When an IT service desk adds a self-service portal and encourages end users to use it, the benefits can be seen right away … if they’ve done it right.
Whites come out whiter, and widowed socks will be a thing of the past!
Self-service portals are great for those simple IT solutions that tend to take up an inordinate amount of time. They’re generally well-received, because phone-shy workers can avoid calling the help desk, and because use of the self-service portal saves everyone time. Plus, that brand new Tier 1 worker who spends all day resetting passwords will probably be able to start spending at least some of his time on more important issues (like why Jackie in Administration’s stuff always prints as “landscape” instead of “portrait”).
But are the employees at your company ready for a self-service portal? To get an idea of whether your organization is ready for an IT service desk self-service portal, consider the answers to these four questions.
1. Do Employees Submit Help Tickets via Email/Social Media or by Phone?
If your organization’s employees already submit service tickets through email or through an internal social media portal like Salesforce, chances are they’re ready for a self-service portal. In fact, many of them probably wish there were a way to take care of annoying little fixes themselves. After all, it’s no fun explaining that you thought your old password was pookieBEAR78*. When employees have cut the metaphorical umbilical cord (the phone), they’re more likely to embrace self-service.
2. Does Your Company Have a BYOD Policy?
If your company has a BYOD policy — even if that policy is “No doing work on personal devices” — it’s a positive sign that your people are ready for a self-service portal. In BYOD environments where employees are allowed to use personal devices, they’re generally tech-savvy enough to handle a self-service portal with ease. If personal devices are forbidden, it’s also a sign that the workforce has sufficient technical chops to handle self-service for simple, common IT fixes.
3. How “Siloed” Is Your Organization?
Organizations with strict departmental boundaries may have a slightly harder time adapting to self-service. Think of it this way: if a junior engineer has to follow a strict chain-of-command procedure for technical presentations or must navigate a labyrinthine of departmental approval processes for every set of technical specs or research paper, she may feel a little unmoored at the prospect of logging into the self-service portal and solving a simple IT problem herself. On the other hand, if communication throughout your organization is more open, and the average employee is encouraged to take charge of problems without having to document it in triplicate, a self-service portal may be just what you need to cut down on time-sucking Tier 1 requests.
4. How Did the Last Big IT Change Go Over?
For some great stories, talk to someone who was around when administrative personnel went from typewriters to word processors.
When the Graphics department started using Macs, how was the transition? When everyone changed from Microsoft Office on their desktops to Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud, was the transition smooth? History can often be an indicator of how well proposed changes will go. If your organization has made it through big IT transitions successfully, then it’s likely that a fairly minor transition like the addition of a self-service portal will be successful too.
When the portal goes live, be sure to promote it on internal networks, and tell people about it in automatic email replies and when they call the help desk. The benefits of a self-service portal are too great to miss out on.
About Greg Ghia
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