According to Spiceworks “2018 State of IT” survey, IT budgets will stabilize or (in many cases) grow in the coming year. Out of over a thousand IT buyers in Europe and North America, 87% expected the budget to either increase or remain the same.
In addition, 55% expected budget allocation for cloud-based services to increase.
In short, IT departments should have plenty of money to spend in 2018, so organizations need to figure out how to make tangible improvements with some extra resources. Internal service is evolving rapidly, so it makes sense to keep up with modern technology and strategies within the organization. Here are a few places where a little bit of investment can go a long way in 2018:
Shift from “IT Service Management” to Simply “Service Management”
There will always be numerous service needs in IT, and nobody disputes that. In most cases, service management strategies begin in the IT department with incident management, service catalog items, changes and releases, and simple inventory management.
But when you cut through the specifics of all those features, it really comes down to serving employees. You need an asset management strategy because the employees have technology needs. The service desk processes tickets and requests because hardware and software stop working. Though many of these cases are IT related, they are ALL employee related.
That’s why your service management strategy should focus on solutions for every department (and all employee needs) in the organization.
HR serves employees from onboarding processes, to background check approvals, to role changes and training, to pay raises and time off. HR needs a service management strategy.
Facilities grants or revokes access to locked doors, sets up workspaces, and keeps up on building maintenance. Facilities needs a service management strategy.
One of the goals of your IT department is to provide a smooth internal operation for employees, so it makes sense to broaden the scope of your service management strategy. Not only will that create more efficient services, but it gives you better visibility into you data, allowing you to plan for future growth. You may have big plans to grow your operations in 2018. You need to track, scale, and allocate resources now, so you aren’t chasing funding mid-budget cycle.
Get Your Users to the Portal
What factors are driving companies to the cloud? According to Spiceworks “2018 State of IT” survey, top drivers for moving workloads to the cloud include providing access to data anywhere (42%), enhancing disaster recovery capabilities (38%), enabling better flexibility (37%), and reducing the support burden on IT staff (36%).
You can both reduce the burden on your IT staff AND treat your employees like valued customers. Just start with how valued customers are normally treated.
If your iPhone becomes unresponsive, the first thing you’ll do is search for the problem online. Maybe you’ll start with a search engine, or maybe you’ll start at Apple’s website. Either way, you’re hoping there’s a simple self-service option to avoid any further hassle. In many cases, you’ll find your answer with links to FAQs, message boards, or articles for troubleshooting steps to common problems. It’s not an accident. It’s the new first level of customer support.
The same idea applies to your internal operation with employees. The self-service options within an ITSM strategy should be user-friendly and robust. You may have heard of knowledge articles or knowledge management, and an effective service portal is where you leverage all of those resources. A “smart” search function that suggests solutions or service catalog items is a must in 2018. You’ll be amazed at the reduced volume of tickets and the increased user-satisfaction with level zero support.
Of course, if the answer to their problem does not exist within your knowledge base, users will always have the option to create a ticket, just as you’ll always have the option of booking an appointment at the Apple store if you can’t find a solution online.
Introduce New Technologies
When it comes to technology trends, more than 40% of respondents state they’re currently using IT automation.
Adoption of emerging tech trends is even higher in larger organizations. In fact, about 30% of organizations with 1,000+ employees say they’ve adopted AI, and an additional 25% plan to adopt it next year.
As IT budgets increase, advanced technology adoption is sure to correlate.
To reduce the burden on IT staff, automation is one of the easiest ways to do it. Automation carries a negative connotation to some who believe it will stunt job growth or frustrate customers through rigid support responses. In service management, simple automations are not built to replace IT staff for entire processes. They’re simply tools to remove cumbersome, repetitive tasks from technicians.
Routing and priority level are two common examples of service management tasks that can be largely automated. Whenever a ticket comes in, it’s routed to a certain tech or group of techs based on a number of attributes. Maybe it’s routed based on the department of origin, or based on a keyword within the ticket. This can happen automatically. In most organizations, any ticket from the CEO is of critical priority, and there are automation options for that as well. With a little investment in the right tool, tickets can be routed and prioritized automatically, saving a few steps for your service desk on every single ticket.
Now, repeat after me:
In 2018, we will shift from “IT Service Management” to plain-old “Service Management.”
In 2018, we will drive our users to the portal, and they will thank us!
In 2018, we will introduce new technologies and automations to our service desk!
If you’d like to test the benefits of a modern service management solution, start your free trial of Samanage Service Desk today!
About Oz Merchant
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