The term “visibility” calls to mind traditional asset management (being able to see where all your assets are at any given time), but it’s much more than that. It’s empowering, it’s educational, and it will ultimately make your business stronger. As we’ve shown over the past month, increasing visibility is only one step in the right direction. Like with any technology, you have to know just how to apply it to your use case and enterprise needs.
Traditional Service Desk: The Basics
Let’s start with the basics. A service desk that has optimized visibility will help you see how many tickets are in your pipeline, who is currently working on them, and their status. In addition, being able to see a ticket’s full history can help you begin to add context to the issue — and that’s beneficial not only to you, but to your clients, as well. With visibility into the service desk from the outside, your customers will be able to see what stage of resolution their ticket is in, which means no more extra tickets checking on the status of a submitted issue.
Next, let’s take a look at device management. Samanage is big on asset management, and we’ve talked extensively about its benefits. It’s an invaluable facet of the service desk, not only for the ability to see where a device is and who has it, but to see the status of it and if it needs repairs. It also makes it easier for you to ensure that new employees have all the devices that they need to get the job done.
Speaking of your employees, have you ever wondered what your team is up to? With visibility into their tickets, devices, performance, and workload, you’ll be able to allocate devices appropriately and evenly distribute the incidents among your team.
Finding Trends and Making Decisions
Alright, so you’ve been diligent about making sure your tickets allow for visibility into the service desk, carefully monitoring your employees’ workloads so that no one gets burned out, and you know where every device in the organization is. What do you do with all this information?
Start tracking any trends that arise. If a device is repeatedly sent in for fixes and maintenance, it might be time to replace it with a new model. That’s where a detailed service history comes in handy, so that when your boss asks why you need a replacement laptop, you can point to the service history of the device the new one will be replacing. Bad hardware should never get in the way of productivity, and your executives will be hard pressed to turn down a request when there’s strong evidence supporting a purchase.
If it’s not a device that’s not performing well and it’s, say, a colleague, the supervisor will be able to see metrics of their performance and can make an informed and unbiased decision. Maybe they need to be moved to a different department or only work efficiently on certain types of tasks. Either way, having the opportunity to look at the numbers of someone’s performance makes it easier to draw conclusions and take the next step.
You’ll also start to create a knowledge base of all your best practices. On the one hand, people can simply access your portal and see existing tickets before they send a ticket in, which will improve efficiency for everyone. On the other hand, efficiency will be improved for you as well. You’ll be able to find a previously solved solution and attach to the same (new) task.
Automate Whatever You Can
Automation will not only free up your time from mundane tasks, but will also help you remember to perform all those little tasks that easily slip through the cracks. Take configuration for example. You already have all the data on a device’s location, user and status. You can also check its operating system, and if you notice that any devices aren’t up to date, you can either send a reminder to the user to update it or do it on your own. Even better, you can create maintenance reminders for software renewal, which is particularly valuable with software licenses.
One of our favorite ways to take advantage of visibility in project management is through request approval automation. Let’s say that your approval is needed first after a request is sent in for a new laptop. After you approve, the next administrator above you is notified that their approval is needed. You can get approval quickly and easily and be able to acquire the tools you need. You’ll also be able to view where the request process has been stalled, and by whom.
Making the Boss Happy
At the end of the day, a good piece of technology should not only make your life easier as an IT professional (or as someone who delivers services to the organization), but to also keep your boss happy. As we mentioned in our new white paper, the more the leadership team can see into what’s happening and what trends are occurring, the more comfortable they become with the technology group implementing and creating plans that allow service and support to get ahead of the business itself. For those who are able to provide better visibility to their leadership, they are seeing a completely new world for IT service and support.