The consumerization of technology is only one factor that has changed expectations of the IT service desk as an internal service provider. It may not be easy for an end user to understand why having an internal wireless card replaced isn’t as simple as returning a pair of shoes to Zappos. The rapid pace of technological evolution coupled with increasing end user expectations has forced many IT departments to step up IT service management capabilities to meet these expectations.
But all that hard work has put IT in the position of being the company experts on internal service provision, and in organizations with a great IT service management program, people may wonder why requesting software for a new hire is a straightforward, predictable process, while putting in for vacation or requisitioning a company fleet vehicle is an experience. Organizational leaders are starting to wonder why too.
Great IT Service Management Can Lead Other Departments
Outstanding IT service management is increasingly relevant outside the IT department, because every internal service provider, including the inventory department, customer service, HR, transportation, and the guy who’s in charge of office supply procurement can benefit from IT’s expertise. Not only does IT often have years of service management experience and knowledge, if they’ve done a great job, they probably have great tools that help them do so.
IT may have learned a lot of best practices the hard way, but that knowledge and experience puts the IT team in a position of leading other departments and business functions to better processes. If other internal service providers are struggling, IT has a unique opportunity to help them step up their game, while again proving IT’s relevance to overall business function. Executed well, it can be a classic win-win situation.
Helping Other Departments Lay the Foundations
When IT has outstanding tools, like asset management software that lets them see and manage all the “endpoints” like user devices, software packages, servers, and the like, their first steps in helping other inside service providers should be:
- Helping internal service providers develop clear guidelines for what their end users can expect. This might involve getting preliminary information from end users about what they want and need, developing reasonable timelines for delivering on service expectations, and prioritizing the types of requests they’re likely to receive.
- Educating end users on how their requests will fit into the internal service provider’s workflows. While end users should expect competent and professional service, they need to be disabused of notions that their problem is always the most important one.
- Developing processes for when exceptions to normal prioritization have to be made. For example, suppose a major potential client has scheduled a surprise visit and arrives tomorrow. This potential client could represent a big opportunity, so making sure the appropriate employee has access to a company car to take the client to a worksite is important enough to bump to the head of the queue.
Adapting the Technology to the Task
The best IT service management software is designed to be flexible, and this is the key to being able to put it to work for other internal service providers. A great asset management software solution can work beautifully whether it’s tracking software licenses, mobile devices, or changes to W-4 forms.
When the IT team acquired its ITSM software, it had to customize it to fit specific needs. These customization tasks can be extended to non-IT functions, whether the IT service management team does the customization itself, or whether it trains someone in the other internal service provider’s department to do so.
Top IT service management professionals know all about satisfying internal customers, because it’s a huge part of IT service delivery. Whether it’s using asset management software to track tools used by building maintenance, or using IT service desk software to help people deal with common HR inquiries, the IT service management team has a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how important their service skills are to the organization as a whole. More importantly, they can show other departments how to function more efficiently and keep their end users happier.
About Oz Merchant
Read more articles by Oz