated technologies. This responsibility can lead to perpetual release cycles, particularly when an abundance of configuration changes is required.

Moreover, since the CMDB wasn't designed to oversee a company's full spectrum of technology assets, additional professional services are frequently needed. These services are vital for customizing the CMDB, involving the addition and revision of fields to provide the technological data necessary for supporting the automated processes.

Oomnitza Automation = 2 to 3 month configuration sprints

In contrast, deploying Oomnitza’s ETM solution typically involves 2–3-month sprints focused on achieving IT process automation outcomes. This agile methodology also ensures the accuracy of data across a company's entire technology portfolio, data which is vital for the automation of dependent processes.

An Oomnitza customer’s journey usually commences with sprints designed to improve hardware visibility. This is accomplished by utilizing Oomnitza’s built and supported integrations that connect the customer's existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools—such as Jamf and Intune—along with directory services like Active Directory, endpoint protection platforms including Crowdstrike, and ITSM platforms such as ServiceNow, with the ETM Technology Database (TDB). The TDB is tasked with discovering, aggregating, normalizing, and enriching technology data, thereby creating an exceptionally precise, unified source of truth for the company’s hardware technologies.

In these initial phases, customers also implement Oomnitza-provided pre-packaged workflows, which help maintain the accuracy of hardware technology data without the need for custom software development.

As the ETM journey advances with Oomnitza, later sprints often involve adding more connectors to manage software technologies and cloud technologies. This step leads to the formation of a complete and accurate digital representation of the entire technology environment, offering more accuracy and completeness than what traditional CMDBs provide. Such thorough tracking and documentation are critical for sustaining inventory controls, which bolster IT audit readiness and compliance requirements.

As a next step in the customer journey, customers often turn to configuring Oomnitza-supplied, pre-packaged Workflow Applications. These applications are designed to automate cross-technology management processes, such as employee onboarding, offboarding, SaaS license management, IT audit readiness, and procurement forecasting.

Automation through tickets

Contrasting the automation of IT processes through ITSM and ETM can also be viewed in terms of tickets:

ITSM Automation = 20% automation + 80% tickets

Automation via an ITSM platform typically involves initiating a ticket to progress to the subsequent phase in a process runbook. Roughly speaking, this implies that 80% of the workflow might still be ticket-driven and manually executed, with the remaining 20% of the process being automated.

Oomnitza Automation = 80% automation + 20% tickets

In contrast, automation using Oomnitza’s ETM solution centers on employing configured automated workflows communicating with the Technology Database to carry out the next action in the runbook. By approximation, this implies that 80% of the workflow could be automated, while the remaining 20% might still necessitate manual interventions for tickets and to address any automation exceptions.

To illustrate this point, automating the offboarding process of an employee with an ITSM platform typically requires the generation of over 20 tickets. On the other hand, executing the same process through Oomnitza would likely reduce the need to just a handful of tickets.

Choosing Between ITSM and ETM

In choosing between ITSM and Oomnitza’s ETM solution for IT process automation, organizations must weigh the strategic benefits of custom development (build) against the speed, agility and efficiency of pre-configured solutions (buy).

ITSM approaches, with their ticket-centric, custom-built automations, may benefit from leveraging an already deployed ITSM platform but often at the cost of extended deployment times, a heavier maintenance burden and pronged operating inefficiencies and human errors associated with continuing to run with manual processes.

In contrast, deploying ETM by Oomnitza customers harnesses the power of agility and Oomnitza built and supported integrations to deliver rapid, broad-spectrum automation with a significantly shorter time to value. By predominantly automating workflows and reducing reliance on manual ticketing, ETM provides a compelling alternative for companies seeking to optimize their technology management and accelerate their journey towards operational excellence and compliance adherence. Thus, while ITSM and ETM can complement each other in the modern IT organization, the latter's approach presents a clear advantage for businesses aiming for accelerated and comprehensive IT process automation benefits.

Curious to learn more? Request a demo of Oomnitza’s ETM solution.

Recent Related Stories

Comparing a CMDB and an ETM Technology Database
As discussed in the blog “Comparing ETM/TDB and ISTM/CMDB", ETM/TDB and ITSM/CMDB solutions were designed to address distinct challenges within…
Read More
Comparing ETM/TDB and ITSM/CMDB
Modern IT organizations are commonly confronted by two persistent challenges: the ongoing use of manual processes within IT and the…
Read More
Trust Your CMDB with Enterprise Technology Management
It's no secret that most IT organizations lack confidence in the accuracy of their Configuration Management Database (CMDB). Inaccurate control…
Read More