Quick, name all of the business applications your organization is paying for. What about just the ones for the marketing department? Or the sales department?
What about the free applications that bypass the finance team? Are you able to pull the data and information you need from those applications? How do you communicate across the different departments when each one is using a different tool for project management?
It’s enough to make your head explode (or at least your laptop). One thing we know for sure is that IT serves nearly every employee, which makes the IT department a good place to start our inventory of business applications.
The digital age has opened countless doors for business operations, but it has also complicated our jobs. Can we expect a Sales Manager to be active on his/her department-specific tools (such as CRM software) and also different platforms for intranet, project management, internal knowledge base, IT incidents, and service catalog?
“Submit a request through one platform. Wait for a confirmation notification via email. Receive an update to check a shared Google document for a solution.”
“Want to kick off a new workflow with an update to financial processes? Put it into the project management tool, but make sure it’s the one the CFO uses, not the one the sales department uses.”
While it may seem far fetched, some organizations ask this of their employees.
Surely the organization doesn’t need all of these tools. It might need some of them, or even most of them, but there needs to be efficient management and communication of all that data. Luckily, modern ITSM solutions can help manage subscriptions, data access, and internal communication, giving your organization the opportunity to purge unnecessary subscriptions, and unite the organization’s business tools.
Let’s take a look at how to unify all of those disparate applications under one roof.
One Platform for Employee Service
Many organizations use different respective solutions for incident management, service catalog, and knowledge management. For some, it’s email tickets and a Google Drive full of knowledge articles — yikes.
Though it’s a user experience nightmare, it’s an easy fix. Modern ITSM software can roll all these services into a single platform, offering easy access through the employee service portal. Not only is it a one stop shop for these frequent service needs, but it makes them all work together. Now, a simple search function through the employee service portal will provide relevant service catalog items, knowledge base articles, or previously reported incidents.
Previously, users had to search a Google Drive for solutions, a spreadsheet for incident history, and Sharepoint for service catalog offerings. If user experience is a priority (which, it should be), the service portal is such an obvious way to quickly create access to all of these resources.
Often, it’s more complicated than just these classic functions. Maybe your development team uses a software like JIRA for project management. Your ITSM solution might not replace all the functions of a tool like JIRA, but it should be able to integrate seamlessly, creating a consolidated access point for all of your internal technology customers.
For instance, if the service desk sees an incident that requires work by the development team, the agent can automatically pull tickets into JIRA and link it to the incident. They never have to worry about entering a separate JIRA ticket. Updates and resolutions can track simultaneously, even through collaboration software like Confluence, this way assignees and users receive notifications whether they created an incident through the service desk or worked an issue through JIRA.
Bring Departments Together
When a new employee begins, think about what that looks like from an HR perspective. This new employee will need a workspace, new devices, access to certain subscriptions and tools. Depending on where this new employee works, that might require approvals from multiple departments.
In many cases, department heads in different areas of the organization use different approval processes. If the head of HR uses a project management tool, the CFO uses a physical document for requests, and the head of IT purchasing uses an online form, how can those three channels be used to onboard an employee efficiently? It would be very difficult.
A successful ITSM solution should address this issue for the entire organization. If HR, facilities, and finance all have licensed service agents within the service platform, anyone can assign tasks, and all necessary parties will have visibility from the start.
In this instance, the HR Director can create an onboarding request complete with tasks for payroll, device orders, paperwork, and workspace setup. Now, these tasks and approvals can move sequentially or concurrently within one application, mending a previously disjointed workflow that had been spread across many platforms.
More Visibility = More Time
This consolidation to a single service platform also streamlines communication around internal services. In the employee onboarding example, traditional methods might include an email chain and a series of phone calls or check-ins to facilitate every task in the onboarding request.
The requester is constantly having to follow up, but this is totally avoidable. Full visibility through a service portal gives requesters access to every step, status, and deadline for each task. This helps empower your internal customers to check their portal rather than emailing the help desk for updates on their requests.
Requesters will never again wonder, “what happened to my request?”
In addition to the time requesters save, think about technicians. They’re processing numerous requests and communication with employees. The last thing they need is a flood of emails checking for updates on requests piling up in their queue. The most effective use of their time is resolving tickets and fulfilling requests, not emailing about resolving tickets and fulfilling requests.
It’s time to stop drowning in project management and communication tools. Connect all of those unorganized data factories through a single service platform. Schedule a demo to see how Samanage can create a customized service experience tailored to your organization’s business goals.
About Liz Beckner
Liz is a technical point of contact for SolarWinds Service Desk customers, providing expertise on ITSM best practices, APIs, integrations, and security. She's ITIL® 4 certified and has never met a dog she didn't want to adopt.
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