Today’s service desks and IT organizations face countless challenges – challenges that can be effectively overcome with a comprehensive IT service management (ITSM) strategy, and the right supporting solutions in place.
What are some of the most common obstacles an IT service desk should help your company tackle?
1. IT support processes lack structure.
Most companies lack a standardized way of handling problems and issues. An end user opens a ticket. It gets assigned to someone. They fix it. But there’s no rhyme or reason to how it’s done.
An IT service management solution can lend structure to an IT help desk and IT support processes, helping you define and enforce formal workflows to be followed whenever a new ticket is opened. Some of the mundane, repetitive tasks can even be streamlined and automated. For example, certain types of tickets can be dynamically routed to specific individuals based on skills and experience.
2. Increasing volume of tickets and ticket complexity.
Thanks to the brave new world of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), there are many devices that employees are using that aren’t standardized across your organization. It’s not just PCs; now you have PCs, laptops, mobile phones, mobile phone apps, tablets, etc. When these non-standardized devices have issues, you have an increased volume of tickets.
Along with BYOD and the increasing volume of tickets, there is an increase in the complexity of tickets. It can be difficult to track the dependencies between tickets, response time, how effectively the ticket was handled, and communication between the ticket handler and the end user.
An IT service desk will provide automated ticket creation for repetitive tasks, bring consistency across input fields, and associate asset details with incident tickets during creation. You will be able to easily see the status of each ticket (i.e. open, closed, overdue) and see the different priority levels. The increasing volume of tickets will be organizing, prioritized, easily kept track of, and dependencies between tickets will be more streamlined and transparent.
3. Incomplete understanding of what works, and what doesn’t.
Without a comprehensive IT service management strategy, companies seldom have insight into which procedures are effective, and which ones aren’t. An IT service desk tool can change all that, providing valuable intelligence into which activities result in the fastest resolutions, and which ones have the greatest positive impact on system performance and reliability. So, you can boost productivity by creating a set of best practices to be adhered to when common problems and issues arise.
4. Difficulty in measuring IT staff efficiency.
IT service desk solutions allow companies to better assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their human resources. For example, many of the more advanced systems enable full, end-to-end tracking of the amount of time spent on each incident. These metrics can help managers step in when issues take too long to resolve, and enable them to identify areas in need of improvement (i.e. if a staff member needs additional training on a certain topic).
5. Support team wastes too much time on “routine” calls.
IT resources are scarce nowadays, and businesses need to ensure they are being utilized to their fullest potential. Answering routine inquiries – for example, responding to an end user who is checking on the status of a software purchase request – is not the most effective use of their time. Cloud-based help desk software provides end users with a variety of “self-service” features, such the ability to track the status of open issues online, or to access a knowledge base that will allow them to troubleshoot and correct simple, common problems on their own. This frees up support staff to focus on resolving more complex or urgent issues.
6. Difficulty tracking asset repair histories.
Companies with manual IT service management policies in place may be able to store data about incidents and how they were resolved, but often struggle to link those details to the actual systems involved. This leaves them with limited visibility into the histories of their assets, hindering them from making informed decisions about replacements, upgrades, etc.
With an IT service desk solution that is unified with an IT asset management environment, companies can maintain complete histories of all problems and issues for each and every component of their technology infrastructure.
7. Service “silos” and present.
Many organizations provide support through multiple channels – email, the Web, phone. They often find it difficult to manage these various venues in a consolidated fashion, and unify the information generated by related service activities. An IT service desk provides an effective way to cohesively organize issues across multiple channels, making it easier to control, measure, and document associated support procedures.
8. Improved communication.
An IT service desk provides transparency in the ticket resolution process. End users have clarity into what they have tried already to resolve their issue and/or what part of the process they are in. There is no longer a void between the service desk agent and the end user. Better communication leads to improved customer satisfaction.
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