IT Service and Support is no longer in a separate realm within an organization. IT is making significant progress integrating itself into many departments across the organization. The net result is a much better understanding of the core business values and processes that exist for the enterprise as a whole. With each new budget season, now and into the future, IT managers need to be thinking about how to put together the business case for the true economic value of IT Service and Support organization’s involvement. The Service Desk has emerged as much more than simply a cost center. To embrace this notion, the business value must quantify the cost of doing business. A budget is no longer just line items of equipment and headcount. The budget needs to create a clear view of the economic discipline of IT Service and Support to and for the organization.
Service desk solutions. If incidents are coming in via email, they may be lost, overlooked, or never resolved. While it might seem that this solution is working for technicians, end users may have a uniquely different perspective. The timeframe in which resolutions are reached and the ongoing communications between the technicians and end users may be negatively impacted by the methods used to request service/support. An automated service desk solution can be the key to a high quality and much more successful end user experience with the IT organization. Service desk solutions aren’t only about the organization of tasks for the service desk. There is also the capability for end users to resolve issues on their own, through something as simple as a self-service portal or knowledge base. Budgeting for a service desk solution can provide IT service and support with the opportunity to significantly reduce the number of calls to the service desk, dramatically increasing productivity and freeing up the IT team to deal with more complicated and pressing technical concerns. It is an item that benefits not only IT Service and Support, but the organization as a whole.
Customer Satisfaction. Cost for a support call and customer satisfaction go hand in hand as we all strive for the highest possible quality response at the lowest possible cost. The most effective cost metric is cost per contact; and the best indicator of quality is customer satisfaction. As IT Service and Support moves outside of the “walls” of IT walls and becomes immersed inside the rest of the organization, understanding the level of customer service that has been achieved, as well as what needs to be achieved in the future, is a clear tell-tale number that impacts the annual budget. If customer satisfaction is low, what is the service desk going to do in 2016 to change that? What technology, software or hardware, does IT require to make a positive change happen and at what cost?
Training. Agent training is one of the few metrics that an IT support organization has complete control over. It’s a preventive/proactive number simply because higher training hours are positively correlated with several other important factors on the service desk. With so many IT certifications out there, IT training should always be included in a budget as a way to improve service and invest in employees. Clearly, one of the benefits of providing agents with an abundance of training opportunities is that it can help boost and sustain high levels of agent job satisfaction. This, in turn, has the effect of reducing agent turnover and absenteeism, a huge potential cost. Skills development and self-sufficiency for end users are critical to the proper functioning of the business, and ultimately allows the IT team members to also become well-versed in areas outside of the IT norm. Training for users throughout the business can also bring considerable cost savings in the long run when individual users are competent with software and hardware they are using.
Download the guide, Your Best ITSM Budget Ever, to help you get started, along with the fully functional Samanage ITSM Budget Calculator, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet tool.
About Danielle Livy
Danielle is the Senior Director, Marketing, ITSM at SolarWinds. She has wide-ranging experience in content production, social media marketing, public relations, and brand messaging. Her happy place is sitting by the lake with a cold beverage in hand, with the occasional water ski session.
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