Big data has made its way into just about every business unit, proving its value in streamlining operations, improving service, and reducing cost. It’s understandable, then, that the very department so instrumental in managing the influx and distribution of data would look at how they can use it to improve their own services.
Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) has rapidly changed over the last few years. They’ve gone from a department responsible for fixing user issues and implementing software to an integral part of business development. One of their real challenges today is utilizing the diverse data they have access to in a way that is useful to all of IT operations.
Though the full scope of the ways that big data can be used is still being realized, IT leaders already use it to improve performance, reduce cost, and find new ways to support the business. Here are eight ways that ITSM can use data to improve:
Better Employee Satisfaction
This is perhaps one of the most pragmatic ways that data is improving ITSM. Using data to service employees effectively means having the ability to detect ticket priority and assignment and measure service desk performance. Data tells you if you are meeting service standards and expectations. You may even have a service level agreement (SLA) with employees, in which case you’ll know if you are meeting set goals. Using data puts you in the position of being proactive when it comes to potentially falling below your SLA, and addressing serious problems immediately.
It’s not enough to have an issue resolved. Closure rate does not tell us whether or not problems are being solved well. It only indicates that tickets are closed. Data can tell us is whether or not issues have been resolved properly based on the analysis compared with re-open rates. This is a more accurate way to judge the overall performance of the service technicians.
One of the biggest complaints of end-users is downtime. When they experience a service outage due to service migration or a software upgrade, it means a loss of time. Having data that helps you anticipate service outages means that you can communicate with your business units about what to expect, and to proactively formulate action plans to deal with emergency situations.
Using big data to maximize your human resources could be one of the best business decisions you make. Connect real-time dashboards to your human resources software, time tracking app, or scheduling software in order to monitor peak periods of activity. With careful analysis, teams can distribute the workload based upon the times of the day or week that the most requests come in, how quickly those requests are able to be resolved, and how technicians perform against those volumes. Then, you’re better able to staff against those metrics.
Improved Security Management
One of the largest responsibilities of ITSM is security. Luckily, we can now use big data to monitor networks and detect threats sooner. Additionally, the majority of these processes are automated, meaning that IT technicians are able to spend their time in other areas.
Better Manage Virtual Environment
With companies transitioning from physical services to virtualized ones, tracking applications is becoming more difficult. Through the use of data, IT is better able to identify the applications that aren’t functioning as well as they should be. This is critical in making sure that IT departments are able to have control over the virtualized environment.
Improved ROI on IT Purchases
Especially for larger enterprises, software asset management can be overwhelming. Teams can automate this process through reporting based on a compilation of data that identifies over-licensed or unlicensed software, measures software utilization, predicts service request trends, helps IT departments to be able to plan ahead for future license purchases, maintain compliance rates, reduce cost, and ensure that software purchases are only those that will add value.
Key Partner in Innovation
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, data positions IT as more than the service department they’ve historically been. Their involvement in the business is changing from providing tools and support to helping foster growth through innovation. As more companies are looking at innovation as the key to success, the use of data through the experts collecting it is becoming an integral part of business strategies.
ITSM is still focused on providing quality service as quickly and effectively as possible, and through the use of data, IT departments are now able to take their service to another level by identifying problems before they happen, creating a smarter way to approach IT spending, and securing their place as a partner in innovation.
Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.